Single vs Double-Hung Windows: What’s the Difference?


Are you ready to replace your home’s windows? If so, there are several factors you need to consider.

From energy efficiency to price and style, you need to consider all these things to find the right windows for your home and needs. While this is true, it is also important to learn about some popular window styles being installed today.

As a homeowner, you will have to decide if you want to purchase single-hung or double-hung windows. Some tips to help with this important decision can be found here.

Window Operation

When considering differences in single- and double-hung windows, the main one is how they operate. Single-hung windows feature a fixed top sash and an operable bottom sash. The bottom sash is designed to move up and down (vertically).

With double-hung windows, both the bottom and top sashes move. Since both sashes move with a double-hung window, it is possible to open only the top sash alone.

This is a great option if you want fresh air that won’t be blowing directly on you while you are asleep.

Window Cost

Single-hung windows are usually more affordable than double-hung ones. Even if when everything like size and style are the same, double-hung windows may cost up to 75% more than single-hung windows.

You can expect to pay between $100 and $300 each for single-hung windows. On the other hand, double-hung windows cost between $400 and $600, and this doesn’t include installation.

Installation costs for single-hung windows are between $75 and $100, while double-hung windows cost up to $250 to install. The cost for double-hung windows increases even more based on factors like UV protection, window frame material, energy efficiency, and size.

Because of the higher cost, single-hung windows are usually the preferred option for anyone with a limited budget.

Window Air Circulation and Ventilation

The airflow and ventilation between these two types of windows are also different.

Double-hung windows provide a maximum level of circulation since both sashes open. This means that fresh, cool air will move through the bottom, and warm air will move out of the top.

Since only one sash opens with single-hung windows, the airflow is not as high. However, there is still sufficient airflow provided in most cases.

Window Cleaning and Maintenance

Even though single-hung windows are more affordable than double-hung options, they do take additional effort to clean and maintain. You must be on the inside to clean the window’s interior and outside to clean the window’s exterior.

However, with double-hung windows, the glass tilts inside. This means you can easily spray the interior and exterior of the glass, all from inside your home.

Some single-hung windows will tilt inside, but this is only the bottom panel. As a result, you must reach through the window or go outside to maintain the upper panel.

Based on factors like where you live, the season, and other factors, you should clean your windows a minimum of one time per month. While it may be difficult to clean single-hung windows on the first floor of your home, it will be even more challenging for any upper stories.

Window Energy Efficiency

When considering energy efficiency, single-hung windows are considered more energy-efficient. The main reason for this is because they have fewer moving parts.

While this is true, according to experts, like, you can find options in both styles that are energy efficient.

It is important to note that both styles may experience some type of air leakage other than hinged or projecting windows. One reason for this is that with double-hung windows, they don’t seal properly at the top portion of the frame.

Over time, this can result in higher energy costs. While you can find well-sealed, high-quality double-hung windows, you will find they come at a higher cost. You may think this is worth it since it will provide increased energy efficiency.

Window Security

As with any other type of opening that leads into your home, you have to consider safety when purchasing windows. With single- and double-hung styles, the double-hung option is less secure.

If you don’t properly shut your double-hung windows, gravity may begin to pull the upper sash down. If this happens, the window may not lock properly.

You can fix this issue by testing the window to ensure it is locked after being shut.

While this is true, single-hung windows may be dangerous for homes that have smaller children. With double-hung options, you can open the top panel while the bottom remains closed. This isn’t possible with single-hung windows.

It is possible to secure both single- and double-hung windows. However, you have to figure out the right way to do this.

Window Styles

A top reason that double-hung windows are more popular is because of how many manufacturers now offer them. This means there are more choices when it comes to things like design and finishes.

It is important to note that there are a lot of style options for single-hung windows, too. However, this is mostly used for homes with a historic look.

You can find both options offered with aluminum, wood, fiberglass, and vinyl frames.

Making a Decision: Single-Hung or Double-Hung Windows?

As you can see from the information above, there are some distinct differences between single- and double-hung windows. Knowing what these differences are can help you choose the style best suited for your home.

Are you interested in learning more about your home, both interior, and exterior? If so, be sure to read some of the other blogs on our website.

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