What are Single Hung Windows?

What are Single Hung Windows?

Single-hung windows and double-hung windows are the two most common window styles in houses all over the United States. I wouldn't be surprised if you had one or both types of hung windows in your home. 

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What are Single-Hung Windows?

At first glance, a single-hung window looks no different from a double-hung window. But there is a crucial difference. In double-hung windows, both sashes can slide independently up and down. In a single-hung window, one sash opens and closes while the other (almost always the upper sash) is fixed. 

The oldest known single-hung windows date all the way back to England in the 1670s. In the U.S. they are more common in cooler climates. Single hung windows fell somewhat out of favor in the late 1800s as the more advanced double-hung windows became widely available.

Pros and Cons of Single-Hung Windows

Although new homes are more commonly built with double-hung windows these days, single-hung windows are anything but obsolete. They still have their advantages, as well as a few potential drawbacks. Be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons before choosing a window style.

Pro: Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency always depends on the quality of your windows and how they were installed. But overall, single-hung windows do tend to be a bit more energy-efficient than double-hung windows, simply because the upper sash is completely sealed up, eliminating a potential source of air leaks. 

Pro: Low Cost

Single-hung windows have a simpler design than double-hung windows, which makes them a bit cheaper. When homeowners are replacing their windows on a two-story home, we sometimes recommend choosing single-hung windows for the ground floor and double-hung windows for the top floor. We only recommend this if the window collection offers the same profile on both window styles. That way they look exactly the same from the exterior but offer more convenience from the inside. Plus, the homeowner can save a little by opting for single-hung on the lower level. Double-hung is more convenient on the top level when they have double tilt-sashes.

Pro: Historic Authenticity

Many older homes originally had single-hung windows in them. When the time to replace the windows arrives, homeowners often choose to replace them with the same style and look to maintain the home's original look.

Con: Harder to Clean

Cleaning the upper sash of a single-hung window requires a little more effort (and usually a step stool) because it doesn't move. On a double-hung window, you can slide the top sash all the way down for easy cleaning. Double-hung windows usually also have a tilt-sash which allows you to clean the outside glass of both sashes from the inside, this feature isn't available on single-hung windows.

Con: Limited Ventilation

The main advantage of a double-hung window is that the top sash opens as well as the bottom. By opening the top sash, you can create an opportunity for hot air to rise and escape, while cool air enters through the lower sash. 

Con: Fewer Options

Window manufacturers typically offer more double-hung windows than single-hung windows. Because single-hung windows are no longer as popular as they once were, your window replacement options may be more limited if you choose to stick with this style. 

Who Sells Single-Hung Windows?

Many homeowners still choose single-hung windows for their simple design and energy efficiency. Single-hung windows are available from today's leading window companies, including: 

If you're still unsure about the right window styles for your home check out our related articles or explore our blog to learn more.


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