Single Hung Vs. Double Hung ... What's The Difference?

If you’re looking to replace your windows this season, you’ll undoubtedly be faced with a number of styles and options.  Two popular choices are the single and double hung windows, but what’s the difference between the two?  Which one is considered the better choice for your home?


To answer these questions, we’ve broken down the benefits of each that we hope will help you decide which is the best option for you.




Structurally, a single hung window is comprised of one operable sash that moves up and down and will tilt out, and one fixed (the top sash). While this might sound like a disadvantage, it depends on the needs of your home’s architecture. In some cases, the fixed sash can offer the unique option of adding geometic shapes to the window. By contrast, both sashes are operable in a double hung window, meaning they move up and down and in the case of our windows, will tilt out as well.




Hands down, the double hung window wins the contest for easiest maintenance. With dual operating sashes that raise, lower and tilt, the double hung makes it easy to clean the windows from inside the home, which is particularly advantageous in the colder months.  Couple that to the option of Solar Clean glass, which is available for both styles, a self-cleaning technology that uses the suns rays to break down the adhesion of dirt, and maintenance is virtually effortless.


Energy Efficiency


The fixed sash of the single hung window means zero air infiltration, when properly installed, an advantage over the double hung. However, some of the highest quality windows have three layers of weather-stripping in the sash, which can drastically reduce the possibility of air infiltration.  Additionally, there are options such as Low E and Argon gas that reduce convection currents that occur on the glass in cold weather, by increasing the inside temperature of the insulated unit. Be sure to look into additional features that can remedy the energy efficiency issues.




Single hung windows are generally less expensive than double hung, when comparing base unit costs. Unless, of course, you opt for premium features that my impact the final price of the job.  Be sure to weigh the options when placing your order!  Both units are relatively easy to install, so labor costs shouldn’t be considered a premium between each type.