Single-hung and double-hung are two of the most popular window choices in modern home design. Learn about the pros and cons of single-hung vs. double-hung windows to find the perfect one for your space.
Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, your window choices will affect your ventilation, energy efficiency, and longevity. Knowing the difference in cost, efficiency, and functionality between single-hung vs. double-hung windows will make the decision clear and simple.
What Is A Single-Hung Window?
A single-hung window is defined by an operable lower window operable sash that moves up and down and a fixed upper window. Ventilation is carried through the bottom half only in this window style, which makes them ideal for first-floor windows since you aren’t looking for a place for heat to escape.
Single-hung ones have also been around longer than double-hung ones, lending them a vintage look and feel. They also have a reduced manufacturing cost, making them a much more common sight in most homes.
What Is A Double-Hung Window?
Double-hung windows look nearly identical to single-hung windows, but the upper window sash is able to slide up and down. This opens up your options for ventilation to include the bottom half, the top half, or both halves. Upper window ventilation is ideal for letting the heat escape from your home’s upper floors and circulating the air in bathrooms to prevent mildew.
There are some styles of double-hung windows with additional features that allow the windows to tilt, acting as an awning in the rain and allowing for better ventilation. Recently, this style has been gaining popularity as it offers more functionality and is much easier to clean.
What Is The Difference Between Single And Double-Hung Windows?
The critical difference between single and double-hung windows lies in the movement of the upper sash. Depending on where the window is placed, this movement can be a great advantage or no advantage whatsoever. Behind the sink, for example, is an excellent place for a single-hung window, while a double hung one would be a rather frivolous addition because the upper sash would be inaccessible. Similar to the difference between casement and double-hung windows, you’ll soon find out that each window has its place, as well as its pros and cons.
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7 Considerations When Choosing Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Windows
Deciding between double-hung vs single-hung can be a surprisingly difficult decision to make. Windows last, on average, between 15 to 20 years, so it’s worth taking your time to consider all your options before you decide. The key deciding factors to consider include cost, cleaning, ventilation, accessibility, efficiency, installation, and aesthetic preferences. Each type of window is sure to be an improvement over any outdated window you may currently have, so there are no bad choices when it comes to any window replacements.
- Window Cost
- Cleaning Windows
- Window Ventilation
- Window Efficiency
On average, single-hung windows are about 10% to 20% less expensive than double-hung windows, varying in cost between $500 to $1,200 or more, depending on the material choices. This may seem negligible if you’re replacing one or two windows, but the cost can add up if you’re doing a total home window replacement. To help curb costs, single-hung windows are often used on the lowest floors to bring in cool air, while double-hung ones are used on the upper floors to let the rising hot air escape out the upper sash.
Cleaning single-hung windows requires outside access to reach the upper sashes, and if they’re on an upper floor, you may want to hire a professional. The average homeowner will typically clean their windows 2 or 3 times a year, which adds up over their 20-year lifespan.
Double-hung windows have made cleaning a lot easier and a task you can complete from inside the home. With the added tilt features, cleaning is so easy that you might find yourself doing it fairly regularly to get those picture-perfect views all year long on the interior and exterior.
Double-hung windows are made for increased ventilation, with cold air coming in the bottom sashes and hot air escaping out the top. This technique works for any floor in the house but will be most noticeable on the top floor, where the heat rises and gets trapped in the summer months. Single-hung windows are the economical solution for pulling in cold air on your lowest floors. They are best used for ventilating basements, garages, and outdoor sheds. However, we recommend double-hung ones for any top-floor or bathroom windows.
How does a double-hung window work when it’s nestled behind the sink and the upper sash is just out of reach? There are times when it would be nice to have extra ventilation in the kitchen, like when you forgot you put a pizza in the oven an hour ago, but without access to the top window, it won’t be of much benefit. When you’re deciding what style of windows to install in each room, it’s important to consider the access you will have to open and close them.
Most types of single-hung windows are considered to be the most energy efficient because they come with fewer moving parts and multi-chambered windows. When looking for efficient types of double-hung windows, consider window frames made of fiberglass or vinyl, often available with added insulating foam. Wood is another popular frame choice because it is a natural insulator from the cold.
Single-hung windows come with fewer moving parts, making them easier to install saving on labor and manufacturing costs. In addition to a higher upfront cost, double-hung windows have a more complex installation that doesn’t lend itself to DIY projects as readily. While most manufacturers offer warranties, getting your windows professionally installed is essential to get the most out of their longevity.
Both single-hung and double-hung windows compliment a home with a more traditional aesthetic. Due to the long history of these window styles, you can find them in many colonial, craftsman, or Victorian home designs. They can be fitted with a decorative lattice window inlay or left clean and open for a more sleek and modern appearance.
Discover the unique ways single and double-hung windows can be used in combination windows from Asher.
Recommended Places To Use Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Windows
What are single-hung windows made for if double-hung windows can do the same with added venting options? There is no reason you can’t put double-hung windows in every room, but there are times when it simply offers no additional benefit.
The purpose of double-hung windows is to allow hot air to escape out the top sash, but lower floors seldom get hot enough to require that kind of venting. There are also areas where the upper sash would be inaccessible, such as behind a sink or workbench. We recommend single-hung windows for these areas because of their lower cost and maintenance.
- Behind the Sink
- Top Floors
- Single Level Homes
Can You Put A Single-Hung And Double-Hung Window In The Same Space?
The above list of recommended spaces for single-hung vs double-hung windows is more of a guideline than a rulebook. There is no reason you can’t incorporate double-hung windows in your garage or complete a single-level home with a mix of single and double-hung windows. As long as you have adequate ventilation in your home, the layout of your windows is up to you, and the more creative you can be with your window combinations, the better off you’ll be.
Explore Asher’s Selection Of Double-Hung Windows
Deciding between single-hung vs double-hung windows can be a difficult choice to make. It may depend on the room you’re placing the window in, the budget you’re working with, and the ventilation you’re hoping to get out of it. With so many factors at play, it can feel overwhelming, but that’s where the experts at Asher really shine.
We’re here to help every step of the way with free consultations and expert guidance on finding the right windows for your home. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of professionals at Asher for all of your replacement window needs. Check out our blog for more window replacement tips and advice, or stop by the showroom for a first-hand look at the newest lineup of professional-grade windows.