Single Hung Vs. Double Hung Windows: What’s the Difference?

When replacing your windows, choosing the right kind can enhance your home’s style and comfort. Understanding the various window types can help you find the right one for your needs. Explore our guide to single-hung and double-hung windows here.

What Is a Single-Hung Window?

A single-hung window includes fixed and operable window sashes. The bottom one moves, allowing homeowners to open the window and let fresh air in. The upper sash remains fixed in place and can’t open.

What Is a Double-Hung Window

A double-hung window has two mobile window sashes. Unlike the single-hung window, the top sash can open, offering more opportunities for fresh air and maintenance.

5 Differences Between Single-Hung Windows and Double-Hung Windows

Each type of window setup offers unique differences, benefits and considerations, helping you better understand what differentiates them and make an informed decision about what’s best for your house.

1. Ventilation

Because double-hung windows can open two sashes, you’ll get more ventilation with this option. The system optimizes physics by allowing cool air to flow into your home through the open lower sash while hot air rises and escapes through the upper sash. With double-hung windows, you can more effectively cool spaces with open windows.

Though single-hung windows can still provide adequate ventilation, you should consider double-hung window options when looking for comprehensive support and airflow.

2. Maintenance and Cleaning

As exterior and interior facing features, your windows will require regular maintenance and cleaning to preserve their quality and functionality. Depending on your local climate, your windows might require more frequent cleaning than in other places. Finding a window option that supports your maintenance needs is essential.

Regarding the interior-facing glass, maintenance and cleaning are simple for both window types. Simply wipe the glass with a quality window cleaner for the best results. When it comes to exterior window glass, double-hung windows are easier to clean, as you can tilt them and clean the outside while remaining indoors.

3. Energy Efficiency

As entry points to your home, windows can let in drafts, causing your heating and cooling systems to overwork and drive up your monthly energy bills. Additionally, your home’s indoor spaces might feel less comfortable for family members and visitors.

Because single-hung windows have fewer moving parts, they have fewer places for air to slip through the cracks and alter your home’s temperature. However, many factors go into window energy efficiency, particularly insulation. If a single-hung window is poorly insulated, it’ll be ineffective. No matter what kind of windows you choose, be sure to insulate them properly.

4. Placement

When replacing existing window features, understanding where each type might work better can help you optimize your replacement process.

Generally, double-hung windows are great for homes with multiple stories because you can clean them thoroughly from the inside. Maintaining them becomes safer when you can eliminate roof access and ladders from the equation. These windows are also ideal for spaces where you want to boost ventilation, like bathrooms or more populated areas of the home.

Alternatively, single-hung windows are ideal for areas that are hard to reach. If you have higher-placed windows on a second or third floor, it might be more resource efficient to use single-hung options because you might not be able to reach the upper sash easily or safely. If you have rooms that require less ventilation, you can opt for this window type for those spaces, too.

5. Cost

Many factors can impact window cost, from size to chosen material. Because they have more moving parts, you can expect double-hung windows to be more expensive than single-hung alternatives. However, the payoff is the excellent results offered by this window type, allowing your family to enjoy cooler spaces with increased airflow and maintain your windows for optimized quality.

Additional Considerations When Picking a Window Type

After deciding between double- versus single-hung windows, homeowners have many factors to consider before investing in replacements. Keeping these decisions in mind when selecting your windows can streamline the implementation process for stronger choices that better reflect your needs: 

  • Choosing the right material: Single- and double-hung window frames can come in various materials, including wood, aluminum, vinyl and fiberglass. Each option is durable and provides excellent insulation, helping support your window’s functionality and performance. Wood offers a traditional and natural feel, but it requires more maintenance than others. The other options need less maintenance and are open to customization, helping them fit various aesthetics.
  • Sizing the window: Larger windows allow natural sunlight and more fresh air. More light can create a more open look to smaller spaces. Alternatively, smaller windows can add essential airflow to tight areas while optimizing space. Your window size might depend on your replacement dimensions, but if size changes are possible, considering your options can further refresh your home.
  • Sealing frames adequately: Insulation is essential, regardless of your chosen window type. During installation, installers will use seals to prevent air and moisture from seeping into your home through the windows. V-channels are common for double-hung windows because their increased durability makes them ideal for more movement. You can also use foam tape and felt to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Ultimately, just make sure all of your windows are properly sealed.
  • Matching your home’s style: Many people associate single-hung windows with traditional or historic houses and double-hung windows with modern homes. However, both options serve multiple styles and design choices. Frame material, color and pane customizations can help support your home’s unique appearance. These design considerations can also support functionality, like increased visibility with no or thin window panes.

Choosing a replacement window type is a comprehensive process, but knowing all of the factors involved can help you efficiently determine what kind you need.

Replace Your Windows With Renewal By Andersen

When replacing your home’s windows, you can streamline the process by partnering with an expert. Renewal By Andersen specializes in replacing doors and windows, helping pair homeowners with the right fixtures for their needs. We offer several quality window options, so you can find the style that best suits your home, including double-hung windows

Find a Renewal By Andersen location today to get started with your double-hung window replacement. 

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