What is a double-hung window, and is it right for your home?

Soft-Lite Pro Double-Hung Window in Soft-White

Double-Hung Windows History

A double-hung window is one of the most popular replacement window styles chosen by homeowners. Some of the oldest sash windows are dated as far back as 1670 in England. Double hungs have the Georgian and Victorian-style house look — the style most people think about with replacement windows. The term “hung sash window” is most common in the United States, referring to “double-hung windows.”

Double-Hung Windows Facts

  • The double hung has two operating sashes — movable parts that slide vertically up and down, held in place by a window frame.
  • The sashes tiltin for easy cleaning.
  • Double-hung windows offer the ability to open both sashes, allowing good air flow.
  • Double hungs are usually made of wood, vinyl, aluminum or and composite. The most energy-efficient and maintenance-free choices are vinyl windows and composite windows.
  • Some of the most important considerations that add value to double-hung windows are: if they incorporate Low–E glass and achieve low U-value ratings; whether they are ENERGY STAR certified (energystar.gov); what type of air infiltration and Design Pressure (DP) ratings they achieve; and whether they are Gold Labeled by AAMA (www.aamanet.org).
  • Double-strength glass, triple-pane glass, and laminated glass are all features that will help with sound transmission – keeping exterior noises out of your home.
  • Additional features to look for are: high-performance glass systems with Super Spacer or Stainless Steel Intercept; reinforced meeting rails; air and water barriers built into the sill design; and sleek-looking locks. Double-hung windows also come with half and full screen options.
  • Double hungs are available for both replacement window and new construction window applications — with nailing fins and J-channel for siding, brick and stone installations.
  • Impact windows are available in the double hung window style for areas that require hurricane windows.
  • Overall, vinyl double-hung windows have the ability to retain their beauty, continue to offer thermal efficiency benefits, and last generations with minimal maintenance.
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5 Comments

  • We have an old folk Victorian house whose windows we’ll need to replace, and I’m dead set on getting double-hung ones. I first heard about them when I read about how a woman hung Christmas wreaths in every window by attaching a ribbon to the top sash and I’ve wanted some ever since. I also do like the fact that they allow you to have double the amount of air coming in. How difficult is it to get custom double hungs, and do they generally have to be a certain size or larger? We have some oddly sized windows in our house.

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  • I like that you point out that vinyl double-hung windows are able to last generations with minimal maintenance. I can see why this be really nice so that you don’t have to plan on replacing them every couple years. My wife and I just moved into our house and are planning on replacing the windows. I’ll have to mention this to her and see what she thinks.

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