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The Difference Between Single and Double-Hung Windows

Whether you’re designing your brand new home or considering replacing the existing windows throughout your current home, you should determine whether you want to go with single-hung or double-hung windows.

Now, first and foremost, you’re probably wondering, which is better double-hung or single-hung windows? And it all depends on your preferences and what you’re looking for in a window. They’re both great options.

The primary difference between the double hung and single hung windows lies with their operating styles. Other than that, they’re both energy-efficient and attractive options for your home.

Difference Between Single and Double Hung WindowsWhat is a single-hung window?

A single hung window is a type of residential window with two main window components called sashes in which only the lower sash is operable. That means the lower half can open and close, whereas the top half is fixed.

These are very common, and chances are you probably have some throughout your home right now.

What is a double-hung window?

Like a single hung window, double-hung windows have two sashes as well, but instead, both of them are operable. Both halves of the window can be opened and closed to give you more options.

This type of window gives the homeowner more options, but it comes with its own unique set of disadvantages.

Advantages and disadvantages of single hung windows.

There are plenty of advantages with single hung windows.

The most significant advantage is that they’re less expensive. That doesn’t mean they’re not as good as the double-hung windows; it just has to do with the moving parts. Because the single-hung windows have fewer moving parts than the double-hung, it costs less to manufacture and therefore costs less.

In addition to being less expensive, single-hung windows are also easier to maintain. Because there’s only a single moving sash, only half of the jamb ever needs to be cleaned out. The jamb and the jambliner are the sides of the window that allow the sash to move up and down freely. It’s essential to keep these areas cleaned out so your window operates smoothly, efficiently, and lasts for years.

The disadvantage of these windows is pretty obvious: you can only open up half of the window. This limits how much total airflow you have through your home, and you won’t be able to clean the exterior of the window from inside your home.

This might not be a deal-breaker for some, but let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of double-hung windows to see the difference between single and double-hung windows. 

Advantages and disadvantages of double-hung windows.

While they do cost a bit more, some advantages come with double-hung windows.

One of the main advantages is that they give you more options. Since both sashes open and close independently, you can choose to open one or both sashes at any given time. This will allow air to flow through your home more freely and enable you to control the comfort of the room.

These types of windows are also easier to clean – to an extent. Sure, you have more jambs and jambliners to clean to keep your windows in tip-top shape, but now you can clean the outside of the windows from inside your home. Being able to open both sashes allows you to open them, reach outside, and clean the window’s exterior. If the exterior of your home is challenging to reach due to shrubbery and trees, or perhaps you have a second story, this might be an excellent feature for your home.

There are, however, downsides to double-hung windows.

Keeping the windows functioning optimally requires you to keep the jambs and jambliners clean for both sashes. Since both sashes are movable, you have to keep dirt and debris out of both the top and bottom frames, so they move freely. Additionally, they’re more expensive than their single-hung counterparts. With more moving pieces, the cost of manufacturing is increased as well.

Where to use each type of window.

Now that you understand the difference between single and double-hung windows, it’s time to determine if they’re a good fit for your style of home.

In general, both styles of windows are suitable for most homes. They both come in wood, vinyl, and aluminum and single pane or double pane.  As a matter of preference, you can choose to install one or both types in your home.

However, while the single hung will is more often found in older style homes to give it an authentic and historic feel, double-hung windows are commonly found in colonial or victorian style homes.

You’ll also find double-hung windows in more contemporary and modern homes. They have a look and style that is more appealing for newly built houses, and many homeowners opt for the double-hung features.

Regardless, one of the best things about both of these windows is that they’re interchangeable. So if you want single hung windows on the first floor and double-hung on the second floor for easy cleaning, you can do that.

When picking the perfect window for your home, you have some options: single or double-hung.

Single-hung windows are less expensive and easier to maintain, but they can only open up half of the window. Double-hung windows offer more options, including opening both sashes at once, which provides better airflow through your home as well as providing an alternative to clean the outside of one’s exterior from inside their own home.

However, if you’re looking for that historic feel, then a single hung might be just what you need, while those with contemporary homes may prefer double-hung because they look so good.

Regardless, these types of windows are interchangeable, meaning homeowners will never have trouble finding a style that suits them best!

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