What’s better, single and double-hung windows?

Brand new windows on double hung window

Despite their similar aspect, single and double-hung windows have distinctive characteristics that justify their price difference, as well as their different levels of energy efficiency and maintenance.

Every homeowner will eventually have to decide which type of window they prefer for their property, whether they have just bought their home or they are planning a window replacement project.

Both style windows are a classic choice, and two of the most popular types of windows available on the market.

They are both vertical-sliding windows that include an upper and lower sash into their anatomy.

From a distance, they may appear to be the same type of window. However, once you study them carefully, you’ll notice several essential differences.

Considering these factors, which type of window should you choose for your home?

We will explore in this article everything you need to know about single-hung windows and double-hung windows.

Single Hung Windows

What are the key characteristics of a single-hung style window?

A standard window style often used in the construction of residential spaces and office spaces, a single-hung window comes equipped with one fixed sash on the top and one moveable sash on the bottom.

In other words, a single-hung window has a single sash or operational panel. Thus, when opening the window, the bottom sash allows for the window to slide up while partially obstructing the top sash. Usually, single-hung does not conveniently tilt in and out.

Due to its characteristics, a single-hung proves to be less efficient and practical than a double-hung. However, many homeowners prefer to invest in single-hung due to their more affordable prices. Cost is the most crucial factor that tips the balance into the favor of single-hung style windows.

Single Hung or Double Hung Windows

What is the cost you can expect of single-hung windows?

The average costs for single-hung style windows vary from $100 to $400 per window without including the installation costs. The lower price justifies by the fact that single-hung has less moving parts than double-hung, are easier to manufacture, and are made with affordable materials. Moreover, due to their rather simple characteristics, the installation costs for single-hung are lower than for double-hung, reaching an average of $75 to $150 per window.

Double-hung windows

What are the key characteristics of a double-hung style window?

A double-hung style window is superior to a single-hung due to its higher level of versatility. This window style includes two sashes and allows for each sash to be opened. Due to the possibility to open both the top and bottom sashes, a double-hung provides better ventilation than a single-hung.

Moreover, double-hung style windows tilt in for easy cleaning and allow the homeowners to clean the exterior without any special equipment or hiring a window cleaning company.

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What is the expected cost of a double-hung window?

A higher price for double-hung style windows is justified by their qualities and superior characteristics. A double hung-window can cost anywhere from $400 to $600 to which you should also add the installation costs that range from $200 to $350 per window.

As you can see, the cost difference between single-hung and double-hung is significant. Despite their versatility and higher functionality, double-hung style windows tend to be less popular than single-hung style windows because of their higher prices. However, their costs are determined by the numerous options added to a double-hung window, such as their variety of materials, security, and UV protection.

Important Pricing Note: Prices listed above are averages. The price may vary based on many factors, including material and features. Request quotes from several companies to ensure you get the best window at the best price.

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Which are better –double-hung or single-hung windows?

The answer to this question depends on what you want from your window. The main advantages and disadvantages associated with these windows are determined by their anatomy. Single-hung has only one moveable sash, while double-hung have two operable sashes.

Here are the main differences between single-hung and double-hung style windows:


While single-hung style windows open only at the bottom, double-hung allows owners to open both the top and bottom of the window frame. Logically, the double-hung window offers a higher level of ventilation and airflow.

Moreover, a double-hung window can ventilate the hot air through the top sash, while its bottom sash allows for air circulation. Casement windows indeed provide the maximum of air ventilation, but considering that not many homes have the necessary space for the opening of casement windows, double-hung offer the best compromise space-airflow.

Energy efficiency

If you’re looking for the best energy-efficient window, depending on materials and hardware, a single-hung window could be your best choice.

Despite the higher level of functionality of double-hung style windows, they seem to come second when discussing their energy efficiency.

While double-hung style windows have more moveable parts, they also may have problems providing a proper sealing at the top edge. The explanation is quite simple: a window with a single operable sash is more comfortable to lock and seal than a window with two operable sashes.

Important to note that not all windows are built the same. No matter if you buy single or double-hung, choose top quality material and features and even double-hung style windows too assure a high level of energy efficiency and prevent air infiltration.

Which are better –double-hung or single-hung windows?


Due to their moveable parts, double-hung windows are easier to clean both from the interior and the exterior.

One of the best features of a double-hung window is that it doesn’t only slide up and down, but it also tilts in for easy cleaning.

Single-hung windows are typically more challenging to clean based on their location. If you want to clean their exterior, you don’t have any other option than to go outside or call a window cleaning company, if you live on the upper stories.


Installed and closed correctly, both window styles provide a high level of security and protection from intruders.

However, some double-hung windows may prove to be less secure, but only if they are not locked properly. That’s because the upper sash can be slightly pushed in the frame by gravity. However, this can easily be avoided as long as you check to see if your double-hung window is locked correctly.

Moreover, double-hung windows prove to be a lot safer for families with children because while they allow airflow through the top of the window, the bottom sash can be kept closed.


If you’re looking for affordable materials and lower prices, the single-hung windows are your best option.

However, if you want to have the possibility to choose from a variety of materials and colors, opt for double-hung windows. Just like picture windows, single-hung windows are available in various window sizes and shapes due to their fixed sash and add an authentic look to historic homes.

The sizes and shapes of double-hung windows are limited by their operable sashes that don’t allow customization. Still, they do charm homeowners with their extensive range of colors, trim, and materials.


Both window styles are ideal both as new windows and replacement windows. Considering all of the above, most homeowners make their choice depending mostly on the window costs. However, it’s good to keep in mind that, despite the significantly lower price of single-hung windows, double-hung windows can be an excellent choice to be a better investment in the long run due to their better materials and security and maintenance features.