Considered the most popular window style today, double hung windows grace many residential properties – from the traditional to the modern. These windows feature two vertical sashes that can be moved up and down, which (by dint of its design) offers a host of advantages for homeowners, among them:
Double hung windows are designed to admit as much fresh air into a room as possible, often improving ventilation by as much as 50% over fixed windows. What’s more, the sashes – once moved – stay fixed, so they aren’t affected by changes in wind direction. Cross-ventilation is also made possible by opening only one part of the window. When both parts are open, though, expect cool air to enter from the bottom, and warm air to exit from the top.
Natural ventilation may be further enhanced if your double hung windows are either situated higher up a wall or are taller, i.e., bigger than the standard sizes available.
Safety and Flexibility
Since they come with locking mechanisms and their sashes can be operated individually, double hung windows present less risk to children playing near them. And because they can be made to project inward, they’re an ideal window choice for any installations needed along walkways and near patios. Another added benefit of double hung windows is that they can easily accommodate air conditioners and screens.
Enhanced Curb Appeal
Double hung windows are available in various materials to match your home’s architectural style. You can also choose from a diverse color palette to achieve the look that you want.
However, double hung windows may not be exactly what you think they are – and thankfully so. Let’s take a quick look to debunk some common misconceptions that continue to dissuade not a few homeowners from choosing this window style for their homes.
#1. Double hung windows easily rot.
Much of what makes up this myth is outdated thinking; people mistakenly believe that all double hung windows are still made of wood. In our experience, choosing the right material can make all the difference. Windows made from composite framing materials such as Fibrex, for instance, are impervious to physical defects and highly resistant to rot and decay.
#2. Double hung windows are boring.
Since their operation is pretty straightforward, you may think there is nothing more to double hung windows than that which meets the eye. But no – contrary to popular thinking – double hung windows often have features that build on their design. Some models, in fact, are built to serve as specific accents, while others have especially engineered coating to make them stand out. Strategic positioning is also possible; placing double hung windows beside transom doors, for instance, creates the illusion of extended space. Some models feature decorative casings. What you can do with double hung windows to improve your home’s aesthetic value is limited only by your own creativity.
#3. Double hung windows are hard to maintain.
Don’t let the tilting mechanisms on some double hung windows fool you into thinking these windows are all sorts of complicated. The mechanisms make things easier, not harder, for homeowners. For example, you can find double hung windows that come with a tilt-wash feature for easy cleaning.
#4. Double hung windows are not very energy efficient.
With new technologies in the windows industry, the double hung windows of today are more energy efficient. Specially engineered and patented composite frames such as Fibrex, for instance, are now better at dealing with contraction and expansion from temperature changes, while multiple glazing limits unwanted heat and solar gain – among other things – through the windows.
Capitalizing on the benefits offered by double hung windows starts and ends with proper installation. The right contractor can help you map the placement of the windows to suit your home’s orientation and design. He can also help ensure that you make the most of your investment by following best practices during installation and by providing you with comprehensive warranties.
Rob McGrath is Renewal by Andersen of SNE’s Proximity Marketing Director, and it’s a role he takes seriously. As someone who understands the value of hard work, Rob makes sure homeowners are rewarded for the trust they invest in contractors through high-quality workmanship. Check out his blog posts on the company’s website.