Are you looking into upgrading your windows? It can make a world of difference. New windows can make it much easier to cool and heat a home. They can also revitalize the look of a building that has been around a while. They can lower power bills, and in some cases, they can even impact your insurance rates. While you’re shopping around, take a minute to learn about the two most popular styles for home windows: single hung and double hung.
Single-hung windows are by far the more common design. It’s virtually guaranteed that you have come across these before. The term means that the window only has one moving part. There are typically two parts to the window, and each can have one or more panes. The top part is immobile. The bottom part can slide up and down. That’s how you open and close the window. It’s a design you’ve seen plenty of times, and it’s called single-hung because only one of the two parts moves. That’s it. It’s the simpler of the two kinds of windows, and it comes with a set of pros and cons.
Pros of Single-Hung Windows
The first pro is that these windows are cheaper. Having fewer moving parts makes for simpler manufacturing, so if you’re getting new windows, these will almost always cost less than their double-hung counterparts. The cost savings go further. Single-hung windows are easier to install too. That means that having them professionally installed will also usually cost less.
Other cons have to do with quality of life. Single-hung windows are more familiar. From a design point of view, they’re better for preserving an existing aesthetic. If you have an established home or building, sticking with the traditional look might be the better option.
Cons of Single-Hung Windows
Oddly enough, it’s harder to clean these windows. You might think that the simpler windows are the ones that are easy to clean, but if you’ve cleaned single-hung windows, you know better. Especially for windows on upper floors, accessing the outside of the glass is a challenge. This will make more sense in the double-hung section, but single-hung windows are definitely the more difficult of the two to clean.
So what makes a window double hung? You might have already guessed the answer. It has two moving parts. That’s the gist of it, but let’s explain a little better. Both the top and bottom section of the window can be opened. There are a few designs for this, but the most common is tilting panes. Each section can tilt to open, and that allows you to have a little more control over the gap you create by opening and closing your windows. Why is this important? The pros and cons will explain.
Pros of Double-Hung Windows
The major pro is that you can crack the window from the top if you like. The prevailing theory is that by opening both parts of the window, you create a better cooling airflow. Cool air can flow in from the bottom, and warm air can flow out from the top. It does work that way, but it works a lot better if you have a fan running to help circulate the air.
Another big pro is that these windows are easier to clean. Because they tilt to open, you can access both sides of the window from inside the building. When you’re upstairs, it’s a particularly nice feature.
Cons of Double-Hung Windows
As covered earlier, double-hung windows cost more than single-hung windows. They’re also a little harder to install, and that can be reflected in installation prices. Essentially, you’re paying for those nice benefits of the double-hung design.
A second issue with double-hung windows is maintenance. If you have more moving parts, there are more points of potential failure. These windows are prone to more maintenance issues over their lifespan. That said, you’re not looking at intense maintenance. It’s not like the windows need their oil changed every few months. But any time you add moving parts, you increase the chance that something can ultimately break.
Pros and cons are nice to learn, but sometimes the best way to make a decision is to see things in action. You can head over to Advanced Auto Glass and look at the different windows. That can help you make an informed decision, and you can price-compare while you’re at it. You can even schedule your professional installation to make the entire process easy and convenient.