The Difference Between Double-Hung and Single-Hung Windows

When replacing your windows or looking into necessary home repairs for a new fixer-upper, you have a few options. “Double-hung” and “single-hung” are two types of windows among homes’ most common standard windows. Single-hung is the traditional style window found in older houses, and double-hung windows are currently trending for homeowners looking to boost their home’s value and curb appeal.


Here is everything you need to know about single-hung vs. double-hung windows to make an informed decision on the right type for your home repair.

Double-Hung vs. Single-Hung Windows

The functional difference between these two types of windows is how many operable sashes it has. Single-hung windows have only one operable sash, with the upper sash always remaining fixed in place. Double-hung windows have two movable sashes that can tilt in to be opened simultaneously for greater airflow.

To break it down in even more detail, here’s a comparison of the similarities and differences:

Sash Operation

While both single-hung and double-hung windows are effortless to operate, double-hung may take a bit more getting used to with the added tilt function of the sashes. Still, the learning curve isn’t steep, and homeowners with new double-hung windows often find them even easier to operate than their old single-hung windows since the new windows slide and move much more smoothly.

Ease of Cleaning

It should come as no surprise that single-hung windows are difficult to clean, especially the exterior glass on the upper floors! While the lower sash does slide up, it usually doesn’t tilt, so accessing the exterior side isn’t possible from the inside.

Double-hung windows make keeping your view crystal clear a breeze! All you have to do is tilt the sashes inward to properly clean them every once in a while. Because you can clean double-hung windows from inside your house, the windows on the upper floors are just as easy to clean as those on the ground level.


The level of ventilation offered by new windows will depend in part on the size of the windows, but double-hung still takes the top spot with its ability to open two sashes at once. Opening both the upper and lower sashes of double-hung windows improves air circulation in a room by drawing cooler air through the lower opening and pushing warmer air out the top.

Of course, single-hung windows still have their place for improving ventilation. Because the lower sash slides instead of tilting and the upper sash remains stationary, single-hung windows are an excellent choice for small spaces like bathrooms or narrow hallways.

Energy Efficiency

Because single-hung windows have been around for decades, these older windows tend to be less energy efficient. But when it comes to brand new windows, the energy efficiency is comparable between sing and double-hung windows.

Energy efficiency has more to do with the materials and window quality overall than the number of moveable sashes. Even with more moveability, double-hung windows are designed for a tight seal when closed to keep your home well-insulated all year round.


So far, double-hung windows have been knocking it out of the park, but the high quality and impressive functionality mean a higher price point than new single-hung windows. Because they’re so cost-effective, you’ll usually see single-hung windows in apartments, office buildings, and housing developments.


While the seemingly obvious choice for window replacement on a budget, single-hung windows don’t have the same staying power as double-hung windows. The vast list of benefits of double-hung windows all go right into the value of a home, making them a worthwhile investment for any home repair or renovation project.


One more note on the cost comparison: home repairs are often cheaper with double-hung windows because a sash can easily be removed and replaced without needing to bring out a glass maintenance specialist! The stationary upper sash of single-hung windows isn’t easy to remove, meaning any damage will require a professional to address.


Deciding Which Type of Window is Right for You

Having compared the pros and cons of double-hung and single-hung windows, how do you determine which type of window is ultimately best for you? Your home may already have single-hung windows that are outdated and in desperate need of repair or replacement, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the single-hung style.

Some reasons homeowners opt for single-hung windows include:

  • To keep within a set budget
  • To preserve the historical look of the home
  • To better suit the style of the home (i.e., Craftsman or cottage)

Double-hung windows might be a better choice for you in any of the following situations:

  • To make cleaning second-story windows easier
  • To better suit the style of your home (i.e., Colonial, Cape Code, or Victorian)
  • To improve ventilation
  • To increase the value of your home


Whatever You Choose, Rolox is Here for You!

Our catalog of high-quality replacement windows covers everything from single and double-hung to more custom, statement windows unique to your home. And to make affording your preferred windows even easier, we have excellent financing options to help you get what you need now without breaking the bank.

Ready to clear up the view through your windows? Contact us for a free quote!

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