What is the difference between double hung or single hung windows?


Your window style is undoubtedly one of the most vital factors that will determine the curb appeal of your property. Besides, it can reflect your style and set the tone of the ambiance of your home. So, as you are thinking about window replacement for your home, which window style do you like? Is a double-hung window good for you? Do you prefer a single-hung window?

Before choosing any of these options, let’s explain the major difference between double- and single-hung windows.

  • Appearance

A single-hung window has two sashes. The upper sash is stationary whereas the lower sash can be moved vertically. Once opened, the lower panel will obstruct the upper panel fully or partially.

A double-hung window also features two sashes. However, both sashes can be operated. That is, you can open both the upper and lower sashes. This serves as the major difference in how these two window styles look.

  • Level of ventilation

Since you can open both sashes of double-hung windows, these windows can provide lots of ventilation for your home. Besides, you can decide whether you want to open the upper or lower sash. However, this is not possible with a single-hung window.

  • Popularity

Most apartment buildings, new constructions, and office spaces use single-hung windows. Also, some historic buildings have single-hung windows because they have been in existence for lots of centuries. Therefore, you must have seen lots of this window style before.

Comparatively, double-hung are newer in the market than single-hung windows. So, you can only find them in some modern properties.

  • Difference in cost

Without mincing words, single-hung windows are cheaper than double-hung windows. A double-hung window can be about 75% costlier than a single-hung window of the same size and style. Also, you will likely spend more on the installation of double-hung windows than single-hung. Therefore, if cost is one of your major concerns for window replacement, a single-hung window is your topmost choice.

  • Cleaning and maintenance

Of course, maintenance and cleaning are crucial factors to consider for window replacement. Here, double-hung windows are the clear winner. This is because you can open both sashes easily; hence, you can clean the exterior and interior of the windows from the inside of your home.

Unfortunately, this is not possible when you are using a single-hung window. You will have to go outside of your home to clean the exterior of the upper sash that is not operational. If you want to clean single-hung windows on the second or higher floor of a building, you will need additional tools such as a ladder to reach the windows.

  • Energy efficiency

When compared, single-hung windows tend to have lower air leakage rates than their double-hung counterparts. This is because double-hung windows are not usually sealed appropriately at the upper edge; hence, air may come into your home through the tiny opening. However, high-quality double windows have UV protection and other additional features that can increase their energy efficiency.

In a nutshell, the main difference between these two types of windows tends to come from their appearances and functions.