How to Differentiate Double Hung and Single Hung Windows

Homeowners far and wide are tasked with choosing between single and double hung windows. This decision is more difficult than it might initially seem. There are meaningful differences between each style of window of which every homeowner should be aware. Let’s take a look at the best ways to differentiate between these two types of windows.


The Primary Difference Between Single Hung and Double Hung Windows

Before delving into the most important distinctions between single and double hung windows, let’s clear up the verbiage a bit. Single hung windows are not the same as single pane windows. The word “hung” means operable sashes. The word “pane” references the number of panes within window glass.

Two sashes are used in single and double hung windows. Each type of window features an upper sash and a lower sash. These sashes serve to physically and aesthetically separate the window. If you look at these two types of windows from afar, they will seem fairly similar. However, the upper sash in each is quite different. Single hung windows have a stationary upper sash. Double hung windows feature an operable upper sash.  


Ventilation and Cleaning Concerns

If ventilation is your top priority, you should know double hung windows allow for both sashes to open for maximum airflow. This flexibility lets that much more fresh and cool air into your living space. The fresh air flows in through the bottom while the warm air is released at the top. Alternatively, single hung windows feature a lower sash that permits air to move inward.

If you are concerned with the prospect of cleaning your new windows, you might prefer the double hung window as this type allows for each sash to be tilted inward. The inward tilt really does facilitate the cleaning of the window’s exterior. In comparison, single hung windows are limited to a bottom sash that can move inward to clean the exterior of the glass.


Why Some Homeowners Opt for Single Hung Windows

Though it might seem like double hung windows are the better option based on the nuances of each window type detailed above, plenty of homeowners prefer single hung windows. If you are on the prowl for a window with a comparably simple construction and few moving parts, the single hung variety is perfect for your home. This type of window provides a classic style that has proven visually striking to homeowners of varying backgrounds and demographics for hundreds of years. Furthermore, single hung windows are typically more cost effective than the double hung variety.


The Argument for Installing Double Hung Windows

The availability of another operable sash often proves to be the “x-factor” that sways homeowners toward double hung windows. The use of multiple movable sashes allows for better air circulation, easier cleaning/maintenance of the window exterior and an extra visual flair that makes your home look that much better. In particular, double hung windows look especially beautiful on Victorian, Craftsman, Cape Cod, and Colonial style homes.

If the room in question is a bathroom or kitchen, you should give preference to double hung windows simply because this type of window provides superior air ventilation. The last thing you need is extra moisture and odor that sets the stage for mildew growth. You can always add single hung windows to other portions of your home where ventilation is not as much of a concern or priority.


When in doubt, consult with your windows expert to determine which style of window will prove optimal for your unique home.


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