What is the Difference Between Single vs. Double Hung Windows

Choosing new windows for your home seems simple at first, but there are so many options available. As a homeowner, all you want is the best for your home–whether you’ve lived there for years or just moved to the neighborhood. No matter your experience level on owning and caring for a home, knowing the available options in the market and the best choices for your house is the first step to creating your perfect home. Acadian Windows prides itself on providing the best options for our customers. Choosing between single vs double-hung windows won’t be difficult with this guide! Below you’ll find the differences between two of the most popular types of windows: single vs. double hung windows, and which type will be best for you. 

What Are Single Hung Windows?

Single-hung windows are separated into two halves: the upper and lower half. The upper half of a single-hung window is typically fixed in place–meaning you can’t open it–and neither slides up nor tilts forward. Because of the fixed nature of the upper half of a single-hung window, the vinyl top half can be shaped into special geometric shapes. These geometric shapes can reflect and be tailored to the style of your home or the mood you’re trying to set. You can shape it into an eyebrow shape, or a semicircle. Although you can’t open all the panes of single hung windows, the fixed pane allows your creativity to shine through your homestyle design choices! Single-hung windows actually date back to the 17th century, appearing in many historic private homes/buildings.  

The lower half of the window on the other hand (called the sash, which is the part of the window that holds the glass in place), can be opened and slid up and down, or tilted forward. This lower pane is located on a horizontal track, and this opening ability makes it easy to increase the ventilation in your home if you’d prefer a little air but not a lot to let in that cool seasonal breeze or fresh air, and allows for easy cleaning too. 


Where Are the Best Spaces for Single Hung Windows?

Deciding when you should get new windows–whether you’re building a new home or replacing the old–is the first step before deciding what type of windows you should install. Perhaps the glass in your current windows is compromised, whether it’s warped, cracked or otherwise, or your bills are higher than usual due to leaking airflow. No matter the case, single hung windows are a great option and among the most common types of residential windows. But why are they the most common, and where are they best suited in your home? 

Single hung windows, while common for residential homes in general are most common on the first floor of residential homes. There are many advantages to single hing windows, but some of the clearest advantages are:

  • Single hung windows are more cost-effective due to their configuration
  • The fixed upper sash decreases the amount of air leakage–which means lower energy bills as you keep AC and heating inside
  • The fixed pane makes them more secure, and less likely to be broken into. 

As stated above, single hung windows are great for the first floor because of their immovable upper sash, which makes it more difficult for robbers and thieves to break in. Because they can’t be cleaned from the inside, placing them lower to the ground allows for easier cleaning access too. Single vs double hung windows when compared are great for spaces that you’d like to be more secure, yet still receive some airflow with the single movable sash. 

What Are Double Hung Windows?

Single vs double hung windows have one clear difference that makes them very different from each other. While single hung windows have one fixed pane and one moveable pane of glass, double hung windows are able to move/open both sashes. These sashes are both able to tilt in for easy cleaning access, and are able to slide up and down for maximum airflow into your home. These are great options for anywhere in your home, and aren’t limited by its inability to be cleaned from the inside like single hung windows are. 

Like single hung windows, double hung windows allow for airflow–but double the amount that single hung windows are able to offer. Both sashes open up along the horizontal sash, which not only increases the ventilation of your home, but makes it easy to keep them squeaky clean. This also means you get even more clean, fresh air into your home which can decrease your environmental impact (by not using air conditioning) and save you money by decreasing the use of electricity to run your AC!  

Where Are the Best Spaces for Double Hung Windows?

Single hung windows are great for the first floor and other spaces you’d like to be extra secure with the fixed pane, but double hung panes are also secure and provide ample airflow. If you’re willing and able to pay a little more for the dual tilt sash, you can put double hung windows in any room you’d like to clean more easily, increase ventilation, or choose a specific overall style rather than just the geometric shape of the top fixed pane. When compared, the double pane between single vs double hung windows allow you to choose the geometric shape of the top fixed sash, but double hung windows also have new and different styles available to match your personal home decor vision. Double hung windows are also more popular for newer constructions, which means there are more styles and materials you can choose from. Some of the styles and materials double hung windows come in include: 

  • Cottage-core, which comes with a lower sash and a lower-sitting crossbar for a less obstructed view
  • Oriel-style, which comes with a large upper sash and smaller lower sash
  • Tilt-in, which open along a horizontal track and include at least one movable sash
  • Aluminum, a lightweight and durable material 
  • Composite, a mix of materials including resin, wood, and metal
  • Vinyl, the most versatile of materials due to its customization options and cost effectiveness
  • Wood, the traditional wooden framing
  • And more!

Get the best view with Acadian Windows

At Acadian Windows, we always put our best forward so you can get the best view from your Acadian windows. With the many types of products, styles, materials, and financing options we have on offer, you’ll find all you need here at Acadian Windows. If you’d like to learn more about available window or siding options, discuss financing options, or get to work on making your home the best it can be, contact us today!