Single vs. Double-Hung Windows: Which Is the Best Choice?

Installing new windows in your house is one way to make your home more energy-efficient and save on your heating and cooling bills. New windows can brighten up a room, keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and boost the value of your property.

Of course, there are a lot of design options to consider when choosing new windows. One factor you’ll need to consider is whether to choose single or double-hung windows.

If you’re torn between the two, this guide on single vs. double-hung windows should help you out. Here’s everything you need to know about the differences and similarities between these two styles.

A Breakdown of Single vs. Double-Hung Windows

First off, what is the difference between single and double-hung windows, anyway?

Single-hung windows are quite common in new home constructions, apartment buildings, condos, and offices. This style has one moveable sash. The bottom sash moves up or down while the top sash remains stationary.

A double-hung window has two movable sashes. These sashes move up or down and also tilt, giving you more options for airflow.

So which style is best for your home? That depends on your budget, the climate you live in, and your preferences.
Let’s cover the pros and cons of each style in depth.


Due to the fact that single-hung windows only have one operable sash, they’re a little harder to clean. You can’t easily reach the exterior of the top sash without moving outside to clean it. If you’re replacing windows on the second floor or higher, cleaning them can pose problems or safety concerns.
For single-hung windows, homeowners can go outside to clean their windows or hire a window cleaning company to do it for them. Hiring a cleaning company isn’t always in the budget, however.
Double-hung windows are much easier to clean because you can move and tilt each sash. Whether you live on the ground floor or higher up, you can tilt each window for easier access. This means you can clean both the interior and exterior glass with ease.

Airflow and Ventilation

When it comes to single or double-hung windows, which style is better for ventilation? In this competition, double-hung windows come out on top due to their ability to bring in more airflow from the top or bottom part of the window.
Being able to open both the top and bottom sash provides more versatility and allows for better ventilation.
In rooms of the house that require more ventilation, such as a bathroom, a double-hung window could definitely be the better choice. Make sure to consider how much ventilation you need in that room when choosing a window style.

Energy Efficiency

Some people express concern regarding the air seal on double-hung windows. Due to the moving parts, there is a chance this style may not be as energy-efficient as single-hung windows. That’s because air trapped between the sliders can be a problem in certain climates.
That said, you can find energy-efficient options in both styles. When it comes to how efficient a window is, you often have to look at what’s between the glass.
For instance, using double or triple-paned windows or windows with dense gasses provide much better insulation, resulting in more energy-efficiency. In colder climates, it makes more sense to choose these window styles.
Again, you can find energy-efficient options in both styles. If you’re not sure which to pick, talk to your contractor to go over some options.

Cost to Install

Single-hung windows cost less to install than double-hung windows. Double-hung windows can cost around 75% more than single-hung styles.
Double-hung windows themselves also cost more, on average. Homeowners on a tight budget often lean towards single-hung windows for this reason. However, there are options out that that can help with the expense of installing new windows.
See if you can qualify for any rebates. You may also qualify for tax credits for installing energy-efficient windows, doors, skylights, etc. You’ll have to make sure you’re buying eligible products.

Design Choices

When it comes to design options, you can find a wide variety of styles to choose from. Both single and double-hung windows have plenty of size choices, material options, and colors to consider.
Both window choices come in wood, vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass frame styles. You can also find energy-efficient options in both single and double-hung windows.
Double-hung windows have slightly more design options. If you’re not sure what you like best, try visiting a showroom and looking around at the different types. It can be hard to envision a window in your home just by looking at a picture online.

Choosing Single or Double-Hung Windows for Your Home

Another factor you’ll want to consider other than the points mentioned above is the style of your home. Single-hung windows have been around longer and often look better on older, historic homes. If you have a modern home, you might love the look of double-hung windows.
You’ll also want to keep in mind the number of windows you’ll need to replace. Do you want to replace all your windows? If so, choosing a double-hung style can quickly add up.
Calculate your budget first and then talk to a contractor to get a quote.

Brighten up Your Home

In the battle between single vs. double-hung windows, there are upsides and downsides to each style. There isn’t a wrong choice, although you may find yourself happier with one style over the other.
Use our guide to inform yourself and weigh the pros and cons of each choice.
Are you ready to install new windows in your Maryland home? Let us brighten up your space. Send us a message today for a quick estimate or ask us any questions you might have.
Roofing Contractor Prince Frederick, MD