double hung windows

What Are Double Hung Windows?

When selecting windows for your home, it’s essential to understand the various options available. One popular choice is double-hung windows. This comprehensive guide will delve into the double-hung windows’ details, features, advantages, and installation process. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of double-hung windows and be better equipped to make decisions for your home.

What are Double Hung Windows?

Double-hung windows are a versatile and practical window style with two movable sashes – one on top and one on the bottom. These sashes can be independently raised or lowered vertically within the window frame, allowing for greater control over ventilation and easy cleaning. Double-hung windows are prevalent in residential buildings and can complement various architectural styles, making them a popular choice for homeowners.


  • Dual Operation: One of the critical features of double-hung windows is their dual operation. The upper and lower sashes can be opened or closed, providing flexibility in controlling the amount and direction of airflow. This feature enables efficient ventilation and helps maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
  • Easy Cleaning: Double-hung windows offer a convenient cleaning experience. The ability to tilt or remove both sashes allows easy access to both sides of the glass from inside your home. This feature is especially beneficial for upper-level windows, as it eliminates the need for ladders or access to your home’s exterior for cleaning.
  • Energy Efficiency: Double-hung windows can provide excellent energy efficiency, particularly with other energy-saving features. The tight seals between the sashes and the frame help to minimize air leakage, reducing drafts and improving insulation. Additionally, double-hung windows can accommodate weatherstripping and other energy-efficient enhancements, further enhancing their thermal performance.
  • Versatility: Double-hung windows can be customized to suit various architectural styles and personal preferences. They come in various materials, colors, and finishes, allowing homeowners to choose the option that best matches their home’s aesthetics and design.


  • Improved Ventilation Control: The independent operation of the top and bottom sashes allows for precise control over ventilation. By opening different combinations of the sashes, you can create cross ventilation, which promotes air circulation and helps maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
  • Easy Maintenance: The cleaning process for double-hung windows is straightforward and hassle-free. Accessing both sides of the glass from inside your home simplifies the task, reducing the need for professional cleaning services or potentially dangerous climbing maneuvers.
  • Ample Natural Light: Double-hung windows typically have larger glass areas than other window styles. This allows for more natural light to enter the space, brightening up rooms and reducing the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours.
  • Safety Features: Some double-hung windows come with safety features such as restrictor locks that limit the opening width of the sashes. These features can be handy for homes with children or for enhanced security, preventing unauthorized access while still allowing for ventilation.
  • Durability and Longevity: Double-hung windows can last for decades with proper maintenance. High-quality materials and robust construction contribute to their longevity, making them a cost-effective investment for homeowners in the long run.

Double vs. casement windows

When comparing double-hung windows and casement windows, several factors include curb appeal, cost, and energy efficiency. Let’s explore each of these aspects.

  • Curb Appeal: Double-hung windows and casement windows can enhance a home’s curb appeal, but they offer different aesthetics.Double-hung windows often provide a more traditional look and are popular for homes with classic architectural styles. They have vertical lines and symmetrical balance that can lend a sense of elegance to the facade of a house.On the other hand, casement windows are known for their modern and sleek appearance. They have larger glass panes that offer unobstructed views and a clean, contemporary feel. Casement windows work well with homes with a more contemporary or minimalist aesthetic.
  • Cost: Double-hung and casement windows can vary depending on several factors, including the material, size, and features.Double-hung windows generally fall in the mid-range of window costs. The pricing can depend on vinyl, wood, or fiberglass materials. The features and energy-saving options you choose can also impact the overall cost.Casement windows tend to be slightly more expensive than double-hung windows. The extra cost can be attributed to factors such as the hardware required for the hinges and the construction necessary for the crank mechanism. However, casement windows often offer higher energy efficiency, which can result in long-term energy and cost savings.
  • Energy Efficiency: Double-hung and casement windows can be designed and engineered to be energy-efficient, but they have different characteristics that affect their energy efficiency.Double-hung windows can provide good energy efficiency, especially if properly sealed and fitted. The tight seals between the sashes and the frame help reduce air leakage and drafts. However, it’s worth noting that double-hung windows may have slightly more air leakage than casement windows due to the nature of their design.Casement windows, when closed and locked, create an airtight seal. This tight seal reduces drafts and prevents air leakage, producing excellent energy efficiency. The crank mechanism of casement windows also allows for greater control over how much the window is open, maximizing the effectiveness of natural ventilation.

Double vs. single-hung windows

Double-hung and single-hung windows are two common window styles with slight differences in functionality and convenience.

  • Operation: Double-hung windows have two movable sashes that slide vertically. The upper and lower sashes can be opened to allow for ventilation from the top or bottom of the window. This provides flexibility in controlling airflow, making them ideal for rooms where you want to have both top and bottom ventilation options.On the other hand, single-hung windows have a fixed upper sash and a movable lower sash. Only the lower sash can be opened vertically. This style is simpler and more straightforward, as only one sash moves. However, it limits ventilation options to the bottom of the window.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Double-hung windows offer a convenience advantage when it comes to cleaning. Both sashes can be tilted inward, making it easier to clean the window’s exterior from inside the house. This is especially beneficial for upper-story windows that are harder to reach from the outside.Single-hung windows, with their fixed upper sash, can be more challenging to clean the exterior, especially for upper-story windows. Cleaning the outside of the window may require a ladder or professional assistance.
  • Air Infiltration & Energy Efficiency: Both window types can perform similarly if properly installed with tight seals. Both window styles can have similar energy-efficient features, such as weatherstripping and insulated glass options, that help reduce heat transfer and drafts.
  • Cost: Double-hung windows tend to be slightly more expensive than single-hung windows. Double-hung windows’ additional operability and hardware contribute to their higher price point.

Please note that the comparison provided here is a general overview, and additional factors such as window quality, installation, and specific manufacturer features can also affect the performance and cost of both window types. It is recommended to consult with window professionals and consider the specific requirements of your project12.

In closing

Double-hung windows offer a range of features and advantages that make them a popular choice for homeowners. The ability to control ventilation, ease of cleaning, energy efficiency, versatility, and durability are significant benefits. Additionally, when carried out by professionals, the installation process ensures a seamless and long-lasting addition to your home.

If you’re considering installing new or replacing existing ones, double-hung windows provide an excellent combination of functionality, style, and practicality. With their timeless design and numerous advantages, double-hung windows can enhance your home’s aesthetics, improve energy efficiency, and provide a pleasant and comfortable living environment.

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