There are two main types of windows commonly found in residential areas: single-hung and double-hung. Despite occupying the same amount of space and serving similar purposes, they differ in the number of operable sashes, which hold the glass in place. A double-hung window has both an upper and lower sash that can be moved, while a single-hung window only opens at the bottom. This guide will outline the advantages and disadvantages of each type, assisting you in determining which one is most suitable for your home.
Double Hung Windows: an Introduction
It’s not easy to distinguish between single- and double-hung windows when looking at a house from the outside. They look so similar that you need to be inside to see if the upper sash moves. Single-hung windows have been around longer, which is why they are more common than double-hung windows. However, double-hung windows have gained popularity in new homes and constructions because they offer more functionality.
In areas with mild climates, where opening windows is a common way to regulate temperature, double-hung windows are often preferred. They allow for better airflow between the inside and outside of the house. Additionally, double-hung windows are convenient for cleaning on higher floors as most of them can be cleaned entirely from the inside.
Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung: Cost
Single-hung windows are a more affordable option compared to double-hung windows due to their simpler design and lighter construction. Typically, single-hung windows range from $170 to $500 per unit, while double-hung windows can cost between $250 and $800. Additionally, the installation of double-hung windows may incur higher expenses due to their heavier nature. Although the price discrepancy per window is not significant, it can accumulate rapidly when replacing windows throughout an entire house.
Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung: Air Circulation
Double-hung windows have a major advantage when it comes to ventilation. With both the top and bottom sash able to open, more air can flow through. Single-hung windows do allow for some airflow, but it’s not as much.
However, there is a downside to double-hung windows. The two movable sashes can lead to more air infiltration and lower energy efficiency. Even though all windows have seals to prevent air leakage, these seals can deteriorate over time, and double-hung windows provide more opportunities for leaks. As a result, single- and double-hung windows are not the most energy-efficient options. To maximize their efficiency, it’s best to choose ones that are ENERGY STAR®-rated.
If you feel that single- and double-hung windows are not suitable for your home, there are alternatives available. Awning and casement windows are known for being highly weatherproof because the sash closes directly against the frame. On the other hand, picture windows offer excellent efficiency because they don’t open at all.
Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung: Ensuring Safety
Double-hung windows offer a bit more protection for pets and young kids. If you want to keep a window open in a room where children or animals are present, it’s safer to open the upper sash. This way, they won’t be able to crawl out or accidentally hurt their fingers by pulling it down.
Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung: Different Styles
There are still more single-hung windows than double-hung windows in homes, but double-hung windows are the go-to choice for newer constructions. This means that double-hung windows offer a wider range of sizes, styles, and colors. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles.
- Cottage-style windows have a lower sash that is quite large, while the upper sash’s horizontal crossbar is positioned higher up on the window, giving you a clear view without obstruction.
- Oriel-style windows are designed with a spacious upper sash and a petite lower sash.
- Sliding windows are designed to open horizontally on a track and can consist of one or multiple movable sashes.
- Tilt-in sashes are pretty handy as they let you tilt the top part of the window pane inward for easy cleaning of the window’s outside. If you have double-hung windows, you’ll be pleased to know that they usually come with two tilt-in sashes, making it a breeze to clean them from the comfort of your home.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both double- and single-hung windows. You might find that a mix of the two is the perfect fit for your needs. In general, single-hung windows work well for ground-floor rooms that need windows that can be opened and provide some airflow. On the other hand, double-hung windows are ideal for upper-floor rooms that require maximum air circulation. Single-hung windows tend to be more budget-friendly, while double-hung windows offer a wider range of style choices.
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