Single Hung vs Double Hung Windows

September 23, 2013

Autumn has finally arrived, and many people will be taking advantage of sale prices and the mild weather to replace the windows in their homes. The decision people make about what type of windows to buy depends on many factors, including cost, functionality, security and energy efficiency. When trying to decide between single hung vs double hung windows, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of window should all be taken into consideration.

Since there is no difference between single hung and double hung windows in terms of appearance, the main consideration when deciding between one or the other is functionality. In terms of function, and particularly in terms of cleaning, double hung windows have the clear advantage. Gone are the days when people resigned themselves to going outside on a ladder to clean the outsides of all the windows in their homes. While some people still do so and don’t seem to mind it, many consider it a pain and find it worthwhile to spend the extra money on double hung windows. Double hung windows are much easier to clean, since the top sash can be lowered and tilted inward for easy access to both sides. With a single hung window, only the bottom sash can be tilted inward for cleaning, which for some people might defeat the purpose.

When it comes to desired ventilation, many people prefer double hung windows because they can tilt in both sash for increased ventilation, and double hung windows also give you the option to tilt open the top sash only so that you can have a breeze without blowing papers or other lightweight objects around. Those whose blinds open from the top and the bottom might enjoy being able to open their blinds from the bottom, tilt open the top sash and enjoy privacy as well as a breeze, which is not an option with single hung windows.

Cost is one of the few areas in which single hung windows have a clear advantage, since they typically cost about 30 percent less. Whether the extra money one could pay for double hung windows is worth it depends largely on the individual. They say that you get what you pay for, though, and this is certainly true when comparing single hung and double hung windows. The main reason that single hung windows are cheaper is that they have fewer components and are therefore easier to manufacture. On the other hand, what you pay less for now can also save you money later on weather stripping and utility bills: with the top panel in a single hung window being virtually airtight, it has been suggested that single hung windows will have fewer air leaks than a double hung window.

When it comes to security, double hung windows win hands-down. Double hung windows offer more security because each of the panels locks when the window is closed in order to keep both of the moving panels in place. In theory, the savings resulting from the prevention of theft-related losses could far outweigh the savings realized through energy efficiency, although this will vary from home to home.

It is very likely, particularly for people living in older homes, that any window on the market will be an improvement over what they already have. While the advantages of double hung windows will be more important to some people than others, many will find the additional expenditure worthwhile for the period of time that they will remain in their homes.

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