Single Hung vs. Double Hung Windows

window installation

There is no right or wrong choice when choosing between single hung vs double hung styles for new windows. However, we want you to be prepared and be armed with the right information about choosing a single hung vs double hung window. Keep reading to learn about the similarities and differences between a single-hung window vs. a double-hung window, and which might be best for you.

image of a window design

What is a Single Hung Window?

So, what is a single-hung window? While both double-hung vs single-hung windows have upper and lower sashes, for a single-hung window, only the lowest sash can move. This means the top sash doesn’t move and always remains in place.

While you may hear double hung and think it’s more extravagant, many homeowners opt for single hung as they’re more simplistic. If you have an older family member or one with a health condition making it hard to reach and stretch, double-hung windows can be problematic as not everyone can reach the top sash.

high end bow window

What is a Double Hung Window?

Double-hung windows have two sashes and both are moveable. While the other style is simpler in style, this is the best option if you want optimal air circulation in a space.

The neat thing too is that cooler air will flow in through the bottom sash while the warmer air will rise and exit through the upper sash. The increased circulation may be beneficial for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.

two line slider window

Location of Windows

Double hung and single hung windows can often be found in the same rooms and areas of the house. However, this doesn’t mean that one doesn’t suit a space better compared to the other. Living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens are just some of the rooms that they look best in. 

The story or level of the house matters when choosing the right type of window. If you’re looking to replace windows on the second or third level of your home, then double-hung windows are the most suitable. Why? Since the top sash can slide down, it makes both sides of the windows easier to clean and you can stay inside your home while doing it. 

If you’re looking for the best airflow and circulation, then double-hung windows are great to install in a kitchen or bathroom. The airflow can help manage the moisture levels so that mold doesn’t build up.

new vinyl bow window

Window Style for Your Home

When looking for the perfect windows for your new house, it’s good to know that single-hung windows look better with certain styles of homes while double hung match other styles better. For example, single-hung windows used to be the most common window style, so they’re often found in historical or traditional houses.

On the flip side, double-hung windows came into the picture with newer house builds, so they look better with modern and contemporary designs. Some other designs that double-hung windows may suit include Colonial, Victorian, and Cape Cod.

custom bow window in Vaughan

Types of Window Frames

These are the basic window frame materials you can choose from for single and double-hung windows:

  • Wood. This is the most used and classic style, as it can be painted and stained in a variety of ways.
  • Fibreglass. This material is more durable but costly.
  • Vinyl. This material is low maintenance and less costly, but it doesn’t last as long.
  • Aluminum. Need something that is durable yet lightweight that will last many years? This is the material for you.
  • Composite. This material is a combination of wood and polymers. Usually, this material lasts longer than wood or vinyl and can help you save energy.
patio windows and doors

Sizes of Windows

Even though single and double-hung windows work a bit differently, their sizes remain similar, and both styles can be custom-made to suit your personalized house design!

The average dimensions for single and double-hung windows are 2-8 feet when it comes to the width and height. Usually, the window sizes range from 2-3 feet wide and 3-5 feet tall.

single picture window installation

Energy Efficiency 

Nothing beats having windows that can help you cut back on energy bills and your environmental footprint. Single-hung and double-hung are equally energy efficient, but keep in mind that seals can lack in performance over time due to wear and tear.

When this happens, double-hung windows may have more air infiltration problems than single hung windows. Choosing a longer-lasting material for your window frame can ensure the longevity of your windows and the cost savings too.

corner patio doors and windows

Replacement and Installation Options

Keep in mind that single-hung windows can be simpler to install and more cost-effective. We recommend calling your local window installation company and have them take inventory of your situation and needs.

However, before contacting them, be sure to ask around for people’s experiences and review their online ratings. If a window installer finds other issues, like moisture buildup or unsturdy wood, then they can fix this too.

markham bow windows

Window Safety

If the windows are properly installed and used, then both have optimal safety standards. Keep in mind though that a double-hung window can become less secure more easily.

If it is not secured downward properly, gravity will push the sash into the window’s frame. While single-hung windows open from the bottom, making it easier for children or pets to escape. So, make sure they’re monitored and locked when needed.

thornhill custom window

Resale Value 

No matter what type of windows you have, you won’t have to worry about the resale value of your home.

While double-hung windows are a newer standard, single-hung windows will not keep home buyers away.

Contact the Pros

For an impeccable window installation process with a dedicated team of professionals behind you, call Milano Windows and Doors and we’ll take care of you. We have a wide selection of excellent windows to choose from.

How to Fix Drafty Windows and Doors