With all the window styles available on the market, homeowners can have a difficult time deciding what’s best for their home. When it comes to taller window openings, the two styles of operable windows to choose from are Double Hung Windows and Casement Windows. In this article, we’ll review the two styles and show you how they compare against each other in a few different categories.
Category 1: How They Open
Double-hung windows have two vertically sliding sashes, meaning both the top and bottom can open up and down. This style is probably the most classic design of all windows, and it’s easy to use. The tilt wash feature where you can clean the outside of the window from inside your home is particularly popular. Casement windows open outward like a door on the hinges on the side of the window, using a cranking mechanism. They also allow you to clean the outside of the window from inside when you crank them open fully. The downside to this style is the risk of bending the hinges slightly out of shape because of strong breezes or the weight of very large window sashes.
Conclusion: Double-hung windows probably have more advantages in this category because they don’t require space outside the window to open and close, and there’s generally a lower risk of operation mechanism damage.
Category 2: The View Outdoors
Any window without grilles (grids on or between the glass) will give you an open view of the outdoors, but one downside to double-hung windows is the check rail (the horizontal bar) in the center of the window that is often at eye level when you’re sitting down. It’s not a huge obstruction, but if you prefer a picture look for your windows, the check rail may not make double-hung windows your favorite style. Casement windows have the advantage of no bars in the middle of the window, so you can easily achieve that beautiful, open picture-frame look with this style. The added benefit to the look is the fact that these windows still open and close, thus adhering to window egress code.
Conclusion: If you prefer a totally unobstructed view, then casement windows would be the best option for you.
Category 3: Tight Seal
Everyone knows that windows and doors are the places in the house that experience the most heat and cold transfer, which drives up your energy bill. Increased energy efficiency is usually one of the main reasons homeowners replace their old windows, so choosing the ones that will perform the best is a very important factor in the decision-making process. Because there’s no track to slide up and down on, casement windows can get a tighter seal when cranked shut and locked than double-hung windows can. A tighter seal means a slightly higher energy efficiency rating.
Conclusion: Casement windows perform slightly better than double-hung windows in terms of energy savings because of their tighter seal. For windows facing west or south on San Antonio homes, this factor is really important to consider.
Category 4: Ventilation
Double-hung windows have the advantage over single hung windows of the top sash being able to slide up and down as well as the bottom sash. This allows a nice breeze inside without the hassle of blowing papers off tables, etc. Casement windows also have great ventilation, because when the window is open, all that surface area acts like a sail on a sailboat, catching the wind and directing it inside the house. Of course, too much wind on too large a window is a double-edged sword, because it can eventually whip and twist the window out of shape on its hinges.
Conclusion: Both windows afford good ventilation inside. The casement windows will typically provide better ventilation than double-hung windows, but double-hung windows are not at risk of twisting out of shape. An exterior designer would be able to help you assess and decide which style would be best based on the size and location of the window.