As much as 30% of your home’s energy use comes from the heat that’s lost and gained through your windows. Accordingly, the windows in your home are directly responsible for how much energy you consume daily and how much you pay for your energy bill.

Window replacements are a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money on your energy bills. If you’re in the market for new windows, you’ve likely noticed there are many options on the market. Choosing the right windows for your home is about more than just style and cost — it’s about choosing the window that’s going to keep your home’s temperature comfortable year-round. 

Two common types of window styles are double-hung windows and casement windows. Before you choose replacement windows for your home, it’s important to know how they work and what benefits each window has. 

1. Ease of Operation: How They Work

Even if you aren’t familiar with the terms “casement” and “double-hung,” you’ve likely encountered both types of windows at some point over the years. 

Casement Windows

What is a casement window? Casement windows are windows that can be pushed open using a crank or handle. Using one hand, you can turn the handle and it pushes the window away from the envelope of your home. These windows are often used in parts of the house where it’s difficult to reach the window and push it up — as you would with a double-hung. 

You’ve likely seen a casement window over a kitchen sink. They are also often incorporated into homes with a more modern design because their clean lines invoke a contemporary feel. Because they can be operated with a hand crank, casement windows are also an excellent choice for older adults or individuals with physical limitations. It doesn’t require as much strength to open them. 

These windows are typically also locked along the side, rather than in the middle of the two parts like a double-hung window. 

Double-Hung Windows

What is a double-hung window? Double-hung windows are exactly what they sound like — two panes hung in a way that allows them to overlap each other when one pane is moved up and down. Double-hung windows open “up” by pushing the lower pane up toward the top of the window frame. Newer double-hung windows can also open from the top, and they’re designed to open toward you for cleaning. These windows tend to be used in older homes or those with a more traditional style.

Modern double-hung windows may be a safer option for families with young children. This is because they can be opened from the top, reducing the risk that a child will attempt to crawl out of the window or have their hand smashed when they are attempting to raise or lower the window.

2. Look and Location

Both types of windows have a very distinctive look that’s important to consider. After all, windows make up a significant portion of your home’s surface area. You want to choose a window style that complements the rest of your home’s architecture. 

Casement Windows

A casement window is a tall, single rectangle with simple geometry that works well in contemporary homes. Because they don’t have a sash dividing the glass, these windows provide clear, unobstructed views around the home. If you live in a waterfront home or somewhere with a beautiful mountain view, casement windows complement the beauty that you see outside your window, making it the focal point of each and every room. 

Even if you don’t have especially scenic views, casement windows can provide bright light and give any room the feel of a wide-open space. From a more practical standpoint, well-placed casement windows are excellent conduits for warm breezes and fresh air throughout the milder months of the year. 

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows give off a more traditional vibe than a casement window does. That’s because double-hung windows have been used in traditional architecture for a long time. If your home has a traditional look or you’re restoring an older property, double-hung windows can help preserve the traditional architecture of the house. 

You can replace double-hung windows with casement windows, however, they will alter the look of the home and may detract from the older look that likely attracted you to your home in the first place. Double-hung windows can be more practical than casement windows in some cases. For example, if you are replacing windows that look out over a deck or a porch, open double-hung windows won’t take away space for people to move around and sit like casement windows would. 

They can also provide a layer of security in a house with children because double-hung windows can be opened from the top, keeping the lower portion of the window shut and preventing children from attempting to damage the screen or climb out of the house. 

3. Cost

Cost isn’t the only thing you consider when you’re replacing your windows, but it’s an important factor. As you’re looking at the cost of windows, don’t just consider the sticker price. The right windows will also save you money down the road by reducing your energy costs in the summer and winter. 

It’s important to consider what the windows will do to your home’s resale value. If you install casement windows into an older home, altering its curb appeal, you may not recoup as much of your window costs when you sell your home. If you opt to install cheap double-hung windows, you may find that potential buyers aren’t as interested in your home because a cheaper window isn’t as energy-efficient. 

Casement Windows 

The average casement window cost is higher than a double-hung window. This is because of the more complex mechanics that are involved in creating the handle and crank system. Because casement windows typically complement a more contemporary home architecture, they also aren’t in as high of demand, which drives the price up. 

When you’re comparing prices, it’s important to remember that casement windows come in a variety of materials, including vinyl, wood, aluminum, fiberglass and steel. They also come in a variety of sizes and glass options, which can impact the cost. 

A standard casement window may be comparable in price to certain double-hung windows depending on the materials it’s made from. To avoid a scenario where you’re comparing two completely different windows, it’s a good idea to consult with a reputable window replacement company to ensure you’re looking at comparable windows. 

Double-Hung Windows

In general, you’ll find that double-hung window costs are cheaper than the cost of casement windows. This is because they are more common, which means the demand is higher. Higher demand drives manufacturers to offer deals and lower prices as they compete for your business. Depending on the material the window frame is made from and the type of glass you select, a double-hung window’s price can go up or down significantly. 

4. Natural Light

The windows you choose have a huge impact on your home’s natural light. But does one window really provide more natural light than another? 

Casement Windows

Because casement windows don’t have a sash running through the middle of the window, the large panes of glass can provide a bit more natural light to rooms that are already situated to receive light throughout the day. The downside to this is that the large panes of glass on casement windows may also allow more heat from the sun inside during the summer or allow more heat to escape during the winter. 

If you’re in search of a window that will provide optimal natural light, be sure to choose low-emissivity (low-e) glass. Low-e glass coatings are designed to reduce heat transfer through window glass. While they may add to your upfront costs, they can reduce your energy costs by up to 50%. 

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows may have a sash in between the top and bottom halves of the window, but they are still great options if you want to maximize a room’s potential for natural lighting. Like casement windows, it’s important to select windows that have low-e glass. This allows you to take advantage of the natural light in your home without interfering with your home’s temperature.

Casement vs. Double-Hung Windows

5. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a term that gets thrown around a lot. But what does it mean, and how can you be sure you’re choosing a window that provides maximum efficiency? Energy efficiency is a term that refers to a product’s ability to do the same amount of work using less energy than other options. When you’re looking at windows, this means you’re looking for options that keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer without driving up your energy bills. 

Casement Windows

Casement windows fit tightly into the window opening, creating an airtight seal that keeps outside air where it belongs. A casement window’s latch takes it even further, pulling the sash into the seals and preventing air leaks. 

What this means is that your home’s HVAC system won’t have to work harder to keep up with air leaks and uneven temperatures. And you’ll lose less of that “bought air” through tiny cracks and breaks in the seal. By preventing that loss of air, you can reduce your home’s energy costs.

Double-Hung Windows

While casement windows offer a great energy-efficient option, double-hung windows can hold their own when it comes to the competition, especially if you opt to work with an experienced installer. An experienced installer can ensure the window is hung correctly and an airtight seal is applied around the window to prevent cracks and leaks that might interfere with your home’s efficiency. 

6. Ventilation

It’s refreshing to open up the windows on a fall day and let a breeze flow through the house. But which of these windows will provide those warm, relaxing breezes? 

Casement Windows 

Casement windows can provide excellent ventilation within your home, especially if they’re well positioned across from each other to create cross-breezes throughout a room. Their size is a main reason why this is so effective. Because casement windows don’t have a sash in the middle of the window, their larger, unobstructed opening allows for more airflow than a double-hung window. 

However, since casement windows operate on a crank, they need to be open pretty far for breezes to come in through the opening. If they aren’t open enough or there isn’t much space when they are opened all the way, there may not be as much ventilation as you’d expect. 

Double-Hung Windows

While a double-hung window doesn’t have as large of an opening as a casement window, its advantage is that the window slides up to create an opening on a breezy day. Some casement windows don’t open out very far, which means they can’t get as much air flowing through the screen covering their opening. By opening upward, double-hung windows don’t have anything blocking the opening or preventing breezes from flowing through.

7. Cleaning

Cleaning windows can be challenging, so it’s important to know what you can expect from your window replacements.

Casement Windows

With casement windows, there’s no sash or grids to get in the way of your cleaning cloth. Just spray some glass cleaner on the window pane and wipe clean. There are two problems you may encounter when cleaning casement windows. The first is that the screen on a casement window is typically located on the inside of the glass. That means you’ll need to remove the screen before you can clean the glass. The second problem is that it can be difficult to clean the outside of the glass without going outside. 

Double-Hung Windows

Today’s double-hung windows are designed so you can pull each section inside to thoroughly clean both sides of the glass. You can also pop out the grids for a clear, smooth surface for scrubbing. This ensures you clean every inch and don’t leave any residue behind. 

Trust Garrety Glass for Your Replacement Windows

If it’s time to replace the windows in your home, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Garrety Glass has been south central Pennsylvania’s glass expert for the last 20 years. Let our experienced staff help you through each step of the process — from choosing the right windows for your home to installing them properly. Contact us today for a free quote.