Double Hung or Single Hung, Casements or Sliders

Do Different Home Window Styles Make any Difference?

Many people mistakenly think that the style of your home replacement window is merely a superficial choice. But window styles go well beyond their look–window styles provide a functional difference, too. Selecting the right window style can dramatically enhance the overall look of your home, both inside and out.

Like your home to be cozy on chilly winter evenings? Want your windows to open and close easily? Prefer easy cleaning and maintenance? Want a window that matches your home’s architecture? You guessed it – window styles have everything to do with those, too. Browse double hung windows and single hung windows.

Before we delve deeper, let’s start with Window Style 101. Understanding differences between the basic styles is actually much simpler than you may realize.

Choosing Between Double Hung and Single Hung Windows

Double hung and single hung windows are very similar to each other, except for one major difference.

Double hung window
Double Hung Windows - 3
Double Hung Windows
Cleaning Double Hung Windows
Double Hung Windows - 2
Double Hung Windows - 4

Double Hung

On double hung windows both sash in the window frame are operable, meaning they move up and down. The sashes on a double hung window also tilt in for easy cleaning.

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single hung window product shot
Single Hung Windows 4
Single Hung Windows 3
Exterior view of home with single hung windows
Exterior view of row of single hung windows and patio door
Two single hung windows in classic dining room

Single Hung

On single hung windows, the top sash is fixed in place and does not move or tilt in, but the bottom is operable.

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Bottom line: If you live in a dusty area, the double hung window is easier to clean. Though if the windows are going to be on the first floor, cleaning a single hung from the outside may not be an issue.

Family room with double hung windows with family gathered around coffee table

What are Slider Windows?

A slider window is a window that opens by sliding the windows panes side to side on a track in the window frame. It’s a good window style choice when the size of the window is much wider than it is high.

These windows are available in single sliders with one moveable sash, 2-lite sliders where both sash move and a 3-lite slider for large openings that has a fixed picture window in the center with operable window sliders on each end.

Slider windows in loft apartment

What are Casement, Awning, and Hopper Windows?

casement replacement window in kitchen overlooking the ocean

Casement Windows

Casement windows open with a crank handle, where the window sash swings out from your home toward the outside. The window pane is hinged on one side and swings open. Casement windows provide maximum ventilation.

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Awning Window

Awning Windows

Awning windows open from the bottom and swing upward via a crank.

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Hopper Window

Hopper Windows

Hopper windows open from the top and swing inward and are used primarily in basement applications.

To help you further integrate your chosen window style with the look of your home, these styles discussed can be customized with your choice of color for both the interior and exterior of the windows as well as the hardware. Browse custom window options here.

Single hung window exterior view with patio door

Other Considerations

Air Circulation & Infiltration

Which Windows Style Provides the Most and Least Air Flow?

Depending on the application, you may want a window that provides lots of fresh air, or a window that provides very little air infiltration. Common sense will tell you that windows with the most operational panes (or sashes) will allow for the most air flow. Casement windows, for example, are great at letting in large amounts of air, as nearly the full window can be opened.

On the other end of the spectrum, you may want windows that are very air tight and allow little to no air exchange. Most high quality windows offer fantastic window seals, so when the window is closed, air and temperature do not travel through the window.

Casement windows

But when it comes to resisting air infiltration, windows that do not open–like a picture window–are the most airtight. If you want a window the offers the best of both, a single hung window is for you. Since half the window is permanently fixed, you can open the other half to allow air in, but feel confident it’s tightly sealed when closed.

Energy efficienct windows

When you’re considering the energy-efficient qualities of various home window styles, be sure to:

NFRC energy efficient windows

1. Look for the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label on a window, which provides information on how a window performs in terms of cooling your home during the summer and heating it during the winter.

energy efficient windows

2. Compare product performance. The two most referenced energy ratings on an NFRC label are U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.

energy star energy efficient windows

3. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label – the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have developed this designation, which varies by climate, for products meeting certain energy performance criteria.

Which window is easiest to clean?

Some window styles, by nature of how they operate, are a bit easier to clean than other styles. For example, double hung windows are easier to clean than single hung windows, because both sash of the double hung window tilt inward. On single hung windows, only the bottom sash tilts in for cleaning outside surfaces. Slider windows only feature a lift out sash that can help with cleaning.

For casement windows, ditto the easy cleaning. Just crank the window all the way to its fully extended position, then reach through the opening to clean the exterior of the window.

Some slider windows allow the moveable sash to be lifted out from the inside for easy cleaning. Picture windows have no moveable sashes, so they must be cleaned from the outside.

Visit our cleaning windows and doors page for answers to more common questions.

Thinking about replacing your windows?

If you’re thinking about replacing your windows any time soon, you should do two things:

1. Start with our Guide to Buying Windows and Doors. This guide will help you understand the timing and budget expectations, along with other important decisions like picking hardware and colors and how to keep track of the windows you like.

2. Download our Window Replacement Worksheet. This worksheet will give you a rundown of everything you need to have prepared before contacting a contractor.

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