The obvious difference between double hung and single hung windows is that a single has one moveable sash that opens by sliding up or down a track while the other sash remains fixed in place, whereas on a double hung window, both sashes are moveable. Although this difference may seem slight, both designs possess their own advantages and disadvantages. The contrast between the two can affect the amount and quality of ventilation that the window allows, the decorative possibilities presented by their shape and design of the frames, the level of insulation provided, as well as safety and security aspects of the design. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief breakdown of each in order to help you decide which one best suits your NYC home.
Ventilation and insulation
When it comes to ventilation, the basic concept of hot air rising and cold air sinking is worth bearing in mind. Warm air will escape your home nearer to the ceiling, while cooler air will leave closer to the floor. A double hung window provides better circulation, by allowing openings at both levels, since you aren’t restricted to opening either the bottom or top sash at any given time. A double hung window also allows for greater control of airflow by providing the option of opening the top, bottom or both windows at the same time. On the other hand, a greater number of moveable parts in a double hung window as opposed to a single creates the risk of reduced insulation. This risk can be eliminated, however, by using substantial, quality weatherstripping and trusted window brands.
Both single hung and double hung options are extremely versatile when it comes to aesthetic, both being compatible with most architectural themes and styles. Different colors, pane layout and materials provide a wide range of aesthetic options for each. The one major difference here is that single hung windows allow for an ornate shape, such as a semi-circle or arch, to be incorporated into the top sash. This does not mean that decorative fixed panels cannot be added above double hung windows, but if you’re going for a single, solid pane of glass, a single hung is necessary. Other than this, once closed there is very little visual difference between the two styles.
Safety and security
From a safety perspective an open window that is above the reach of a small child is far safer. This makes a double hung window a great option for allowing in air while remaining inaccessible to little ones and pets. By the same token, a double hung window open at the top and locked from the inside provides ventilation while posing as a deterrent to a would-be intruder. Either design is compatible with burglar proofing methods, however, and these should be employed if necessary. Both designs also allow for safe and controlled opening and closing, preventing possibility of injury through slamming, making them potentially safer than casement windows. Regular maintenance and repair will prevent failure of the mechanisms involved in this.