Single and double hung windows look very similar so it’s no wonder that a lot of people confuse the two. A closer look, however, will reveal that they are actually very different from each other. To determine which one is right for you, comparing single and double hung windows is the way to go as a better understanding of each will help you pick out what will suit your needs perfectly.
The easiest way to tell single and double hung windows apart is through how they are constructed. When closed, the two look the same but you’ll see the stark difference between them once the windows are in use. Essentially, single and double hung windows differ in that the former only has one operable sash and the latter has two movable sashes. The two are designed to look like they have two sashes but only in double hung windows can you use both sashes.
Single and double hung windows also differ in terms of:
- Ventilation Control– With double hung windows, you can control ventilation by adjusting sashes, allowing you to better use them to effectively catch a breeze or let warm air out of the home. Single hung windows, on the other hand, can only offer one type of opening since only the lower sash is operable.
- Style – Both windows can accommodate a range of material options and styles. Just make sure you pick out what will complement your home and you’ll be fine.
- Price – A single hung window is cheaper to install than its double hung counterpart, partly because it is lighter and it has fewer moving parts, which makes it easier to handle. A single hung window also features less moving pieces so it is easier to repair, which also makes the task more affordable compared to if a double hung window is repaired. Keep in mind though that repair costs are still generally determined by the kind of problem being addressed.
- Maintenance – Cleaning is a breeze when you have double hung windows because the sashes can be tilted inward for better access. In single hung windows, you can easily get to the lower sash but cleaning the outer side of the upper sash can be troublesome.
- Energy Efficiency – A single hung window is better at minimizing air leakage as the fixed upper sash offers less opportunities for air to pass through. A double hung window, on the other hand, has more moving pars, which makes it more vulnerable to air leakage. Both, however, can be fitted with low-emissivity window glass that reduces heat let in by a window without affecting the amount of natural light streaming in. Opt for double glazing and you’ll also enjoy better insulation.
Now that you know how single hung windows differ from double hung ones, you are now better equipped to make the right choice between the two. Should you need help in choosing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local window contractor for assistance.
Nick Little is Executive Vice President of EcoView Windows & Doors and has more than 20 years of experience in the replacement window and door industry. He’s been an active participant in the industry’s progress from plain wood windows to the exceptionally energy efficient vinyl replacement windows EcoView installs today.