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Single Hung vs Double Hung Windows | Difference Between Double and Single Hung Replacement Windows Print Bookmark and Share

There is often quite a bit of confusion when it comes to the difference between single hung and double hung windows. Single-hung windows have a fixed top sash that does not move, while the lower sash is able to move or slide vertically. With double-hung windows, both the upper and lower sash slide vertically, allowing for better air flow and ease of cleaning and other maintenance steps.

Both single and double hung windows were traditional window styles that can still be found in their original form in many pre-1960 homes. Single-hung windows were the original window style for many American homes, eventually giving way to double hung windows. Today, many window manufacturers have updated the basic features of single and double hung windows to create energy saving, low-e, double-paned windows in a variety of styles and materials.

Single-Hung Windows And Double-Hung Windows

As explained above, single-hung windows feature a vertically sliding design or sash on the bottom half, while the top sash is typically fixed. Single-hung windows, while less common today than double hung windows (and lots of other window types such as casement and fixed) are available in many styles and sizes by many of the top window manufacturers.

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Single and Double Hung Windows Energy Efficiency

With better materials and advances in insulated glazing, single and double hung windows offer nearly as much energy efficiency as most other windows. Of course, fixed windows are permanently framed into a home and therefore offer maximum energy efficiency. However, both single and double hung windows can be opened and therefore provide much better ventilation options. Double hung windows offer more options for ventilation -- for instance, if you have a double-hung window in your office and don't want your desk papers blowing around in the afternoon you can slide down (or tilt back) the top window section so that air comes in but at a higher level.

Versatility of Single-Hung Windows and Double Hung Windows

Single-hung windows offer many possibilities to homeowners -- they are very space efficient with their vertical sliding movement. f course, double-hunge windows offers greater versatility, which comes at a price.

Cost of Single-Hung Windows vs. Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows are often going to cost more than single-hung windows - anywhere from 30% to 85% (at least from the sample of ten stores we called) (The following replacement window prices are for the windows themselves and does not include the installation costs.) For instance, a 24" by 36" CertainTeed vinyl single-hung window costs roughly $173, while that same window in a double-hung window will cost $307 (a 79% increase). A Window Master 30" by 48" vinyl single hung window will cost roughly $143, while the double hung version will cost $246 (a 72% increase). A Window Master 24" by 36" vinyl single-hung window costs $109, while a double-hung window costs $202 (an 85% increase).

However, if you talk with some window companies, they will tell you that with the government sponsored energy efficient tax credit, single-hung window manufacturers have had to upgrade the glass, fills and seals to make them qualify. This has made certain single-hung windows as much as double-hung windows. This difference between the costs that we quoted above and the

Benefits of Single-Hung Windows vs. Double Hung Windows

Single-hung windows are now quite energy efficient (probably more energy efficient than double-hung, which has two pieces that move and therefore more opportunity for lose of heat). They can be replaced in a home and still maintain the historical look of a home. Finally, single hung windows typcially cost less than double-hung windows.

Double-hung windows are usually easier to clean due to the vertical or titling movement of the top frame/sash. This allows homeowners to clean both the interior and exterior of the window from inside their home. This isn't a big deal for single story homes, but it can be a huge advantage for multistory homes. Double-hung windows also offer better ventilation with the different options for sliding and opening the top or bottom window sash.

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Manufacturers of Single-Hung Windows

Manufactures of single and double-hung windows include Amsco Windows, Elixir Industries, Hurd Windows, Jancor Cos., Jeld-Wen, MGM Industries, Milgard Windows, Pella Windows and Peachtree.

The top sash may be slid down partially and the bottom half may be partially pushed up, to allow for air flow on both top and bottom of a window frame.

Alternately, each window sash may be slid entirely open, leaving either the bottom half, or the top half, totally open.

While each sash is opened, the other half can be cleaned without going outside, as opposed to single hung windows in which one half must be cleaned from the exterior while the window is closed.

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