Double Hung vs Single Hung Windows

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Double Hung vs Single Hung Windows

Explore the differences between double hung vs single hung windows, including advantages, disadvantages, and costs. As well, you can check out our homeowner question and answer section to see what questions other consumers asked and how we answered.

Dane - Site Editor - Page Updated in January, 2024

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Double Hung vs Single Hung Differences

Certain window styles are movable. These include casements, awnings, single-hungs, double-hungs, and sliders. The differences between the movable styles is HOW they open and close. Casements crank out, sliders slide horizontally, and awnings open out from the bottom (kinda like a doggie door). The other option apart from movable windows is "un-movable" - these are often called fixed frame or sometimes called picture windows. These unmovable options simply don't open.

Single Hung Windows (or SHWs) have one movable part - the lower sash. When this lower sash is opened, it allows for breezes to enter the window. When it is closed, the window is then sealed shut from air entering.

Double Hung Windows (or DHWs) have two movable sashes, one at the top and one at the bottom. This provides more options for ventilation.

And that, in a nutshell is the only real difference between these two window styles.

Double Hung vs Single Hung Advantages

In the past, SHWs were often considered cheap replacement windows, which, in many cases, they were. However, this was only because window companies cut all kinds of corners during the manufacturing process. Today, this is no longer the case. Today, you need to look at the brand, the model, and the performance data to know whether a DHW or a SHW is a quality product or not.

Homeowner Questions And Answers

Check out our homeowner question and answer section on this topic below.

Dane - Site Editor

Double Hung Windows vs Single Hung

Hi Dane, I have a question for you. It involves double pane windows. Oh I’m sorry double hung windows versus single hung windows. What is the difference between these two? one of the reps said that single hung windows are really poorly made. Is this true? So why would people sell them?

Denise - Homeowner - from 2023

[Site Editor's Answer]

Hi Denise, thanks for the question, I’m happy to answer. So a single hung has a single sash that opens from the bottom, whereas a double hung has two sashes, one that opens from the bottom, and one that opens from the top. While it is true that in the past single hung windows as I’ve had a reputation for poor quality, they have come along way. For me, it really comes down to the brand that we’re talking about.

For instance, PGT sells a single hung that is just as good as their double hung. The reason why a single hung can perform or have a better energy efficiency just is because there’s simply one sash that’s movable. A fixed frame window is always going to be more efficient than any sort of movable window because there are no parts that break down overtime it’s completely sealed. (PGT Windows Reviews)

So a single hung has less movable parts than double hung so it stands to reason that single hung is actually be better performance-based than a double hung. It’s just that in the past manufactures have put more effort that are parts and more R&D into their double hung windows. Does this answer your question?

Dane - Site Editor - from 2023

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