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Double-Hung VS Single-Hung Windows | Comparing The Two Styles

Both single-hung and double-hung windows are popular in home designs and window styles. There are some similarities between the two but you need to be aware of the differences as well. As we compare double-hung vs single-hung windows, you’ll discover the differences so that you can confidently find the best window replacement option for your home.

Comparing Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung Windows

It’s important to note that a single-hung window is not the same as a single-pane window.  The term “hung” is a reference to the sash that can move. The term “pane” references how many panes of glass the window has.

The moving part of a window is called the sash. It holds the panes of glass and the sash fits inside the frame, and the frame attaches to your house.

Each type of window has two sashes – an upper and a lower one. The sashes separate the windows, both physically and visually.

Both styles of windows offer the same design options due to their similar structure, so they can be adapted to any home design. And you can’t really tell them apart from a distance.

The main difference between the two is the upper sash. The single-hung style has a stationary sash that you can’t move. The double-hung style has a moveable sash on the top along with the operable bottom sash. This one change results in several differences between each style’s functionality and performance.

Ventilation

When it comes to ventilation, the biggest difference lies in how the sashes open and close.

Single – The bottom sash can be opened to let in the fresh air.

Double – Both sashes can be opened to allow air to circulate through both the top and bottom windows.

Cleaning

Only a few single-hung windows have tilt-in or removable lower sashes. Double-hung windows have operable sashes on both the top and bottom sashes so they are much easier to clean, especially when cleaning windows on an upper floor.

Single – Because the top sash does not tilt in, it is very difficult to clean the exterior. The outside window sashes and panes are hard to clean if you live on the upper floor. If you are trying to reach the exterior from inside the house, it can become quite dangerous.

Double – It is easier to clean double-hung windows since both can be tilted to wash both the inside and outside. A double-hung window is easily cleaned by tilting the frame inward so that you can reach and wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.

Cost

The size of the window, its energy efficiency, UV protection, and the material of the window frame all affect the price.

Single – Single-hung windows are a popular choice for one main reason: the cost.

The average costs can be anywhere from $100 to $300 for each window. The installation costs average about $75 to $100 per window installation

Based on the pricing above, the cost of a single-hung window can be quite appealing to certain homeowners.

Double – The prices for these are typically 75 percent higher than those for single-hung windows. It may cost between $400 and $600 per window, and the cost to install each window is approximate $150 – $250.

All the extra options that come with double-hung windows can raise the cost higher.

Installation

Installation techniques can vary depending on the manufacturer and the project for both types of windows.

Single – Since the upper sash stays in place, there are fewer moving parts which means installation is easier.

Double – Once installed, each panel must be inspected to make sure that it opens and closes properly. Even though they come in standard sizes and will fit the most common frames, they are heavier and can be more difficult to put into the frames.

Repairs

You will want to consider what the repair of a broken window pane or sash will entail and whether you can do it yourself or not.

Single – If the glass or sash breaks, it’s difficult for a homeowner to repair it themselves, so a call to a glass repairman is most likely necessary.

Double – Because the window has a removable upper sash, it’s easy for homeowners to simply swap out a broken window with no service call from a window installation expert.

Popularity

Trends come and go and are often based on the current economy.

Single – In the aftermath of the 2008 housing collapse, sales of single-hung windows grew from 18% to 26%, approaching the 31% market share of double-hung vinyl windows. The affordability of single-hung windows likely contributed to this growth.

Double – The rise in residential construction during the 1990s set a new record for sales as it overtook sales of the more traditional single-hung window.

Security And Safety

When it comes to any opening that could be used to enter your home, security is paramount. You want to be sure that the windows will be safe for all family members as well.

Single – When used with proper security measures such as keeping windows locked, these can keep your home just as secure as double-hung windows.

Due to their bottom-opening design, pets and small children may be able to crawl through the openings.

Double – Double-hung windows offer greater security than single-hung windows. Besides having two locks, double-hung windows have stronger frames and sashes to handle their additional weight. As a result, they are harder to break into.

The top sash could be pulled down by gravity if it isn’t latched properly, which could result in injury if it falls.

Energy Efficiency

This is often a major factor in buying new windows, especially if the cost can be recouped.

Single – Several factors can affect a single-hung window’s energy efficiency. Because the upper sash is sealed, this could increase energy efficiency.  Depending on your climate, limited ventilation may still cause you to spend more on cooling your home over time.

Double – Poorly manufactured or older windows may not stay in place completely, resulting in energy loss. And even though they are energy efficient, your energy costs can increase if the top sash isn’t closed completely. Because either the top or bottom sash can be opened, having maximum natural ventilation in a home can reduce energy consumption over time, especially when it comes to cooling costs.

Single-Hung Windows Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Owners of historic homes might prefer these windows because they look more authentic than double-hung. In modern-day houses, these types of windows can also be cheaper and easier to install.
  • These windows will not leak air because the upper sash is fixed and will not loosen up as easily as a moving one.

Cons

  • In the case of a broken upper sash in a single-hung window, the window must be fixed by a glazier.

Double-Hung Windows Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easier to clean
  • Allows the opening of the upper sash to improve airflow
  • In homes with small children, double-hung windows provide airflow through the open top sash while the lower sash remains closed

Cons

  • Can be more expensive initially

Final Verdict For Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung Windows

As you are trying to decide the right window choice for your home, whether it’s the single-hung or double-hung window, you have seen that both window types have their pros and cons, but which one is the best fit for your home?

Double-hung windows are more versatile because both the top and bottom panes can be opened. This makes them great for ventilation, and they also provide a greater level of security than single-hung windows. In addition, double-hung windows are easier to clean and maintain than single-hung windows.

If you’re looking for optimum versatility, style, and function, double-hung windows are the way to go.

Be sure to drop us a line or shoot us an email if you have any other questions for your windows!