What are Double Hung Windows?
Double hung windows have been around for centuries and they’re still one of the most common types of windows used in the United States today. They’re convenient, effective at ventilating a room or an entire home and offer the high efficiency levels that so many homeowners and business owners are after.
Frame Material Types
Double hung windows are available with four different frame materials, vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum and wood. Vinyl windows are the most affordable, but they tend to wear out fastest and provide the lowest level of support. Fiberglass windows are more expensive, but one of the best mixtures of weather-resistance, strength and insulation. Aluminum windows are known for being very strong and weather resistant, but they allow a bit more thermal energy to pass through the frame than the other options. Wood window frames are the most expensive of the bunch and while they are one of the most durable options, they are subject to more expansion and contraction than other types of windows leading to performance issues over time.
Double or Triple Pane
Most windows today are at least double paned, but you can choose between double or triple paned double hung windows. The difference between the two is all about the number of layers of glass used on the windows. The double paned windows have two layers and the triple paned have three. Triple paned windows are more energy efficient, but they will cost you more to purchase initially.
Tempered or Insulated Glass
Double hung windows are available with tempered and insulated Low E glass. Tempered glass is more durable and will stand up to impacts more effectively than standard glass does. Insulated and Low E glass helps to keep heat in more effectively than standard glass does. This insulated glass has argon gas trapped between the layers and the gas reflects heat back into the room to help keep it from being lost.
Benefits of Double Hung Windows
Easier to Clean
Double hung windows are easier to clean than single hung windows, and that’s because you can clean both sides of the windows from inside your home.
To get at either side of the window you simply tip the sash back toward you into the home. With the sash tipped in you can access both sides of that section of the window with ease. That makes cleaning quick and easy to do, and it’s one of the best features of a double hung window.
Ventilate a Room with One Window
With a double hung window you can open the bottom and top of the window at the same time. This allows cool air to enter the bottom and hot air to escape out of the top. It makes it possible to ventilate a room using just a single window and to do it effectively. When trying to ventilate a room with single hung windows you need multiple windows in order to create airflow, and they still aren’t as effective as double hung windows at getting rid of warm air.
Highly Energy Efficient
Double hung windows are one of the most energy efficient options on the market today when built with quadruple weather stripping. Each window section uses two or three panes of glass with gas in between each of the layers. This setup creates highly insulated windows that are capable of keeping the heat in and the cool out. When installed properly heat isn’t lost where the two windows meet in the middle or around the edges of the window.
Easily Add and Remove Screens
Double hung windows, unlike casement and awning style windows, are designed to work well with window screens. Screens are easy to slip into place and provide plenty of protection against pests when you want to keep the windows open. Since the windows are staggered, it’s simple to put screens in the empty space that’s left at either side of the windows.
Drawbacks of Double Hung Windows
More Expensive than Single Hung
Double hung windows are more complex in construction and require more materials so they are more expensive than single hung windows.
Only Make Use of Half the Window Area for Ventilation
Even though double hung windows make it possible to ventilate a room with only a single window, they also limit the amount of ventilation that you have available compared to casement or awning windows because you can only use half the window space at one time. You can only ever have the entire bottom half, the entire top half, or a mix of the bottom and top half of the window space open at one time. This means that half or more of the hole is covered by window and impeding air flow.
Double hung windows have a lot to offer and that’s why they’re used so widely around the country. They’re good for insulation purposes, for ventilation and ease of use. Since there are so many different types of windows available it’s important to choose them with care so you get something you’ll be happy with for years to come.