In this article, you will learn:
1. What is a single-hung window?
2. What is a double-hung window?
3. A side-by-side comparison of single-hung and double-hung windows
Window replacements are one of the most common renovation projects for Canadian homeowners.
Serving as a defence against the elements, internal temperature regulators and access to the sun’s natural light, our windows do a very important job for our homes, our families and our energy expenses.
However, older windows tend to wear down over time and develop a variety of problems, including:
– Losing their ability to regulate internal temperatures
– Decreasing in energy efficiency
– Increasing in energy expenses
– Increasing in moisture (resulting in mold, mildew or water damage)
– Wearing down with rotting frames, poor fits or broken hardware
When it comes time to replace your windows, it’s very important to choose the right fit for your home.
For traditional-style homes, single- and double-hung windows have always been the most popular choices – but how can you determine which window style is best for you?
At Stouffville Glass, we pride ourselves on client education.
The following sections will explore the pros and cons of single- and double-hung windows, as well as a side-by-side comparison to help you make more informed decisions for your home, your budget and your family.
What is a Single-Hung Window?
Single-hung windows are one of the oldest and most popular window options for homeowners.
Often the standard for new homes, apartments and office spaces, the term “single-hung” refers to the window having only one operational sash or panel.
Although they may look very similar to the double-hung window by structural design, the major difference is that while the bottom panel or sash moves vertically, the upper sash stays in place.
While the aesthetic differences are minimal, the bottom sash will also partially obstruct the upper sash when the window is open, limiting the amount of ventilation possible.
As a result, this may not be the best option for rooms that require more ventilation against mold, moisture and mildew (such as bathrooms).
This stationary upper panel can also make single-hung windows a bit more difficult to maintain as homeowners can only access it from the outside of the home.
The biggest benefit, however, is that single-hung windows typically cost about 10-20% less than their double-hung counterparts at roughly $150-400 per window.
With affordable prices and an easy installation process, single-hung windows are an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking for reliable, energy efficient window replacements without breaking the bank.
– Easy to install
– Energy efficient
– Less versatile for use and ventilation
– Limited style options
– Difficult to clean and maintain since the top panel is not operable
What is a Double-Hung Window?
Double-hung windows are also a very popular window style for modern homeowners.
Although identical to the single-hung window from a distance, the double-hung window differs in that it includes two operational sashes or panels instead of just one.
By having two sashes that open, double-hung windows allow for better airflow and ventilation throughout the home which reduces the risk of moisture, mold or water damage.
The ability to open each sash also makes them much easier to clean and maintain.
Available in a variety of different styles, colours and frame materials, double-hung windows provide an increased sense of safety for families with young children or pets as the lower sash can remain closed while ventilating from the top panel.
At an expensive $500-700 per window, double-hung windows require the highest quality in frame materials to keep the top sash sturdy against the weight of gravity.
Unfortunately, these moving parts are more susceptible to breaking down over time which can result in a poor window seal, air leakage and increased energy expenses.
– Highly versatile for use and ventilation
– Easy to clean and maintain
– Available in a variety of different styles
– More expensive
– May be less energy efficient
– Seal can break down over time
Side-by-Side Comparison of Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Window Styles:
|Single-Hung Windows||Double-Hung Windows|
|Cost:||Approx. $150-400 per window.||Approx. $500-700 per window.|
|Popularity:||One of the most common window styles available.||Gaining more popularity as window manufacturers offer them in a wider variety of styles.|
|Style Options:||Limited variety of style options.||Available in a wider variety of styles, colours and frame materials.|
|Materials:||Both work well with vinyl, aluminum or wooden frames. However, double-hung windows require stronger framing materials to support a strong window seal and dual-mobility.|
|# of Operable Sashes:||1||2|
|Sash Features:||Top sash remains fixed while the bottom sash has the ability to move vertically.||Both top and bottom sashes are able to open and close, allowing for increased ventilation.|
|Weather Resistance:||With fewer moving parts, single-hung windows are more weather resistant to air and water leakage.||Wear and tear to the window seal may impact air and water leakage if not properly maintained.|
|Ventilation:||Limited ventilation as only the bottom sash is functional.||Increased ventilation as both top and bottom sashes can be opened.|
|Energy Efficiency:||Great for energy efficiency as single-hung windows are less susceptible to air leakage.||Can be less energy efficient as window seals tend to degrade over time.|
|Maintenance Costs:||No cost differences for window maintenance.|
|Cleaning:||Difficult to clean as the upper sash is immobile. To clean these windows, they must be accessed from the outside.||Easy to clean as both sashes can be accessed from the inside of the house.|
|Safety:||Safe and secure when properly installed and maintained.||May become less secure if not shut properly, as gravity can interfere with the locking mechanism.|
|Installation:||Easier, faster and less expensive.||More expensive due to the need for precise measurements, moveable parts, and a strong seal.|
How to Choose Between Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows:
Choosing the right replacement windows will largely depend on the needs of your home, your aesthetic expectations and your budget.
While single-hung windows have a classic style that preserves the traditional aesthetic, they are an excellent, cost-effective choice for rooms that do not require too much air ventilation.
Alternatively, the second operable sash in a double-hung window can provide better air circulation in a wider variety of colours, frames and styles.
While the costs between the two may differ, it is important to consider which style of window will better serve you and your lifestyle for future years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about your window options, our experts are happy to help!
Click here or call us at (905) 640-4016 for a complimentary consultation.