Without a doubt, the two most popular types of replacement windows in Charlotte are single hung windows and double hung windows. These vertical-moving windows are in the vast majority of homes in the country. And with good reason. Single hung and double hung windows have the ventilation, energy efficiency, reliable operation, and timeless style homeowners crave.
That said, there are some key differences between single hung and double hung replacement windows. The biggest difference is that single hung windows open only from the bottom sash, while double hung windows open from the top AND bottom sashes. It’s a good idea to learn how this difference—among others—affects the way these windows look and perform. This way, you can make the right decision for your specific situation.
In this article, we compare these two windows in the categories that are most important to homeowners. Let’s get started…
From a distance, single hung and double hung replacement windows look virtually the same. Both windows have sashes that move vertically. Both usually have a rectangular shape. And both come with similar decorative options.
That said, double hung windows do tend to have a more modern look. This is because double hung windows are newer to the market and have essentially supplanted single hungs as the most sought-after window by homeowners. And since double hung windows are now the most popular type of window, double hungs are now the “bread and butter” for most window manufacturers. As a result, these manufacturers spend more time improving the aesthetics of their double hung window to keep up with current homeowner trends.
Double hung windows also have much more stout and heavy frames than single hung windows, which makes them harder to break.
One thing most homeowners don’t consider is that double hung windows are safer if you have small children in your home. The top sash of a double hung window—which is out of reach of your children—allows you to experience the fresh outdoors while keeping the bottom sash locked and closed. This allows double hung windows to provide moms and dads with extra peace of mind.
This is where double hung replacement windows hold one of their biggest advantages over single hung replacement windows. The top and bottom sashes of double hung windows can tilt to the inside of your home. This makes it extremely easy to clean the exterior glass of the window, even if you’re on an above-ground floor.
Single hung windows only have the bottom sash that tilts inward. This can make cleaning the exterior of the upper glass difficult—and even dangerous—if the windows are located above the first floor of your home. (Be prepared to break out that rickety ladder from your pole barn.)
Single hung windows open only from the bottom sash. Double hung windows open from the top AND bottom sashes. This gives double hung windows the edge in the ventilation category. Double hung windows are particularly great in areas where a lot of ventilation is needed (the bathroom, for example).
In terms of energy efficiency, it is commonly thought that single hung windows have a small upper hand. Since the top sash is fixed, it can be sealed. This leaves less room for gaps and leaks. Double hung windows have a movable top sash, and therefore cannot be sealed.
While this might make it seem like single hungs are the clear-cut winner in terms of efficiency, it’s not that simple. One of the biggest determining factors in a window’s energy efficiency is the installation. A professional Charlotte window company that “knows its stuff” will ensure your double hung windows are perfectly tight and straight. As a result, they can get your double hung windows at an efficiency level equal to that of single hung windows.
Lastly: Single and double hung windows stack up very similarly in terms of energy efficiency. Both windows can come with the latest energy technology, which includes multiple panes of glass, weather stripping, gas between the panes, and insulated frames. In other words—you’re going to save BIG money on your energy bills no matter which window you choose.
In terms of price alone, single hung windows will usually be a little bit cheaper than double hung windows—roughly around 10%. Single hung windows have fewer operating parts, so they cost manufacturers less to make (which means that the manufacturer can sell them for less). The lower cost is why rental properties often choose single hung windows over double hung windows.
In terms of “bang for the buck,” however, it’s safe to say double hung windows win.
The best way to explain why is to consider the configurations of a 2018 Chevy Malibu. There is a Malibu L and a Malibu LT. The L retails for $22,555. The LT retails for $26,000.
Though the LT costs about 14% more than the L, it’s loaded with tons of valuable features the L does not have. This includes a rear-vision camera, touch-screen radio, 17-inch aluminum wheels, SiriusXM radio, heated side mirrors, power-adjustable seat, teen-driver-assistance technology, and more. When you take all of the features into consideration, that 14% seems quite reasonable.
It’s the same with double hung windows. They often require a slightly higher up-front investment than single hung windows. But they are packed with beneficial features that homeowners love, including inward-tilting sashes, better ventilation, advanced security, and more modern looks.
If you’re considering single or double hung replacement windows in Charlotte—and you have any questions—feel free to contact us by phone or email. We’ll happily discuss your project with you.
And if you’d like a firm and accurate quote on superior replacement windows ASAP, head over to our Get A Quote page. Take five minutes to fill out the form, and we’ll follow up with an ironclad, down-to-the-penny quote within 24 hours. No in-home sales appointment. Zero sales pressure.
Thanks—I look forward to hearing from you!