Single-Hung vs. Double-Hung Windows: How the Benefits Measure Up

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right windows for your home, including cost, energy efficiency, air flow, and ease of cleaning and repair.


Single-hung windows, which feature a bottom panel (called a sash) that can be raised vertically while the upper sash remains stationary, are what we see most often in homes and residential buildings. Double-hung windows, which are becoming more popular, feature a moveable lower and upper sash. Let’s look at how they measure up in terms of benefits.



For initial installation, single-hung windows will often be the less expensive option, though how much more economical they are sometimes depends on the type of materials used (e.g. vinyl vs. wood). Although double-hung windows may be higher price-wise, when placed in strategic locations these windows will add a unique accent to your home that sets it apart from others in your neighborhood.


Other things to consider when calculating price are costs associated with regular cleaning and maintenance (see below), as well as how each style impacts the resale value of your home.


Energy Efficiency

In addition to reduced energy usage, benefits of energy-efficient windows include lower heating and cooling costs, less condensation and fewer maintenance issues.


While both single- and double-hung windows offer energy-efficient varieties, something to keep in mind is that with double-hung windows there is a greater chance for a poor air seal, which can actually increase energy use. This problem can be avoided with proper installation and the use of quality materials.



Because they open at both the top and bottom, double-hung windows typically offer better ventilation than single-hung windows. Lowering the upper sash and raising the bottom sash both about halfway can produce a recirculating effect that increases air flow throughout your home.


Cleaning & Maintenance

Here is where double-hung windows shine. If you have ever tried to clean the upper sash of a single-hung window, you know what a pain it can be to have to go outside to reach the exterior. The same goes for repairs and replacement, which more often than not require calling a professional.


With double-hung windows, cleaning and maintenance is far easier—especially with newer models that have a convenient tilt-in feature. Also with double-hung windows, DIY-inclined homeowners can choose to replace the upper sash on their own.


Both single- and double-hung windows offer a safe barrier when installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis. With double-hung windows, you should go the extra step of making sure they are shut properly so that the lock remains secure.


For families with young children or pets, a unique benefit of double-hung windows is the ability to open the upper sash and still enjoy the fresh air while keeping the lower sash closed for safety.


There’s a lot to think about. XO Windows can help.

Whether you are building a new home or replacing your existing windows, XO Windows is the place to start. As Arizona’s largest window distributor, we can help you choose the right size, style, and frame materials. Our expert installers will take it from there to ensure you are absolutely satisfied with your new windows. Call or email us today or fill out our online form for a free estimate!