What Are the Pros and Cons of Double Hung Windows?

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Double hung windows are a popular choice among homeowners due to their unique style and versatility. This type of window features two sashes that can be moved independently, adding flexibility to their use. In this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of double hung windows.

Understanding Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows, recognized by their unique design, feature two sashes – both a top and bottom sash – that can slide vertically, independently of each other.

This feature offers homeowners the ability to control ventilation in a more personalized manner, allowing for the opening of either the top, the bottom, or both sashes simultaneously. This independence not only contributes to the customization of airflow but also offers a significant advantage when it comes to cleaning.

Homeowners can simply tilt the sashes inwards to clean the exterior of the windows from inside the home, a feature that is particularly beneficial for multi-story residences. This combination of functional benefits and user-friendly design makes double hung windows a popular choice among homeowners seeking both utility and aesthetic appeal in their window choice.

In the Midwest, double hung windows are not just a common choice; they are the standard. Roughly 80 percent of the windows installed in the Midwest are double hung windows. This prevalence can be attributed to several factors.

Pros and Cons of Double Hung Windows

Like all window types, double hung windows have their advantages and drawbacks. Understanding the pros and cons of double hung windows can help homeowners make the right choice for their homes.

Casement and Picture Windows

Compared to casement and picture windows, double hung windows offer greater flexibility for ventilation. However, they may not provide the unobstructed views that picture windows offer. Casement windows, on the other hand, can open fully for maximum ventilation, unlike double hung windows that only open halfway.

Versatility of Double Hung Windows

One of the key benefits of double hung windows is their versatility. Both sashes can operate independently, allowing different ventilation options. However, this flexibility can come at the cost of a slightly higher price point compared to single hung windows.

Double Hung vs. Casement

When it comes to aesthetics, double hung windows offer a classic look that suits many architectural styles. Casement windows, though equally functional, have a more modern appeal, which might not blend well with all home designs.

The Unique Design of Double Hung Windows

Double hung windows are distinguished by their unique design features. These features add to their practicality and aesthetic appeal.

Top and Bottom Sash Features

The defining feature of double hung windows is their top and bottom sashes that can both operate. This allows homeowners to control the ventilation to their liking. It also simplifies the process of cleaning these windows, as both sashes can be tilted inward.

The Impact of Screen Placement

Another design aspect is the placement of screens on the exterior of double hung windows. While this allows for uninterrupted views from inside, some homeowners may not like the look of exterior screens. Casement windows, in contrast, have interior screens.

Architectural Compatibility

Given their traditional style, double hung windows are often the go-to choice for homes with classic architecture. In fact, when replacing windows in such homes, double hung windows are usually preferred to maintain the architectural integrity of the home.

The Practicality of Double Hung Windows

Practicality is a key factor when considering window types. Let’s explore how double hung windows fare in this regard.

Width Considerations

Double hung windows are typically wider than casement windows. While this can add to their aesthetic appeal, it may present challenges when trying to fit them into narrower openings. However, with careful planning and professional installation, these issues can be overcome.

Efficiency and Durability

In terms of efficiency and durability, double hung windows hold up well. They offer similar energy efficiency ratings as other window types. Their durability is also on par, thanks to quality construction and materials.

Performance Evaluation

On the performance front, double hung windows excel. They operate smoothly and are easy to maintain. Their performance remains consistent over time, making them a reliable choice for homeowners.

Ventilation and Privacy

Ventilation and privacy are important considerations when choosing windows. Let’s see how double hung windows manage these aspects.

Ventilation Considerations

Double hung windows provide multiple ventilation options, thanks to their two operable sashes. Homeowners can choose to open the top, bottom, or both for optimal airflow. However, the total open area is less compared to casement windows that open fully.

The Role of Mini Blinds

The use of mini blinds can impact both privacy and ventilation in double hung windows. When the window is open, the blinds can be raised to match, providing ventilation without sacrificing privacy. However, this can lead to less available open area for ventilation.

Noise Control

Double hung windows can also help control noise. When using mini blinds, these windows do not cause the blinds to rattle during ventilation, unlike casement windows. This can be a significant advantage for those who are sensitive to noise.


When selecting windows for your home, it’s crucial to consider not only the aesthetics but also the functional aspects that will impact your daily living.

Choosing the Right Windows

Double hung windows offer many advantages, including versatility, ease of cleaning, and a traditional aesthetic that suits many architectural styles. However, the final decision will depend on your unique needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider when making your choice:

  • Ventilation: Double hung windows allow for flexible ventilation, thanks to their two operable sashes.
  • Maintenance: The ability to tilt both sashes inwards for cleaning makes maintenance a breeze with double hung windows.
  • Aesthetic: If you prefer a classic look that complements traditional architectural styles, double hung windows are a great choice.
  • Size: Double hung windows are typically wider than other types of windows. Ensure that they will fit appropriately in your space before choosing them.

In summary, double hung windows offer a winning combination of beauty and practicality. They are versatile, easy to clean, and aesthetically pleasing, making them a preferred choice for many homeowners. Their unique design allows for customizable ventilation and a classic look that complements many architectural styles.

If you’d like more information or guidance on whether double hung windows are the right fit for your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts would be delighted to help you make the best decision for your specific needs.