If you've recently chosen to replace some windows in your home, you're likely looking for the least expensive and most energy-efficient windows available. While single hung windows can offer you a relatively low-cost option, you may want the versatility and increased efficiency of double hung windows. When should you opt for one window type over the other? Is there anything you can do to single hung windows to make them as efficient as double hung windows? Read on to learn more about which type of replacement windows may be right for your home.
What are the differences between single hung and double hung windows?
The terms "single hung" and "double hung" refer to the number of sashes, or separate windows. Single hung windows have a single sash that overlaps the other sash -- the bottom sash can go up and down, but the top sash is stationary. Double hung windows have two independent sashes that can move in either direction and even tilt out to allow for easy cleaning. Because double hung windows have two panes of glass in each sash, they are very energy-efficient and allow almost no air or heat flow in or out of your home.
When should you choose single hung over double hung windows?
If you're operating on a fairly limited budget, single hung windows may be your best option. These windows are generally available for $175 to $350 per window (including installation), depending upon the size of the window and the typical cost for labor in your area. Although single hung windows are not quite as energy-efficient as double hung windows, if you're upgrading from old or drafty windows, you'll still notice a significant improvement in the amount you pay for electricity or gas heat each month.
There are a few things you can do to help make your single hung windows as efficient as possible. First, you may want to get thick, draft-blocking curtains for these windows in winter. These curtains can help keep any air flow or cool air that comes into contact with the inner window pane from traveling far. During summer months, you can swap these curtains for cooler, lighter ones.
If you live in an especially cold climate, you may also want to cover your windows with insulating film in the winter. This film will fully seal off any drafty areas caused by cracks in the wood surrounding your new windows. No matter how cold it gets outside, you'll be able to keep your house at a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank.
Can you mix single and double hung windows in your home?
If you like the low cost of single hung windows, but would prefer to have double hung windows in a certain room or on the upper or lower floors of your home (for ease of cleaning or to create a nice cross breeze), you should be able to mix both types of windows during your replacement. The installation cost for a double hung window is only slightly higher than a single hung window ($100 to $200 rather than $75 to $150), so once you've paid the initial up-front cost for the windows themselves, your remaining expenses shouldn't increase much.
You may want to invest in double hung windows if you live in an area with extreme outdoor temperature fluctuations or find it difficult to keep your home a comfortable temperature during certain times of the year. For homes with old heating or air conditioning systems, the more efficient double-hung windows can help these overloaded systems keep up without flagging in the blazing heat of summer or during the icy winter. Click here to investigate more.