casement windows

Casement Windows vs Double Hung: Which is Best?

Choosing the right windows for your home is a crucial decision. After all, windows are more than just an aesthetic feature. They impact your home’s energy efficiency, security, and overall comfort. Two popular types of windows are double-hung and casement windows. This guide will delve into the key differences, benefits, and costs associated with each window style, helping you make the best decision for your home.

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What is a Double Hung Window?

Double-hung windows are a classic window style and a popular choice that has been a staple in homes for centuries. They consist of two sashes – an upper sash and a lower sash – that slide vertically within the window frame. The ability to open both sashes simultaneously allows for improved ventilation, as cooler air can enter through the bottom sash while warmer air escapes from the top.

What is a Casement Window?

Casement windows, on the other hand, feature a single sash that’s hinged on one side and swings outward, much like a door. They’re typically operated using a crank mechanism, which makes them an excellent choice for hard-to-reach areas like over a kitchen sink. When fully opened, casement windows provide superior ventilation, as they can catch passing breezes and direct them into the home.

Key Differences and Benefits

​There are a few key differences between double-hung and casement windows. Each type has it’s own unique benefits and drawbacks making them both a great choice for many homes. We will dive deeper into the key differences below.

Ventilation and Energy Efficiency

When it comes to ventilation, casement windows have the edge. Their design allows them to catch and channel fresh air into your home which is an important consideration when choosing a replacement window. However, double-hung windows offer the unique advantage of controlling airflow by adjusting the upper and lower sashes.

In terms of energy efficiency, both windows can be excellent choices, provided they’re well-constructed and properly installed. However, casement windows typically provide a tighter seal when closed, reducing air leaks and potentially saving on energy costs.

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Maintenance and Cleaning

Double-hung windows, especially models with tilt-in sashes, are easier to clean from inside your home – a significant advantage for windows located on higher floors. Casement windows, in contrast, often require exterior cleaning, which may be more challenging.

Aesthetics and View

The right windows can enhance your home’s aesthetics. Double-hung windows offer a traditional look that suits many architectural styles, particularly colonial and Victorian homes. Casement windows, with their sleek and unobstructed glass area, provide a more modern look and offer an uninterrupted view of the outdoors.

Cost Comparison: Double Hung vs Casement Windows

The cost of both double-hung and casement windows can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the windows, the material of the window frame, and the specific manufacturer.

On average, double-hung windows tend to be slightly more affordable than casement windows. You might expect to pay between $300 and $800 per double-hung window, including installation. The cost of casement windows, on the other hand, typically range from $400 to $1,000. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and actual costs can vary.

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Choosing between standard casement windows and double-hung windows comes down to your personal preferences, your home’s architectural style, and your specific needs in terms of ventilation, view, and maintenance. Both styles have their advantages, so consider what’s most important to you in a window. Regardless of your choice, investing in high-quality, energy-efficient windows can enhance your home’s comfort, aesthetics, and value.

Potential Drawbacks of Casement vs Double Hung Windows

While both casement and double-hung windows offer several advantages, they each come with their own set of potential drawbacks.

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Casement Windows

One limitation of casement windows is their dependency on the crank mechanism. This part can wear out over time and may need to be replaced. Furthermore, because casement windows swing outwards, they might not be the best choice for homes with limited outdoor space or those close to pedestrian traffic. Also, while they offer an unobstructed view, they typically can’t accommodate window air conditioners or screens due to their design.

Double Hung Windows

Double-hung windows, on the other hand, can pose a challenge when it comes to insulation. The middle of the window, where the two sashes meet, can become a hotspot for air leaks as casement windows have a slightly tighter seal. This could potentially increase energy bills if not properly addressed. Furthermore, cleaning the exterior of double-hung windows, especially those on higher floors, can be challenging if the sashes don’t tilt in.

Longevity and Energy Efficiency

Casement and double-hung windows both have comparable lifespans when properly maintained. On average, you can expect both styles of windows to last between 15 and 25 years. However, the exact lifespan can be influenced by factors such as the quality of the window, the material of the frame, and the local climate.

In terms of energy efficiency, casement windows generally outperform double-hung windows  and may be a better option for some homeowners. The reason is that casement windows close more tightly against the frame and are less prone to air leaks. This can translate into savings on your energy bills over time, making casement replacement windows a potentially more energy-efficient choice.

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Installation Process of Double Hung and Casement Windows

The installation process of double-hung windows and casement windows varies slightly, but they usually involve these steps:

Double Hung Windows

  1. Removing the Old Window: The first step is to carefully remove the existing window and ensure that the opening is clean and free of debris.
  2. Measurements: Before inserting the new window, make sure the opening is accurately measured. The new window should fit perfectly into this space.
  3. Inserting the New Window: Next, the new double-hung window is carefully placed into the opening. It’s critical to ensure that the window is level.
  4. Securing the Window: Once it’s confirmed that the window is level, it’s secured into place using screws.
  5. Insulating: Finally, gaps around the window frame are insulated to prevent air leaks.

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Casement Windows

The installation process of casement windows is similar to that of double-hung windows, but with a few differences:

  1. Hinge Placement: The placement of the hinges is a critical step in casement window installation. These windows are hinged at the side and swing outwards, so correct hinge placement is crucial.
  2. Ensuring Smooth Operation: The casement window should open and close smoothly after installation. If it doesn’t, adjustments may need to be made.

History and Development of Double Hung and Casement Windows

Double-hung windows have a rich history, dating back to the 17th century in England. They became popular due to their symmetrical design and the ventilation options they offered. Over time, enhancements in technology have made these windows more energy-efficient and easier to clean and maintain.

Casement windows also have a long history, being commonly found in medieval Europe. They were often installed in hard-to-reach places because they could be opened and closed with a crank mechanism. Today, they’re appreciated for their full, unobstructed view and excellent ventilation capabilities.

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Common Brands and Models of Casement and Double-Hung Windows

Several brands have become household names in the window manufacturing industry. Here are a few:

Casement Windows

  • Andersen Windows: The Andersen 400 Series Casement Window offers excellent energy efficiency and a wide range of color and design options.
  • Pella: Pella’s Architect Series offers high-quality casement windows known for their durability and elegant design.

Double Hung Windows

  • Milgard: The Milgard Tuscany Series offers double-hung windows with a SmartTouch lock for improved security.
  • Simonton: Simonton’s Reflections 5500 Series provides double-hung windows with various customization options and impressive energy efficiency.

Remember, when choosing a window type or brand, consider your specific needs, the architectural style of your home, and your budget.

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Understanding the Functionality of Casement and Double-Hung Windows

When selecting the right windows for your home, understanding how they function is crucial. Each window type has unique operational characteristics that affect not just their appearance, but also their practicality and effectiveness in ventilation and security.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are hinged on one side and swing outward like a door when a handle or crank is turned. This design allows for full top-to-bottom ventilation, as the entire window can open, unlike double-hung windows. Because they open fully, casement windows can catch side breezes. Because they seal tightly when shut, they provide excellent thermal performance.

From a security standpoint, casement windows are a good choice. The design of the window, with the lock system integrated into the window frame, makes it harder to break into. The hook-shaped casement locks are embedded within the frame, providing an added level of security.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have two operable sashes that move up and down allowing for ventilation on the top, bottom, or both. Traditionally, the sashes slide vertically past each other in a single frame. With both the top and bottom sashes operable, they offer more flexibility in ventilation.

As for security, most double-hung windows have two locking mechanisms, one for each sash. This makes them quite secure, and additional locks can be added for extra security. However, older models without these features might be less secure, so upgrades or replacements might be necessary for enhanced safety.

Both casement and double-hung windows offer excellent functionality, ventilation, and security. Your choice between the two often comes down to personal preference, your home’s architectural style, and specific needs for each room.

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Making the Right Choice: Casement or Double Hung?

The decision between casement and double-hung windows should be guided by your specific needs, aesthetic preferences, and budget. Consider the architectural style of your home, your need for ventilation and an unobstructed view, the location of the window, and your tolerance for maintenance. If energy efficiency is a top priority, casement windows might be the better choice. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable window replacement that offers a classic look and is easy to clean, double-hung windows could be your best bet.

Remember, the quality of installation is just as important as the style of window you choose. Poor installation can negate the benefits of an energy-efficient window, leading to higher energy costs and a shorter window lifespan. So, always ensure you’re working with a reputable window installer to get the most out of your investment.

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Maintaining Double Hung and Casement Windows

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and energy efficiency of both double-hung and casement windows. Here are some tips for keeping your windows in top shape:

Double Hung Windows

  1. Clean the window tracks regularly to prevent dirt and debris buildup, which can affect the smooth operation of the sashes.
  2. Inspect and replace weatherstripping as needed to minimize air leaks and maintain energy efficiency.
  3. Lubricate the sash balances to ensure the smooth operation of the window.
  4. Check the locking mechanism for proper alignment and tighten screws as needed.
  5. Clean the glass using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.

Casement Windows

  1. Clean the window tracks and hinges regularly to ensure smooth operation and prevent rust.
  2. Inspect and replace weatherstripping as needed to maintain a tight seal when the window is closed.
  3. Lubricate the crank mechanism and hinges with a silicone spray or light oil to ensure easy operation.
  4. Check the locking mechanism for proper alignment and tighten screws as needed.
  5. Clean the glass using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.

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Potential Energy Savings

Both double-hung and casement windows can offer energy savings when properly maintained and installed with energy-efficient features, such as double or triple glazing, low-E coatings, and argon gas filling.

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Double Hung Windows

The potential energy savings of double-hung windows depend on factors such as the window’s energy performance rating, the quality of the installation, and the local climate. In general, energy-efficient double-hung windows can help reduce heating and cooling costs by minimizing heat transfer and air leaks.

Casement Windows

Casement windows tend to offer better energy savings due to their tighter seal against the frame. In wet climates, they can also help prevent water intrusion, which can lead to damage and energy loss. When properly maintained, replacement casement windows can offer significant energy savings by reducing drafts and heat transfer.

Easy Cleaning Tips for Double Hung and Casement Windows

Maintaining clean lines and clear glass is essential for the aesthetics and efficiency of your windows. Here are some easy cleaning tips for both double-hung and casement windows:

  1. For double-hung windows with tilt-in sashes, simply unlock and tilt the sashes inwards to clean the exterior glass from inside your home.
  2. For casement windows, you can usually clean the exterior glass by opening the window fully and accessing it from the side.
  3. Use a squeegee or a soft cloth with a non-abrasive cleaner to clean the glass without leaving streaks.
  4. Don’t forget to clean the window frames, tracks, and sills to prevent dirt and debris buildup.

By following these maintenance and cleaning tips, you can help ensure the longevity, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal of your double-hung and casement windows.

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