Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Windows: Which Replacement Style is Best For Your Home?

Single-Hung vs Double-Hung Windows: Which Replacement Style is Best For Your Home?

In this article, you will learn:
1. When is it Time to Replace Your Residential Windows?
2. Introduction to Single-Hung Windows
3. Introduction to Double-Hung Windows
4. Which Window Style is Best For Your Home?

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Upgrading your home with new, energy-efficient windows is one of the most popular renovation projects among Canadian homeowners.

With the ability to increase energy-efficiency, decrease hydro bills, upgrade curb appeal and improve overall property value – installing new residential windows can offer so much more than just natural lighting and a bright, clear view.

While there are a number of window replacement options to choose from, single-hung and double-hung windows have remained two of the oldest and most widely-used window styles on the market today!

At Simpson Windows and Doors, we are committed to high-quality window services that keep your property, budget and style preferences in mind.

To help you better maintain your home, the following article will identify when it might be time to replace your windows, the pros and cons of single-hung and double-hung windows, and how to determine which window style is right for you.

When is it Time to Replace Your Residential Windows?

Much like the other important structures of your home, windows can slowly degrade over time.

While older windows may start to show visible signs of deterioration, there are also a few red flags that can often slip past the naked eye; such as higher-than usual energy expenses or an uncomfortable, drafty room.

If you find that you are experiencing any of the following warning signs, it may be time for a new window installation:

1. Cracked / Damaged Window Panes:

The easiest problem to pinpoint, cracked and/or damaged window panes may be a clear indication that your windows are performing properly. As this damage can risk higher energy expenses, it is important to assess whether a repair or replacement is needed as quickly as possible.

2. Expensive Hydro Bills: 

While visual cues are important to look for, your electrical bill can also be a very powerful tool in monitoring your home’s overall energy efficiency. As ineffective windows will cause your heating/cooling to work much harder than usual, it may be worth consulting a professional to identify the problem.

3. Drafty Rooms:

If damage and/or expensive bills don’t catch your attention first, the uncomfortable chill of a drafty room certainly will! While a damaged seal or window pane may allow outside air to pass through your windows and into your home, it will also be a clear indication that your windows aren’t performing the way they should be.

4. Mold / Water Damage:

Mold and water damage might be one of the most serious red flags to watch out for, as it can be harmful to the structure of your home. If left unresolved, mold and water damage can continue to spread into the walls, floors and other internal areas creating more problems in the long run.

5. Glass Condensation:

When condensation starts to build up inside your windows (or even between double or triple-paned glass), it may be time for a new window replacement. As the seal is not properly blocking moisture and air from entering the home, your furnace and air conditioner unit will have to work extra hard to compensate.

As window replacements can quickly become a pricey investment, we highly recommend that you have a professional contractor evaluate your existing windows to determine if any maintenance repairs might be a possible alternative to a replacement.

In the case that a replacement window is necessary, they will also be able to assist you in determining the best window options to suit your home, style and overall budget needs.

Introduction to Single-Hung Windows

Known for their classic practicality, single-hung windows are one of the oldest and most popular window styles on the market.

Often referred to as “single-sash” and/or “single-hung sash windows”, these windows are often the standard choice for new homes, apartment buildings and professional office environments.

Comprised of two glass sashes, single-hung windows are designed with a stationary top sash, and an operable bottom sash that moves vertically within its frame.

With affordable pricing and an easy installation process, single-hung windows are a compact and non-intrusive window style for rooms that open into walkways, porches and outdoor living areas, or for rooms that use a window AC unit.

Although single-hung windows may look very similar to double-hung windows from a distance, the major difference is that single-hung windows only have one operable sash on the bottom, while double-hung windows are able to operate both top and bottom panels.

Unfortunately, this limitation in ventilation and cleaning accessibility may not make them the best choice for rooms that require a little more ventilation (such as bathroom spaces), as additional ventilation will help prevent the risk of mold and/or moisture buildup.

– Affordable
– Easy to operate
– Energy-efficient
– Easy to install
– Compatible with window AC units

– Limited in styles and colours
– Difficult to clean and maintain (non-operable top panel)
– Less ventilation than double-hung windows

Introduction to Double-Hung Windows

With a classic colonial style, the double-hung window has become the most sought-after window style in modern North American homes.

Also referred to as “sash windows” or “sash hung windows”, double-hung windows are similar to single-hung windows in that the operable sashes open vertically within its frame.

However, the major difference is that double-hung windows feature two operable sashes, making them much more versatile and easy to clean/maintain.

With increased versatility, these windows are an excellent choice for families with young children or pets as the lower sash can remain closed while ventilating exclusively from the top panel for increased safety and security.

Fitted with cam action locks and state-of-the-art hardware, double-hung windows are often more expensive than single-hung windows and may require additional maintenance as the seals and moving parts wear down over time. Available in a variety of different colours, styles and frame materials, double-hung windows are an excellent choice for any style of interior decor.


– Two operable sashes (natural ventilation)
– Easy to use
– Available in a variety of colours, styles and materials – Easy to clean and maintain
– Compatible with window AC units

– More expensive than single-hung windows
– Hardware may deteriorate over time
– May be less energy-efficient

Which Window Style is Best For Your Home?

When deciding between single-hung and double-hung windows for your home, the right replacement window will largely depend on your style, budget and overall property needs.

To help you identify your preferences, consider the following factors:

1.  Operation:

Single-hung windows only allow the bottom sash to open and close, while double-hung windows have two operable sashes that can be opened from both ends for natural ventilation.

2. Ventilation:

Double-hung windows provide natural ventilation (making them suitable for bathrooms and kitchens), while single-hung windows offer limited ventilation.

3. Aesthetic:

While both styles offer a beautiful, traditional aesthetic, double-hung windows have a much wider selection of colours, styles and frames to choose from.

4. Budget:

Single-hung windows are typically less expensive than double-hung windows, as double-hung windows require additional parts and hardware.

While the costs may differ between the two, we highly recommend that you consider which style of window will best suit your needs well into the future.

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If you are interested in learning more about your window replacement options, allow our trained professionals at Simpson Windows and Doors to help!

Click here or call us at 905-853-2519 for a complimentary consultation.

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