There are so many different window styles on the market, and many homeowners struggle finding the right ones for their home. Windows are a reflection of the homeowner’s personal taste, but also impact the overall comfort and feel of the home. It is an important decision, and choices can be confusing. To help narrow down the options, here is a head-to-head comparison of two operable styles that fit taller openings—double hung and casement windows.
What are Double Hung Windows?
These are one of the most classic window designs on the market. They feature two sashes that move vertically up and down inside the frame. They are easy to use because of the spring-loaded balance system.
What are Casement Windows?
These windows hinge to one side and open outward to a ninety-degree angle, on a cranking mechanism. Because they open like a door homeowners have to account for the extra space of the outswing around walkways, decks, and patios.
Comparing Benefits of Double Hung and Casement Windows
Here are a few key points of comparison for these different window styles:
Both windows come in the same material options including aluminum, vinyl, wood, and fiberglass. Choosing the right material will impact durability, longevity, and energy efficiency of the window.
Because double hung windows have two sashes there will always be mullions, or a heavy horizontal divider obscuring a portion of the view outside. Casement windows do not require mullions or muntins for structural support, and thus offer an unobstructed view of the outside. And because both styles are often taller than they are wide, they are great for capitalizing on natural light.
Even fully open, double hung windows only allow half of the opening to be unobstructed at a time. That said, double hung windows can open at both the top and the bottom to create natural airflow. Homeowners can also hold window-mounted air conditioning units. Casement windows open fully and can catch sideling winds that blow along exterior walls. But they cannot house window-mounted air conditioners.
Double hung windows feature screens on the outside of the frame. Casement windows have screens on the inside of the frame. This doesn’t make a significant difference in operation, but it can impact aesthetics.
Double hung windows feature major breaks between sashes. And while weather stripping can help tighten the seals, these window styles are more prone to air leaks and moisture infiltration. Casement windows tend to seal more tightly against the frame when closed and locked, especially if the window blows against them from the outside.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Double hung windows that feature tilt-in technology are very easy to clean. Homeowners can reach both the interior and exterior surfaces of the glass from inside the home. This eliminates the need for climbing out on rickety ladders to clean second story windows. Homeowners can also clean most casement windows from the inside, but if the sash is too wide, the task proves more difficult.
The price for both double hung and casement windows varies depending on size, material, and glazing technologies. That said, on average the cost for double hung and casement windows are very similar.