Single Hung Windows
Single-hung windows consist of two panels: One on top that is fixed, and one below that slides up to open. Because there are fewer moving parts and less hardware, single-hung windows prevent drafts from forming, reduce the likelihood of hardware failure, and present a more streamlined look.
Although its appearance is similar to the double-hung window favored by decorators, single-hung windows cost 30 percent to 90 percent less than the double-hung counterparts. Single-hung windows are also considered appropriate for historical or period homes because they can pull off the look, while upgrading efficiency, according to the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
When cost is king, the single-hung window rules!
The cost of single-hung windows varies according to the number of panes, decorative extras like muntins or grills, and any glazing added to improve efficiency. Still, single-hung windows cost significantly less than double-hung windows with similar features. Premium-quality, double-hung windows usually run between $12 and $25 per square foot of rough opening, so window replacement in a home with 300-square-feet of window space would cost between $3,600 and $7,500 for double-hung replacement windows. If you opted for single-hung windows, your cost would drop to somewhere between $2,520 and $5,250. Popular manufacturers are CertainTeed Corporation, Maritech Windows and Pella.
Double-trouble: inefficiency and double-hung windows
More energy efficiency is lost due to air transfer through drafts, than to heat exchange through window materials, according to several government agencies including the City of Rochester, New York. Double-hung windows are far more susceptible to this transfer of air, because they are widely considered "leakier" than single-hung windows. So, single-hung windows can increase a home's efficiency, while also presenting a cost savings.
Singles barred: Areas that should never have single-hung windows
One disadvantage associated with single-hung windows is that the top panel cannot be moved, which makes cleaning the window a tough job from the inside. Not a problem on the bottom floor; you can simply go outside to clean off the grime. But on the second or third floor, they're a very bad idea! Another drawback of single-hung windows is that you have fewer options for ventilating your room--a double-hung window can be adjusted so that the opening is on the top or the bottom, while the single-hung window can only be opened from the bottom.
Where do you find single-hung windows?
There is no shortage of manufacturers and installers of single-hung windows. You can buy replacement windows online and install them yourself, if you have the expertise. Or you can choose a window contractor, who will take care of that for you. Evaluate the contractor, as well as the bid. Is the outfit licensed, bonded and insured? In good standing with its governing body? Are the products certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) or Energy Star? That's a lot of information to sort through. Get a good start to finding replacement windows by completing the form on this page. The information you seek will be provided by contractors and window vendors in your area.