Double Hung Vs. Casement Windows: How to Decide?
On a windy day, do you hear whistling through your windows? During cold days, do you feel a constant draft around your windows? Does it seem that your utility bills have increasingly gotten more expensive over the last couple years? If you answered yes to all these questions, it may be time to replace your windows. When you begin researching windows, you will find there are a multitude of different styles and types of windows. The two most common window styles, however, are casement and double hung windows.
In the content to follow, I will cover just a few of the details of both styles of windows in hopes it will help make deciding a bit easier! The window style of your home is not only a reflection of your personal taste and style but also help add to the curb appeal of your home!
What’s your style of Home?
Do you have a more modern looking home with clean-linear lines, neutral colors and an overall more simplistic look? If so, casement windows may be the better style of window for you. Casement windows are hinged on one side, have generally one large windowpane, and are cranked open by some sort of hardware on the inside. Due to the one large windowpane and the more sleek-simplistic look, casement windows are usually a great style of window for homes that don’t want to take away from that sleek, clean line look (modern or contemporary). Keep in mind, that when installing casement windows on your home, they require space outside the window to open and close. This may impact anything you are wanting to do outside those windows, such as furniture on a patio or landscaping.
Is your home more of a cape cod, colonial or country style home? If so, a double hung window may be a great feature of your style of home. Double hung windows have two sashes (frame of glass). On a double hung window, both the bottom sash, and top sash move up and down on a tracking system built into the side of the windows. Due to the two sashes on this window, the frame for the sash will appear in the center of your view where they stack. Please note, there are single hung windows in which the bottom sash is the only part of the window that open and closes but for the sake of this conversation we are focusing on the double hungs. The framing featured on a double hung window adds a more quaint, classic, homey style to your home. Double hung windows do not require any space outside the window to open and close and generally have a lower risk of operation mechanism damage.
Is Energy Efficiency important to you?
When buying products for your home, are you considering the return on investment? Do you find yourself thinking of the sustainable thing to do? These are important questions to consider when reviewing windows. Everyone knows that windows and doors are the places in the house that experience the most heat and cold transfer, which can drive up your utility bill.
Because there is no tracking system to slide up and down, a casement window can get a tighter seal when cranked shut and locked than double hung windows. This tighter seal means a slightly higher energy efficiency rating. With the tracking system that is built into double hung windows, there are multiple locations around the frame of the window that air can leak. If the energy efficiency is key for you, consider this information when selecting your next window style!
What’s the view?
Are you a nature lover? Do you love natural light or unobstructed views? Windows are the viewport to the outside world from inside your home. Any window without a grille (grids on or between the glass) will give you an open view outside. The one downside to double hung windows is the check rail (the horizontal bar where the windows stack) in the center of the window that is often at eye level when sitting. It’s not a huge obstruction to your view, but if you prefer a complete unobstructed view, a double hung window may not be the way to go.
Casement windows have the advantage of no bars/frame in the middle of the window, so its easy to achieve a beautiful, open picture-frame look outside. This is one added benefit to the casement window – a picture frame view and the ability to open and close for ventilation.
How much air flow?
There is nothing quite like opening your house during the early days of spring or fall to get fresh air in your home. A nice breeze is nature’s natural fan! Here are a few points about how casement and double hung ventilate.
Double hung windows have the advantage that the top and bottom sashes both move up and down for opening which allows a nice breeze inside without the hassle of blowing papers off tables.
Casement windows also allow for great ventilation because the window is cranked open. The surface area of the casement window acts like a sail on a sailboat, catching the wind and directing it inside your home. Naturally, too much wind on too large a window is a double-edged sword. It can eventually whip and twist the window out of shape on its hinges like the effects of a heavy wind on a sail!
Both windows offer good ventilation to your home. Some good things to consider, which can be reviewed with an exterior design consultant, would be the direction your home is facing, cross ventilation opportunities and the size and location of the windows.