Skip to content Skip to footer

Single Hung vs. Double Hung Windows: What’s the Difference?

You’re looking to replace or upgrade your home’s windows. But you have to make a big decision first: double hung vs. single hung windows. It’s a tricky one, since each type has its benefits. So… what do you do?

Today we’re going over the key differences between these two popular window styles.

We’ll cover elements like initial cost vs longer-term cost, energy efficiency, installation, and more. That way you can choose which fits your budget, goals, and home design.

That way you’ll have a better sense of which will work best for your home and budget!

Basics of Single and Double Hung Windows

A single-hung window has two parts: a top section that stays still and a bottom section that moves up and down. This design allows you to open the window from the bottom for fresh air.

Since only one part moves, single-hung windows are pretty straightforward and a bit easier on your wallet.

Double-hung windows offer a bit more flexibility. Both the top and bottom sections can move up and down. This means you can open them from either the top or the bottom. It’s a handy feature for airflow and makes cleaning the outside of the windows easier, especially if they’re on a higher floor.

While these windows share some similarities, like how they fit into your home’s design, their differences in operation and maintenance could influence your decision.

Need Some Help With Your Windows?
Within a few clicks, Alpha Living will match you with Top-Rated Window Contractors in your area.
View of a person standing near a lake and mountains through a window in an old wooden house
  • Save

Key Differences

Cleaning windows is a task that nobody enjoys, but it’s easier with double hung windows. Since both sashes move, you can clean the outside of the window from inside your home.

This is especially helpful for windows on upper floors. Single hung windows are a bit harder to clean because the top sash doesn’t move, making it tricky to reach the outside of the window without going outside.

Aesthetic and Design Options

When it comes to looks, both window types come in a variety of styles and designs. However, double hung windows might offer slightly more versatility because of their functionality. This can influence the overall aesthetic of a room or a house.

Still, the choice between single and double hung windows doesn’t dramatically change the design possibilities. Both types can be customized to fit the look and feel of your home.

Get Your Free Window Estimate Now
Estimate Window Cost & Avoid Bad Surprises

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a big deal for homeowners. Well-insulated windows can save you money on heating and cooling costs.

Both single and double hung windows can be energy efficient, but the design of double hung windows allows for better air circulation. This can help keep your home cooler in the summer by letting hot air escape from the top.

But the complexity of double hung windows can sometimes lead to more air leaks over time. This is especially true if they’re not well-maintained. Single hung windows have fewer moving parts, which can mean fewer chances for leaks.

The choice between single and double hung windows comes down to what’s important to you. Do you value ease of cleaning and airflow over cost? Or is simplicity and saving money more your style?

These choices can help you make the best decision for your home and your budget.

Factors to Consider 

When it comes to putting in new windows, the process can vary a bit between single and double hung types. Generally, both types should be straightforward for a professional to install.

However, because double hung windows have more moving parts, they might need a bit more work to get everything running smoothly. Also, the structure of your home can influence your choice.

Some homes might better accommodate the simpler design of single hung windows. This is especially true in cases where there are concerns about space or the framing of the house.

Window Replacement Scenarios

If you’re looking to replace old windows, it’s a good time to think about whether single or double hung windows are right for you. If your current windows are single hung and you’re happy with them, you might already have your answer: sticking with what you know can be a safe bet.

But if you’re looking for an upgrade, especially in how you use and clean your windows, double hung windows could be worth the investment. 

Durability and Longevity

How long your windows last can also influence your decision. Single hung windows have fewer parts that move, which means there’s less that can go wrong over time.

Double hung windows, while they offer more ventilation and cleaning options, might require more maintenance to keep them working well. Quality is key for both types, so choosing windows from a reputable manufacturer is essential.

Cost Analysis

Typically, single hung windows are less expensive than double hung windows. The simpler design of single hung windows, with only one moving part, makes them cheaper to produce and buy.

If you’re working within a tight budget or have many windows to replace, the cost difference can add up, making single hung windows an attractive option.

Installation Costs

The cost of installing windows can vary based on the complexity of the job and your home’s specific needs. Generally, the installation cost for single hung and double hung windows is not vastly different. But double hung windows might require a bit more labor due to their additional functionality.

It’s always a good idea to get quotes from several installers to understand the full cost of your project.

Long-Term Value: Energy Savings vs. Upfront Costs

While single hung windows might be cheaper upfront, double hung windows could save you money in the long run. Their ability to open from the top and bottom can help improve air flow and reduce the need for air conditioning.

But this benefit depends on your local climate and how you use the windows. Plus, the ease of cleaning and maintaining double hung windows can also contribute to their value over time.

It’s important to consider not just the initial cost but also how these windows can impact your energy bills and maintenance expenses in the future.

Choosing between single hung and double hung windows involves balancing upfront costs with potential savings and benefits down the line. Ultimately the best choice varies based on personal preferences, your home’s specific needs, and how you prioritize cost versus benefits.

Single Hung vs Double Hung Windows: Pros and Cons

When picking windows for your home, it’s smart to weigh the good and bad sides of single and double hung windows. This helps you choose what’s best for your needs.

Pros of Single Hung Windows

Single hung windows are known for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Since they have fewer moving parts, they tend to be less expensive, both to buy and install.

This makes them a popular choice for people looking to save money without sacrificing quality. Their design also tends to be a bit more straightforward, which can mean less maintenance over the years.

For those who want a reliable window that does its job without too much fuss, single hung windows are a solid choice.

Cons of Single Hung Windows

The downside to single hung windows is their limited ventilation. Since only the bottom sash opens, you don’t get as much airflow as with double hung windows.

Cleaning them, especially on higher floors, can be a challenge since the top sash doesn’t tilt or move. This means you might have to clean them from the outside, which can be inconvenient and sometimes even unsafe.

Pros of Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows shine when it comes to ventilation and maintenance. Being able to open both the top and bottom sashes is great for airflow. It lets warm air out through the top and cool air in through the bottom.

This can make your home more comfortable, especially during the warmer months. Plus, cleaning is a breeze since both sashes can tilt in, allowing you to clean the outside from inside your home. This feature is especially handy for windows on upper floors.

White framed window on a red brick house exterior.
  • Save

Cons of Double Hung Windows

Overwhelmed by all the moving parts? We hear you!
Home projects can be extremely overwhelming. Our Window professionals will help you make an informed decision and service your home with meticulous attention to detail and professional craftsmanship.

The main drawback of double hung windows is their cost. They’re generally more expensive than single hung windows due to their complexity.

This includes both the initial purchase and potential future repairs, since there are more parts that can wear out or break. Additionally, they might not be as energy efficient as single hung windows if not properly maintained.

The extra features that make double hung windows appealing can also lead to more potential for air leaks over time.

Making the Choice for Your Home

Compare Window Rates
Ensure you are getting the best rate for your Window project.
Compare Quotes from Top-rated Window contractors in your area.

Choosing between single hung vs double hung windows comes down to what’s most important to you. If saving money and simple maintenance are your top priorities, single hung windows might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you value flexibility, ventilation, and ease of cleaning, double hung windows could be worth the investment.

Not sure where to start? Alpha Living can instantly pair you with top-rated window installation contractors so you can compare options and save. Enter your zip here to find top-rated remodeling pros in your area and get free quotes!

Leave a comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap