Single hung and double hung windows are some of the most common window types you’ll find in homes across the country. Chosen for their widespread availability and affordability, these windows look quite similar at first glance. However, they are different types of windows. So, what’s the difference between single hung and double hung windows, and which one is right for your home?
This article covers:
- Single Hung vs. Double Hung: What’s the Difference?
- What are Single Hung Windows?
- What are Double Hung Windows?
- Find a Window Installation Pro Near You
Single Hung vs. Double Hung Windows: What’s the Difference?
Although single hung and double hung windows look virtually identical, they have one very important difference: Single hung windows only have one moveable sash, while double hung windows have two. They also have other differences that are best seen when they’re contrasted against each other. You can see these differences in the table below.
|Factor||Single Hung Windows||Double Hung Windows|
|Window Sashes||Two sashes, but only the bottom sash is moveable||Two tilt-in sashes that are both moveable|
|Cleaning and Maintenance||More difficult to clean because most need to be cleaned from the inside and the outside of your home||Easier to clean, as their tilt-in sashes let homeowners clean the interior and exterior from inside their homes|
|Ventilation||Worse airflow||Better air circulation because both sashes can be opened|
|Security and Safety||Only one window sash needs to be locked||Both window sashes need to be locked|
|Energy Efficiency||More energy-efficient because the top sash is sealed, but not the most energy-efficient window||Less energy-efficient than a single hung window|
|Length of Life||15-20 years, can be longer with very good maintenance and good quality windows||15-20 years, can be longer with very good maintenance and good quality windows|
|Aesthetics||• More common in craftsman and historic homes|
|• More common in colonial, traditional, Victorian-style homes|
• More customizable than a single hung window
|Installation Cost||$245 – $635||$250 – $975|
What are Single Hung Windows?
Also called single sash windows, single hung windows are windows with a moveable (or operable) bottom sash. This doesn’t mean that it only has one sash; it actually has two, but the upper sash is fixed, meaning it can’t be opened. The lower sash slides up and down to provide ventilation to your home. The bottom sash can sometimes tilt in, but not many single hung windows come with this feature.
These windows are commonly installed in areas of the home that don’t need much ventilation or ones that don’t have a lot of space for someone to maneuver two window sashes, such as above the kitchen sink. They’re also better installed on the first floor because of how difficult they are to clean.
Single hung windows are one of the most budget-friendly windows on the market. Homeowners typically spend an average of $440 to have a single hung window installed in their home.
Single Hung Window Pros and Cons
This window type is sought after for its affordability, but it also has other benefits. However, single hung windows also have some disadvantages that you should be aware of. The table below can help you weigh the pros and cons of a single hung window against each other.
|✓ Very affordable||✗ Worse for airflow because only the bottom sash opens|
|✓ Easy and cheap to install||✗ Being lighter than a double hung window can mean that it’s easier for someone to break in|
|✓ Having fewer moving parts means that there’s less chance for air to seep through, as the top sash is sealed shut||✗ Difficult to clean, especially if you don’t have a tilt-in sash, because you need to clean it from inside and outside your home|
|✓ Offers stunning views of your surroundings from the inside|
|✓ Having only one lock is better for security as you only need to remember to lock one sash|
What are Double Hung Windows?
Double hung windows have become the most popular window type for new homes. Their key difference from a single hung window is that both the top and bottom sashes can be opened – even at the same time. Many double hung windows also come with tilt-in sashes, which you can unlatch and swing in toward your home for easier cleaning.
Also called double sash windows, they are perfect for rooms on upper floors and in areas of your home that need a lot of ventilation, like bathrooms and family rooms.
These windows are more expensive than a single hung window. The average installation cost for a double hung window is about $565, including the window and labor fees.
Types of Double Hung Windows
There are two window styles that differ from the traditional double hung window. They can be set apart by their sashes:
- Cottage-style double window: Cottage windows are double hung windows with smaller upper sashes and bigger lower sashes.
- Oriel-style double hung window: Oriel-style windows are double hung windows with bigger upper sashes and smaller bottom sashes.
Double Hung Window Pros and Cons
Double hung windows are pretty much the standard window type in new construction today. But why is that? Take a peek at their benefits – as well as their disadvantages – in the table below.
|✓ Easy to find||✗ Less energy-efficient than a single hung window because both sashes aren’t completely sealed|
|✓ Easy to install||✗ More expensive than single hung windows|
|✓ Comes in many customizable options, including finish and window frame material||✗ Can be less secure than a single hung window because you have to remember to lock both sashes|
|✓ Easier to clean with its tilt-in sashes||✗ Heavier than a single hung window, so it’s more difficult to install|
|✓ Safer for small children and pets because you can leave the bottom sash closed and open the upper one that’s out of reach for ventilation|
|✓ Offer better ventilation than a single hung window, as cool air can come in through the lower sash and warm air can leave through the top sash|
Find a Window Installation Pro Near You
Although single hung and double hung windows are similar, their key difference – the number of operable sashes – may be the deciding factor for which window type you ultimately end up getting for your home. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but both could be excellent choices for your home.
Whether you need new windows or want replacement windows, WindowGnome can connect you with skilled window installation pros in your area. Get in touch with a window specialist near you today for quotes on your window needs and other home improvement projects.