Are Double-Hung Windows More Efficient Than Picture Windows?

Are Double-Hung Windows More Efficient Than Picture Windows?

When the time comes to renovate your home, or you need to replace your windows, it can be a surprise to find out how many options there are to choose from. Before making your decision, make a list of the things you want from the window while examining the space it will fill. Windows like double-hung and picture windows work very differently and will serve different purposes.

This article will cover what each of these windows is, how they function, and their positive and negative characteristics. By the end, you should be able to easily decide which of these windows will suit your home best— one might be a better choice than the other or you could find use for both styles.

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Double-Hung Windows vs Picture Windows

We will start with the mobile option, the double-hung window. This window has two sash that move up and down when you push them in the direction you want them to move. It looks almost exactly like a single-hung window except in the single-hung style only the bottom sash can move.

Double-hung windows are vertical and only move within the space of the wall instead of inward or outward. Many models also have a tilt-sash which just means that the sash can be unlatched allowing it to tilt out for easy cleaning (this is not the way you would typically operate the window but it's definitely a bonus).

Picture windows are straightforward. They are made with one fixed sash that will not move and will not open. Picture windows are constructed without any glazing bars running across them vertically or horizontally which is great if you want an unobstructed view. This is a great style if you want to maximize views or want to create a gallery-like feel in your home. 

Explore Window Options

See examples of windows available from Brennan Enterprises.

Are Double-Hung Windows More Energy-Efficient Than Picture Windows?

Double-hung windows are not more energy-efficient than picture windows. Picture windows are one of the most energy-efficient styles of windows on the market. They do not open or close, so they don't need a seal. Instead, they are stuck in place, and only the type of glass changes their energy-efficiency, not how tight they are closed.

Double-hung windows are actually one of the least energy-efficient options out there. Since they slide up and down, the seal running vertically up the side of the window can never be very tight, or the window would be inoperable. At best, you can shut the window tightly to seal the top and bottom of the window.

Should I Get Double-Hung or Picture Windows for My Home?

Since one of these windows is entirely inoperable and the other one isn't, this should be a relatively easy decision. If you need ventilation or want to open the window, choose double-hung. If you want more light in the space and prioritize energy-efficiency, then the picture window. Also keep in mind that egress regulations may require that you have at least one operable window in a room in case of an emergency. 

If you are still struggling with the decision, examine their other characteristics before making you choose.

Pros and Cons of Double-Hung Windows

Pros of Double-Hung Windows
  • Double-hung windows are popular, and many manufacturers produce them.
  • Prices are typically budget-friendly.
  • Windows with tilt sashes are easier to clean.
Cons of Double-Hung Windows
  • Dirt piles up in the bottom seal.
  • This style needs additional energy-efficient features to improve energy performance.
  • They can be difficult to push open and closed if not installed properly.

Pros and Cons of Picture Windows

Pros of Picture Windows
  • This clean style never goes out of fashion.
  • Picture windows are highly energy-efficient.
  • Pictures are very low maintenance.
  • Windows with no glazing bars allow maximum visibility and light filtration.
  • Since they are so simple, they are often cheap.
Cons of Picture Windows
  • Picture windows don't allow ventilation.

We hope that with your list and consideration of these windows characteristics, making the decision is easy. Between picture windows and double-hung, you have two popular options to choose between. If you are still struggling to choose, you can always talk to your local window experts. Homeowners in the North Texas area can reach out to us Brennan Enterprises to discuss window replacement options.


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