Operable windows present an opportunity to enhance the ventilation and energy-saving performance of your commercial or residential structure. Casement and Double-Hung windows are two popular operable windows that can help you achieve these goals.

Casement windows have a sleek modern appearance and function like a door, featuring a single or multiple vertical panes (sashes) that swings outward. Most are operated by a hand crank that makes casement windows a great fit for hard-to-reach places such as counters and behind the kitchen sink.

Double-hung windows are the most common windows in the United States. They have a traditional appearance and operate by sliding the sashes up and down, allowing users to open top or bottom sections. Dividers called muntins add a traditional appearance of separate individual glass panes. 

Following are considerations when choosing between casement and double hung windows for your residential or commercial project.

Initial Cost

According to homeadvisor.com, the average cost of replacing casement windows is $250 to $750 each. Double-hung windows run approximately $300 – $800 per window to replace.

Installation and Replacement

Double-hung windows are typically easier to replace than casement windows. In many cases, double hung window sashes can be replaced without having to remove the old window frame.

Replacement old casement windows is usually a bit more difficult, requiring the removal of additional components of the old window. However, converting old double-hung windows over to new casement windows is no more difficult than installing new double-hung windows. 

Energy Savings

Except for fixed pane windows, casement windows are considered the most energy efficient window style. Casement windows are less prone to draft than double hung windows because the sash creates an air-tight seal against the window frame when closed. This also helps prevent moisture infiltration. Casement windows actually seal tighter the harder the wind blows.

Double-hung windows feature sashes that slide on a track within the window frame. While the frames and sashes are built with weatherstripping to prevent air and moisture infiltration, it cannot provide too tight of a seal that would make the sashes difficult to slide.

Security and Safety

Casement windows are considered the most secure of all operable windows due to a “hook and catch” locking system embedded into the window frame. There’s no way to open a locked casement window without breaking the glass. Double hung windows can be pried open with a crowbar. To remedy this issue many new double-hung windows lock in place when fully extended.

Poorly built double hung windows can be pried open with a crowbar. To remedy this issue many are built with double locks, as well as an additional set of ventilation latches. Ventilation latches allow the window to be open an inch or two but prevent someone on the outside from opening them further.

Casement windows open further than any other style of window for an easier exit during an emergency. Special egress hinges are available to maximize the opening when required to meet fire and building codes. Double-hung windows are a safer choice for high-traffic areas such as walkways, decks, and patios where casement sashes would swing out dangerously.

Ventilation

Casement windows can open fully while only half of a double hung window can be open, allowing casements to provide double the air volume to enter the home. Because they open away from the exterior they can be adjusted to capture airflow and funnel it into the home. Only airflow perpendicular to an open double hung window will enter the home.

Double-hung windows allow only one pane to be opened at a time. However, the safety and convenience of opening the upper sash for ventilation makes this a great choice for a child’s bedroom.

Versatility

Because they look like fixed windows when closed, casement windows are more versatile in their appearance and can be used in conjunction with many other window styles. They are also easier for the average person to operate than double-hung windows. However, screens located inside casement windows can trap bugs and take abuse from pets and children.

Because the sashes of double-hung windows move within the frame of the structure, air conditioners can be easily secured inside them. Air conditioners can be added to casement windows as well, but cost twice as much. Storm windows can also be added to double-hung windows, but not to casements.

Maintenance

Casement windows have more moving parts than double-hung windows and are therefore are more apt to require maintenance and repair. Crank threads can become stripped from improper use and frames can bend from leaving windows open in strong winds. However, the best-built windows will come with heavy-duty hardware that is covered by a lifetime warranty. 

Double-hung windows are built with counter-balance springs that hold the sashes up when raised. Larger windows are particulaly prone to “sash drift” over time, where the sash does not seat properly and drifts downward preventing a tight seal. can be dropped and are prone to “sash drift” over time, where the sash does not seat properly and drifts downward preventing a tight seal. This condition can be corrected by tightening the spring system, or replacing it. 

Conclusion

Both casement and double-hung windows have advantages to owners seeking the benefits of operable windows. With similar initial and maintenance costs, energy saving qualities, and security benefits, the choice between casement and double-hung windows comes down to owner preference and application.

Contact Us

For more information about casement or double hung windows, contact WeatherMaster Windows today!