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Double Hung Windows

Since they don't hang, and there aren't two windows in every opening, the name probably isn't too helpful for envisioning what these windows look like or do. Double-hung windows consist of two panels, each taking up half of the depth the whole window fills. Each panel slides on a separate track, so that both panels can be positioned in either the upper half, or the lower half of the opening. These windows can also be hung horizontally, though this installation is not common.

Convenience and control: the advantages of double-hung windows

Unlike single-hung windows, which have only one panel that opens, double-hung windows allow you to direct the flow of air into a room. Bring the outdoors inside without disturbing paperwork in the home office, creating a fire hazard in the kitchen, or causing a chilly draft near a bathroom.

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In addition to greater versatility, double-hung windows are easier to clean than their single-hung counterparts. Single-hung windows require cleaning from the outside, which probably requires a professional, if you have multiple stories or live in an urban high-rise. Double-hung windows are often designed for easy cleaning. Look for windows with features called "wash assist" or "wash tilt," which allow you to easily and safely access both sides of each panel from the inside of your home.

Higher cost with more options

Double-hung windows typically cost at least 30 percent more than similar, single-hung windows. Double-glazed, double-hung windows usually range in price from $8 per square foot of opening to $25 for per square foot for premium-quality windows. That's between $2,400 and $7,500 for 300-square-feet of window coverage, excluding the cost of installation.

Because double-hung replacement windows are so popular, they can be found at numerous price points and through many manufacturers. For value-priced options, Alside Windows and Milgard are popular; on the higher end, Andersen and LBL are well regarded.

Double-hung windows are widely considered by builders and government agencies to leak more and be less efficient than single-hung windows. This is because heat transfer is more likely to occur from drafts created by leakage around the window, than by heat coming through the glass itself. You can minimize the loss of energy by doing the following:

  • hiring a window installation professional
  • adding "super spacers," which provide a foam seal between the glass
  • inserting additional panes
  • opting for energy-efficient glazing

Because they have more moving parts and are prone to leakage, installing double-hung windows is a tricky business.Unless you are a skilled professional, the best bet is to hire a window vendor or contractor.

To get more information about double-hung windows, installation, costs and features, fill out the form on this page. It's a fast, free and easy way to get answers to your questions about new windows.