Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung Windows: Which One Is Better?

Shopping for new windows for the home can become quite confusing. There are so many styles and options available that many homeowners aren’t quite sure where to start in the process. While you probably know the size of the window, there are other options to consider depending on your budget, lifestyle, and preferences.

There are many movement options available with windows. The most popular choices include single or double-hung, which refer to how the sashes move vertically. Learn more about the differences between these options and which is better for your home.

Single-Hung and Double-Hung Definitions
When deciding on a large upgrade to the home, it is essential to do your research. This process starts out by learning the basics of the terminology that are commonly used in the window and door industry.

Single-Hung Windows
These windows include two sashes, or parts, installed in the window opening. The lower sash moves up and down while the upper sash is permanently fixed in one spot. There is usually a window lock on the top of the bottom sash to lock the sash in place.

Double-Hung Windows
A double-hung window also includes two sashes, but both the top and bottom sash can move up and down. Both sashes can also usually tilt inward as well, and there is a lock on the top of the bottom sash to secure the sashes into place.

Pros and Cons Between Single and Double-Hung Windows
Most homeowners choose between single and double-hung windows based on the pros and cons of each style. While single-hung windows cost less, their ability to limit circulation to just the bottom half of the window could be an issue. Single-hung windows are also harder to clean on the outside, which could be a problem for windows on upper floors.

Double-hung windows cost more, but they also offer more opportunities for top and bottom circulation. These windows are also easy to clean as the sashes tilt inward for easy access to both the indoor and outdoor parts of the glass.

Check out this comparison table for a quick review of the pros and cons of the two styles:

double hung vs single hungSource: Milgard Windows & Doors

How to Operate a Double-Hung Window
Opening up the sashes of a double-hung window may seem precarious, but it is relatively easy!

Top Tips to Remember About Double-Hung Windows:

  • Always locate and slide the two tilt lashes at the top of the sash before pulling the window inwards.
  • Once tilted, you can lay the bottom sash against the bottom sill.
  • Pull down the upper sash to about the middle of the window frame before accessing the tilt lashes.
  • The upper sash can rest on the lower sash when tilted.
  • To close the window, ensure that the upper sash is completely back into the track and pushed up to the top before tilting the lower sash back into place.
  • The window lock will only engage properly when the upper sash is pushed all of the way to the top.
  • If sashes are left in the tilted position for an extended amount of time, make sure that the tracks are clear of debris before closing.

The Final Verdict
So, which window is better? The choice is really yours to make! If you want a budget-friendly option and don’t require extra ventilation or cleaning access, a single-hung window would be a great choice. Double-hung windows offer homeowners better access to cleaning and circulation capabilities at the top and bottom parts of the window opening, but they are more expensive.

You can also choose to install a mix of single and double-hung windows in your home. Selecting both options won’t be noticeable regarding how the windows look overall, and you’ll get the right kind of window movement where you want it. Other window styles are also available that have different opening options.

Still can’t decide? Contact the professionals at California Window & Door today for advice on what would work best in your home!

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