Double Hung vs. Single Hung Windows: Which One Is Right for You?

Double Hung vs. Single Hung Windows: Which One Is Right for You?

Looking for the right type of windows to install in your home or office can be overwhelming with the many options available. However, if you’re looking for a space-saving and energy-efficient solution, single and double-hung windows may be the perfect choice for you. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive discussion on the differences between single and double-hung windows, as well as what to consider when purchasing them. 

By reading through to the end, you’ll be better equipped with the knowledge to make an informed and affordable decision for your space.

Single-Hung Windows

Single-Hung Windows
Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows have been in popularity since the 17th century and are still common in residential and commercial buildings. The reason for their popularity is their ability to provide ventilation and energy efficiency at an economical price. They are also known as single-sash windows as they keep one sash moving and the other in place when opening. With this, the upper sash stays stationary and is covered by the bottom sash when the window is open.

While the upper sash remains intact, the bottom and the moving sash provide ventilation and bring natural light inside. Single-hung windows are generally made of vinyl and aluminum, but they can be customized to suit the homeowner’s needs and cut to size to fit a current opening in a home. 

Also, single-hung windows are a great choice for homeowners seeking energy efficiency while providing space in a room. 

Double-Hung Windows

In contrast to single-hung windows, double-hung windows have two sashes that are operable. Both sashes in double-hung windows can open up and down, providing better ventilation and energy efficiency than a single-hung window. Double-hung windows are made of vinyl, wood, and aluminum, giving homeowners options to customize their choice. They are also easy to clean and operate, and they provide a clear and unobstructed outside view while keeping natural light and fresh air entering. 

For all their benefits and advantages, double-hung windows are more expensive than single-hung windows but easier to maintain. Altogether, double-hung windows are the preferred option inside modern homes for the contemporary design and aesthetic appeal they provide. 

As double-hung windows are expensive, you’ll want to hire a professional contractor to install them which will bring you peace of mind that your investment is in careful hands.

Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung Windows

While they serve the same purpose of increasing ventilation in a home, both window types differ from each other for the following reasons:

1. Operation 

The major difference between single and double-hung windows is their number of operable sashes. Single-hung windows have a bottom sash that opens while the top sash stays intact. Double-hung windows have two sashes that move and provide for more flexible and smooth openings. 

To open single-hung windows, unlock or release the latch on the bottom sash, and push it up. 

For top-sash operation on a double-hung window, you need to move the top sash down while keeping the bottom sash locked. Similarly, for bottom sash operation, move the bottom sash up, keeping the top sash locked in place. 

2. Ventilation 

As you know, double-hung windows have two sashes that operate to provide more ventilation to the space inside a home or office. However, single-hung windows only have one sash operable while the other sash stays fixed, which provides less ventilation to your home or office in comparison. 

Also, double-hung windows are more effective in rooms that are stuffy and need direct air circulation. 

3. Energy Efficiency

When considering energy efficiency, double-hung windows are generally believed to be more efficient than single-hung windows. This is because double-hung windows offer greater flexibility in controlling ventilation, improving airflow, and reducing the need for air conditioning. Additionally, double-hung windows create a tighter seal between the sashes and the frame, reducing air leaks and preventing drafts. 

Many double-hung windows also include energy-efficient features such as low-E coatings and argon gas fills, which further enhance their thermal performance. While single-hung windows can provide adequate insulation and energy efficiency, they may be less effective in regulating temperature and reducing energy consumption.

4. Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, there are a few common and thoughtful differences between the two. Single-hung windows typically have fewer moving parts, which means they have fewer parts that will require repair. This can make them easier to clean and maintain, and takes less time to repair if needed. Though single-hung windows are believed to require less maintenance, cleaning them can be more challenging because of the one fixed sash. 

In contrast, double-hung windows, with their multiple moving parts, may require expensive repairs when in need, and require more regular maintenance. However, they are easier to clean than single-hung windows because of the easily moved parts. 

5. Cost

While the upfront cost of a double-hung window installation may seem high, they are more economical and energy-efficient, which saves energy costs in the long run. On the other hand, single-hung windows are economical at first, but less energy efficient than double-hung windows, which may have little to no effect on energy savings. 

Additionally, the installation cost will include the cost of labor to install the window along with the cost of the window itself. The labor cost depends on the materials and the design you selected. Though double-hung windows may offer a high upfront cost, the overall installation cost is set off because of the long-term savings. 

6. Safety

When considering safety, it’s important to note that there are some differences between single and double-hung windows. Specifically, double-hung windows tend to offer more safety features than their single-hung counterparts, particularly in households with young children or pets. 

For instance, many double-hung windows are designed with a safety mechanism that limits the extent to which the bottom sash can be opened, reducing the risk of falls. These windows can be fitted with various security locks and features to enhance safety and deter intruders. 

In contrast, single-hung windows have a fixed top sash that cannot be opened, which can be a safety feature in its own right. However, the absence of a safety mechanism on the bottom sash can raise concerns for families with young children or pets. 

7. Noise Reduction

Regarding noise reduction, there are significant differences to consider between single and double-hung windows. Specifically, double-hung windows have some advantages over single-hung windows. 

For instance, double-hung windows have two sashes that create a tighter seal when closed, resulting in reduced outside noise. Additionally, some double-hung windows come with specialized features such as laminated glass, or thicker glass panes that can further enhance their noise reduction capabilities. 

Single-hung windows, while they also provide noise reduction, may not be as effective as double-hung windows due to their single-sash design.

8. Aesthetics

Single-hung windows have a classic appearance and are often a better fit for traditional or colonial-style homes. They offer a timeless look with a stationary top sash and a sliding bottom sash. On the other hand, double-hung windows have a more contemporary look and are ideal for modern homes. Both sashes are operable and slide up and down, so they offer more flexibility in controlling ventilation. 

Additionally, double-hung windows come in a variety of styles, materials, and finishes, allowing for more possibilities to customize the window to match the aesthetics of a home. 

Where To Install Single-Hung And Double-Hung Windows

Single-hung and double-hung windows are commonly installed in areas where more ventilation is needed. For example, you could install them in your living room, kitchen, or bathroom since these areas require more ventilation. Whether you spend your time in a large, or average-sized building, you’ll want to properly ventilate the space, which luckily both types of windows can provide.   

If you want to let out old, stuffy air, while letting fresh air enter at the same time, double-hung windows can do the job. The top sash on a double-hung window helps warm air escape the living area, while the bottom sash pulls fresh air inside, both helping to balance the temperature inside and providing adequate ventilation.

Factors To Consider When Buying Single-Hung Or Double-Hung Windows

Before you make a final decision regarding whether you want double or single-hung windows, you should consider the following factors: 


When considering the material of your single or double-hung windows, weighing the pros and cons of each option is important. Vinyl windows are popular due to their affordability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements. On the other hand, wood windows offer a classic, timeless look and are a good choice for historical or traditional homes. 

However, wooden window frames may require more upkeep, such as regular painting or staining. Aluminum windows are strong, durable, and low-maintenance but may not be as energy-efficient as other materials. Fiberglass windows are a newer option on the market you could consider as well, offering strength, energy efficiency, and low maintenance needs. 


The climate is an important factor when buying single or double-hung windows. Different climates require different types of windows to ensure optimal energy efficiency and comfort. For example, if you live in a cold climate with harsh winters, you may want to consider windows with a low U-factor and high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) to help keep your home warm and reduce energy costs. 

On the other hand, if you live in a hot and sunny climate, windows with a low SHGC can help keep your home cool and reduce the need for excessive air conditioning.


The cost of windows varies based on factors such as material, size, and energy efficiency, and you will need to consider all these factors when creating your budget. 

While wooden windows can be aesthetically pleasing, they are often more expensive than vinyl or aluminum ones. On the other hand, fiberglass windows are known for their durability and energy efficiency but are often the most expensive option. Additionally, larger windows and those with enhanced energy efficiency features may cost more than standard sizes and types.

Aesthetic Preference

The design of a window can significantly impact the overall look and feel of a home, both inside and out. Single-hung windows are typically associated with a more traditional or classic look, making them ideal for historical or colonial-style homes. 

On the other hand, double-hung windows offer a more modern or contemporary look and are often used in newer or renovated homes. Window style, frame color, and grid pattern are all important factors to consider when choosing windows that will complement a home’s overall aesthetic.

Size And Placement

Size and placement are important factors to consider when choosing between single and double-hung windows. The size of the window should be appropriate for the opening it will be installed in and should also allow for adequate natural light and ventilation. Additionally, the placement of the window will affect its functionality and aesthetic impact. Consider the orientation of a room and the view outside when selecting the placement for a window.


When it comes to selecting single or double-hung windows, safety is an important factor to consider. If you have young children or pets, choosing windows with safety features such as locks, guards, or limiters is crucial to prevent falls or injuries. Look for windows that meet safety standards and are manufactured by reputable companies. Additionally, consider the placement of the windows and how easy it would be for someone to break in. Double-hung windows can also be equipped with security locks and other features to deter intruders.

Do You Want To Install Windows That Ventilate And Safeguard Your Home Or Office? Are you considering changing the aesthetic appeal of your home or office and increasing its ventilation? If yes, you are in the right place. Call Champion Exteriors today if you live in New Jersey at (609) 845-3576 and want to replace or install new windows. Our team are the experts in handling all kinds of roofing projects, including window and door installation. We serve the area completely, and we would love to help you too!