When it’s time for replacing home windows, homeowners consider a number of factors: Price, style and energy efficiency, just to name a few. But before comparing features, styles and installation requirements, it’s important to understand the common types of windows available for replacement.
Two of the most common window frame types are single-hung and double-hung. While these two traditionally popular frame styles have many similarities, knowing how they are different can go a long way toward helping you determine which one is the best fit for your home.
What Does Single- or Double-Hung Mean?
Many customers hear “single- or double-hung window” and confuse these window lines with single- and double-pane glass windows. Adding to the confusion, single-hung and double-hung windows both include an upper and lower sash. It’s a similar design structure that makes the two window types appear the same from afar.
However, the two are different. “Hung” is a window term that applies to the number of moveable window sashes. On a single-hung window, only the lower sash moves. Double-hung windows, on the other hand, provide movement in both the upper and lower sashes. Because of that, homeowners may find that one window style works better for their home and budgets better than the other, even though they look the same.
Some reasons to choose a single-hung window
A timeless style, single-hung windows have been the standard window choice used in newer home builds, apartment buildings and business spaces. Single-hung windows provide both a cost-effective choice for a replacement window, and one that continues to be chosen for homes all around the country.
Since the upper sash is immovable on single-hung windows, installing a single-hung window can also make construction work less complicated, since there are fewer moving parts.
Single-hung windows are a great choice for homeowners who are looking for:
- A cost-effective choice for multiple windows
- A traditional, historic look
- A convenient option for first-floor window replacement or in houses where windows are close to the ground
Some reasons to choose a double-hung window
The unlocked second sash on a double-hung window provides additional flexibility for rooms.
Features such as tilt-in (also called tilt-out) design allows cleaning the outside of double-hung windows from inside the house. On single-hung windows, the lower sash usually moves only vertically, impeding the upper sash. This can create problems when reaching the glass on single-hung windows. In some homes, that inconvenience can become hazardous when cleaning the outside of the upper sash from inside.
Reaching the outside of windows at ground level is one thing but cleaning an upper-level window can be an entirely different scenario. While a few single-hung windows include a tilt-in, or removable lower sash, the moveable second sash on double-hung windows brings much easier cleaning, especially for windows on upper floors.
Allowing for multiple sashes to be adjusted makes double-hung windows a strong choice for rooms needing improved air flow. With hot, damp air in the bathroom, for example, reduced ventilation can lead to issues with humidity and moisture. Left alone, that lack of fresh air can result in increased odor issues and even mildew growth. Opening both sashes of a double-hung window can help cool off steamy, humid areas and keep moisture out of your room.
Double-hung windows also offer a unique option to single-hung windows when it comes to window maintenance. Since it is stationary, repairing the upper sash on a single-hung window means a visit from a glass repairman. However, since many double-hung windows have a removable upper sash, homeowners can change their window sash without the inconvenience of waiting for a glass repair job.
For these reasons, double-hung windows are a good choice for homes that:
- Have a second story
- Deal with airflow issues
- Have an architectural style that traditionally requires double-hung windows in their look, such as Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman or Victorian homes
|# of Operable Sashes
||Difficult to clean the exterior of the top sash since it does not tilt in.
Tougher to clean for those living on an upper floor.
||Easier to clean since both windows can be tilted to wash inside and outside surfaces.
Both sashes can be cleaned from the inside of the house.
||Bottom sash can open to let air in.
||Both sashes can open to let cool, fresh air in through the bottom and release warm air through the top.
||Similar design options
||Similar design options
What’s the difference in installation costs?
A number of features and options factor into determining the final cost of replacing your home windows. Everything from the material and added features to your region of the country and style of window can impact] the ending cost.
In the past, single-hung windows have had the image of being less expensive (and, as a result, often more popular) due to their continual use in new home construction. However, the longtime benefits of selecting double-hung windows should be considered.
While some factors, such as lower mildew levels from improved ventilation and architectural style can be valued over time, it’s difficult to put a price on the convenience of flexible cleaning options and increased safety for children that come with double-hung windows.
Here are some of the points that can impact just how much you spend on your window replacement:
- Features and options
- Number of windows needed
- Location of home
While doing the job on your own may seem like a save on costs, consider consulting with a Pella® professional to help find the window that best meets your needs, design and budget. They’ll not only help you find the right window, but provide you with the proper know-how to get your new windows installed properly.
Call or stop by your local Pella Windows and Doors showroom or contact us online to set up a free, no-cost, in-home consultation to discuss how you can get started on your window replacement project.