New windows enhance the curb appeal of your home and increase its energy efficiency. As you search for a brand-new design for these components of your house, you may come across single-hung and double-hung windows. This guide will help you compare these styles to determine which one is appropriate for your budget and maintenance needs.

What’s the Difference Between Double-Hung and Single-Hung Windows?

The quality that separates single-hung from double-hung windows is the ability to move the sashes. With double-hung windows, both the upper and lower sashes are operable, but only one sash in a single-hung window can move.

Homeowners choose double-hung windows because:

  • They are easier to use because both sashes are open.
  • Since you can wipe both sides of the window, they are easy to clean.
  • They offer more design options to enhance the appearance of your house.
  • By allowing air to travel through both sashes, they provide more ventilation.
  • They are safer to use with children in the house.

Single-hung windows also have their benefits:

  • They are much cheaper to order and install than double-hung windows.
  • Since only one sash opens, they provide more energy efficiency against air leaks.
  • They are easier to install because there are fewer moving parts to consider.

Double-Hung Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

What is a double-hung window? Double-hung windows feature two operable sashes — one on the top and one on the bottom. Since they are versatile in design, they can accommodate the look of any architectural style. While they are easy to clean and safer for children, they’re not as energy-efficient as single-hung windows.

Benefits of Double-Hung WindowsDouble Hung Window in Kitchen

Consider the advantages of double-hung windows to determine whether they are a good fit for your home:

  • Easy to clean: To clean your windows, you need to wash both the interior and exterior. Cleaning them can be difficult when the top sash doesn’t move because the bottom sash often blocks it when the window is open. Since both sashes move, you can manipulate both sides of the window to wipe them down more easily from the inside of the house. This feature is especially helpful when you have a two-story house where you can’t walk outside to clean the top of the window.
  • More designs available: Double-hung windows have customized frames, glass finish, and size options to accommodate a variety of architectural styles. Whether you have a Craftsman, Colonial, or Cape Cod house, you’ll enjoy the custom design options available to enhance your home’s aesthetic.
  • Safer for children: Small children can fit through the opening of a window. With a double-hung window, you can open the top sash while keeping the bottom sash closed to prevent a child from climbing out. You can increase the security of your double-hung windows with locks and by properly maintaining them.
  • More ventilation: Humidity issues in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room could lead to mold growth and unpleasant odors. You can fix this issue with double-hung windows that use both sashes to allow more ventilation for your window. If you leave each sash half-open, the bottom sash lets in the fresh air, and the top sash releases warm air back outside.

Drawbacks of Double-Hung Windows

Here are the disadvantages of double-hung windows:

  • Lack of energy efficiency: Are double-hung windows energy-efficient? Technically, no. Since both sashes open, they have more of a chance of letting in air leaks. To have energy-efficient windows, you should look for triple- or double-pane windows. Double-pane windows are available both as single-hung and double-hung.
  • Expensive cost: The double-hung window cost can be more than triple the price of single-hung windows. Besides the price of the unit, they are also costly to install. Since they feature more moving parts, window installers need to ensure that all these components have the proper fit to provide optimal energy efficiency.
  • Difficult to maintain: The hardware in a double-hung window could wear out over time, so you need to dust and clean them regularly to make sure they open and close smoothly. You would also need to lubricate the tracks and replace the springs as necessary. While modern double-hung windows require less maintenance, they still need a little more care than single-hung windows.

Single-Hung Windows: Advantages and Disadvantages

Single-hung windows would accommodate the aesthetic of authentic, historic homes, like a Craftsman or a cottage. They would work best on the first floor of the house because they are accessible from the outside, so you would have no problem cleaning them. Since they are cheaper, they can fit within the budget of most homeowners.

Benefits of Single-Hung Windows

Single Hung Window Demo

Here are the advantages of single-hung windows:

  • Cheaper: One of the main reasons why homeowners choose single-hung windows is because of their cost-effectiveness and being cheaper than a double-hung window. The single-hung window cost is often about one-third of the price of double-hung windows. You’ll also save money if you want to replace all the windows in your house.
  • Easy to install: Since their upper sashes don’t need operable parts, single-hung windows are easier to install. As a result, the price to install a single-hung window is much lower than a double-hung unit.
  • Energy efficient: If you don’t close a double-hung window properly, the sashes could produce air drafts and lower your home’s energy efficiency. Instead, a single-hung window only allows one sash to open, allowing your HVAC system to regulate the temperature more effectively. Energy-efficient windows will reduce your monthly utility expenses and provide a more comfortable atmosphere for your home.

Drawbacks of Single-Hung Windows

Here are some of the disadvantages of single-hung windows:

  • Difficult to clean: With a single-hung window, you can easily wash the bottom sash, but cleaning the top half would be a challenge. To clean the exterior side of the pane, you’d have to go outside or stick your head out the window. By lifting the bottom sash to open the window, you also block the top sash.
  • Unsafe for children: Since you only have the option of opening the bottom sash, a child could climb through the window opening and get hurt. To increase their security, you can install sash locks in the middle of the window.
  • Older design: While single-hung windows enhance the aesthetic of any historic house, they don’t have the design flexibility to accommodate other home styles.
  • Challenging to repair: If the upper sash of a single-hung window breaks, a professional window technician needs to replace the whole window.
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Let Garrety Glass Install Your Replacement Windows

The choice of double-hung vs. single-hung windows ultimately depends on your budget and how often you clean them. At Garrety Glass, we offer replacement windows in York County and Central Pennsylvania to make your home look brand-new. If you have any questions about our products and services, including deciding which window is right for you, contact us online or call 717-741-9949.