Decipher the Difference: Single vs. Double Hung Windows

Decipher the Difference: Single vs. Double Hung Windows

August 24, 2022

Discover the benefits of double hung windows over single hung windows.

Perceived as a more traditional design style, hung windows pre-date the American colonies as the original operable window type of home construction. Historic examples of these windows can be seen in restored 17th century English and Dutch residences.

In the 17th century, the use of vertical sliding sash for windows was the primary way for individuals to ventilate and gain visual access to the outside. As advancements in building and window technology evolved, they paved the way for alternate types of windows to be offered.

Heritage Series Sterling double hungs

When comparing single vs. double hung, the number of operable sash defines the name. A sash refers to the portion of the window that holds the glass, that can be operable or stationary. A single hung window has one operable sash that usually is positioned below a fixed sash. A double hung window has two operable sash where both the top and bottom can be opened for cross ventilation. It can be difficult to spot any visual difference, but there are benefits between using one versus the other in your home.

Black Windows - Ultra Sterling double hungs with 1-1/8" wide PDL bars in top sash

What are the Benefits of Double-Hung Windows vs. Single-Hung Windows

With the duel operating sash of double hung windows, homeowners will have a few added benefits over using a single hung window. One of the most significant benefits that double hung windows offer is superior ventilation capabilities and greater control of airflow. For maximum results, open both the top and bottom sashes – this will let in cool, fresh air through the bottom, while warm air will escape out the top opening.

Double hung windows are also easier to maintain vs. a single hung window. With a tilt-latch feature on the sash, this makes cleaning both sash on the interior and exterior more convenient and doesn’t require going outdoors or being on a ladder. Further, this helps if any damage is incurred, and broken glass needs to be repaired or replaced.

Ultra Series Sterling double hung and picture double hung

Aside from airflow and maintenance, double hungs offer convenient operation alternatives for families. By opening only the upper sash of a double hung for ventilation, it allows the lower part to remain closed for small children or pets who are lower to the ground. Also, because the sash slide vertically within the frame, they are ideal for high-traffic areas because they don’t protrude outward into a walkway, deck or patio.

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of single hungs vs. double hungs, let’s take a look at a few ideas that might inspire you.

Double-Hung Window Design Inspiration

double hung windows in circular room.

Double hung windows are available in different styles, and this east coast home showcases cottage-style Ultra Series Sterling double hungs, where a smaller sash is on the top and a larger sash is on the bottom. Also, divided lites are applied to the top sash only, so there is a clear line of sight through the lower sash.

A classic brick home with black double hung windows.

These Forgent Series double hung windows update a classic brick home and offer improved energy efficiency. The black frames add sophistication to the traditional exterior and enhance the impressive two-story design with elevated curb appeal.

n this charming home, our Ultra Series Sterling double hung windows and picture double hungs with transoms create a two-story wall of windows

In this charming home, our Ultra Series Sterling double hung windows and picture double hungs with transoms create a two-story wall of windows. Coal Black frames with performance divided lites contrast with the white trim and red siding, for a contemporary twist on a traditional design.

Double Hung Windows with Performance divided lites and White hardware

Working with a high-quality window manufacturer like Kolbe® means homeowners are guaranteed a stylish and durable solution for double hung windows. We have a wide selection of double hung windows for any project you have in mind — whether you need something modern, more traditional, or something completely, uniquely you.

Explore our array of high-performance double hung windows, and contact us for more information about our products and options.

We're for the visionaries.®

Find your local showroom and be inspired.

Find Your Local Showroom