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Double-Hung Windows Versus Single-Hung: Which is Better?

Single-hung versus double-hung window replacement remains the most debated topic among homeowners. At Zen Windows, we are often asked if we prefer single-hung or double-hung windows, and our response varies depending on your specific needs. For example, what kind of performance are you looking for in your windows? What style, security and energy efficiency benefits would you like to attain? 

While the difference between single-hung and double-hung windows doesn’t amount to considerable differences in any of these factors, the differences do exist.

The best place to start would be by defining what exactly are single and double-hung windows. Next, it would be helpful to discuss how well each performs at delivering all the benefits today’s homeowners are looking to get out of their windows. Ultimately, you’ll realize that deciding between single-hung versus double-hung windows comes down to your sense of style, needs, location and budget. If you buy your windows from Zen Windows, either option will be a wise investment in your home’s comfort and overall value. 

How They Work

Let’s start with what is the difference between single and double-hung windows.

What Is A Single-Hung Window? Single-hung windows open from the bottom sash. The top sash is fixed in place. This window type is the most common throughout residential properties. 

What Are Double-Hung Windows? Double-hung windows open from the top and bottom sashes. There is a central bar bisecting the middle of this window option. Both sashes are operable as opposed to single-hung windows, with the bottom sliding up and the top sliding down to open.

You won’t have to worry about operability when choosing between double-hung versus single-hung windows – so long as they are of good quality. Cleaning, on the other hand, is much easier with double-hung replacement windows. The top and bottom sashes on double-hung designs tilt to the inside of your home to allow you to scrub and wipe down the exterior glass even if you’re on an above-ground floor. Only the bottom sash of single-hung windows has this feature, so you may need a ladder and acrobatic skills to clean exterior glass. 


There are similarities between single and double-hung windows as far as looks. Both look alike when closed. They are vertically moving, rectangular windows, and you can get either in a wide range of colors and styles. However, double-hung windows have a slight advantage in style options as they are becoming more sought after. Manufacturers see the popularity of double-hung windows rising and tend to apply the newest styles to “test the waters” to see what consumers prefer.

You’re still likely to find either single or double-hung windows that fit into the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. The architectural design of your home shouldn’t weigh too much on your double-hung window versus single-hung considerations. Having them professionally installed to fit snugly will need to be prioritized when ensuring their visual appeal. 

Safety and Security

Double-hung windows will undeniably win out in the double versus single-hung window debate regarding safety and security. The way double-hung windows are designed naturally makes them stronger and harder to break. The frames tend to be more sturdy on double-hung windows than on single-hung models.

Ventilation and Energy Efficiency

You can guess which wins again for best ventilation in the double-hung versus single-hung window debate. Double-hung windows open at the top and bottom, allowing air to enter and escape into a room more effectively. 

When closed, single-hung windows prevent air from leaving and entering a room better than double-hung windows. The fixed sash at the top has fewer gaps for air leaks than double-hung models. This is important for making a home more energy efficient. Your home’s heating and cooling systems won’t work as hard to regulate temperatures if there is less transfer between the indoors and outside. 

The tighter seal from single-hung windows makes them more energy-efficient. However, with specialized glass and other efficient features, double-hung windows will perform in this area just as well. Either single or double-hung windows will become enormously more energy efficient by adding features such as multiple panes of glass, weather stripping, Argon gas between the panes, and insulated frames.

Which is the Better Value for You? 

According to the tally of the double-hung windows versus single debate, double-hung score better in many areas and ties with single-hung windows in others. At Zen Windows, we recommend buying double-hung windows because you get significantly enhanced benefits over the single hung options. However, either will be a good investment in your home. Buying from a company like Zen Windows that offers energy-efficient features and guarantees a perfect installation will offer a better return on your investment through energy savings and raised property values. If you want to explore double-hung windows versus single-hung more in-depth, contact your nearest Zen Windows dealer, and we’ll be happy to help you reach the best decision for your needs.