Double Hung Windows
Double hung windows have been marketed for many years and their basic function has not changed. Both halves of the window move up or down within the frame; in other words, the bottom portion can be raised and the upper section can be lowered. Double hung windows are very common in older homes, but in recent years they have become a popular choice as replacement units and for new residential builds. They fit into any decorating scheme from historic to traditional to contemporary.
The Advantages of Having Double Hung Windows
In general, windows should last at least 20-25 years, if not longer. High quality construction can ensure that double hung windows will be working smoothly for at least two decades or more. The design itself is the main benefit from a space-saving standpoint. By comparison, the area around an opened hinged, or casement, window must remain clear. If the springs, counterweights, or friction system in a double hung window is damaged, it is a routine repair, although some repainting will be necessary afterward for wood construction. Many window materials, including vinyl, require no maintenance and never need painting.
Modern Double Hung Windows
Tilt-out upper and lower sashes (the part of the window that holds the glass) are the best features of modern versions of double hung windows. Some models offer the tilting option for the upper section only. This is a great advance for ease of cleaning; plus, it is more convenient to inspect weatherproofing strips and to repair caulking when needed. Some manufacturers also offer windows with removable sashes.
Double Hung Windows Options
The choice of material includes wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass. Aluminum is the least favored choice as it is less energy efficient than other materials. There are a variety of styles as well, including multi-paned (muntin) sashes or removable grids and transom or curved frames as well as a range of stock colors. Look for warranties that provide coverage for at least ten years.
Double Hung Windows: Energy Efficient
The energy efficient rating is also important; windows will be double- or triple-paned for added insulation. Visit a showroom and test the different styles. Inspect hardware for quality; some windows are made with plastic parts, but bronze or other metals are recommended for durability. Wider windows should have double sash locks. Many manufacturers suggest custom builds and installations, especially in older homes where settling and other conditions may have affected the true square of the window space. Double hung windows require precise measurements to eliminate air and moisture leaks.