Energy Efficiency: Double-Hung vs. Casement Windows

If you’ve made the smart move to replace your windows, you’re already well aware that you’ll get a boost to your curb appeal while increasing the value and functionality of your home. After all, window replacement has one of the highest returns on investment of any home improvement project.

But which type of window is best for your purposes? If you’re looking to save money on heating and cooling bills, your window choice is important: according to the US Department of Energy, 25%-30% of home energy usage is lost through windows. While replacing your old single-pane windows will assuredly knock that number lower, some windows are more efficient than others.

Enter our two competitors: Double-hung windows and casement windows. In a head-to-head competition, which is going to save you the most money every month on your home heating and cooling costs?

 

Round One: Ventilation

You know that glorious moment between seasons when it’s not quite time for A/C and you don’t really need to turn on the heat? The longer that season lasts, the better. It may sound simple, but opening a window is one of the most energy-efficient choices you can make. Even the CDC recommends airing out your home regularly.

And when it comes to ventilation, our winner is…casement windows. When you turn the crank to open your casement window, it swings outward, allowing you to funnel the breezes right into your home. If you have a room with multiple casement windows, you can get an excellent cross-ventilation effect.

That said, it’s a close competition. If your room features double-hung windows you can still get fresh air, especially if your home has ceiling fans. Opening a double-hung window from the top and turning on a fan is an excellent way to freshen your home’s air.

Round Two: Seals

When it comes to closing up nice and tight, casement windows take the prize for energy efficiency. Casement windows seal on all four sides tightly against their frame. When they are cranked shut, you can feel the airtight seal locking into place. It’s also easier to close and seal them — a simple crank vs. hoisting your windows open and closed.

While you may not feel that extra little tightening when you close a double-hung window, you can still maximize your energy efficiency by locking your windows. Make sure your sashes are kept free of dirt and debris to get the best seal possible.

Round Three: Glass

When looking at the energy efficiency of your new windows, don’t forget to factor in the glass. Choosing to invest in double- or triple-paned glass will lower your monthly energy bills and keep your family comfortable no matter what the weather.

In our window face-off battle, this round is a draw. Both of our competitors come with the option for double or triple-pane glass. If you combine multiple panes with a Low-E coating, you are looking at a very savvy long-term investment in your home’s energy efficiency.

Round Four: Wild Card

Though you may care about energy efficiency, that’s not the only reason to pick one window over another. A casement window or double-hung window may just make more sense in one room, whether because of aesthetics or ease of use.

For example, a double-hung window installed over the kitchen sink may be difficult to open and close in a bent-over position. On the other hand, since casement windows open outwards, they may not be the best choice if they open onto a deck or walkway and obstruct the space.

What about cleaning? Both styles of windows have features that make them easy to clean, and the maintenance is minimal.

And the winner is…

The winner of the energy efficiency face-off (drumroll, please) is casement windows. Their ability to help you ventilate your home on mild days, and the tight seal they provide on the days you can’t, make them a clear winner.

But it’s important to note that any home window replacement project is going to increase your energy efficiency. A brand-new double-hung window is sure to be more efficient than a worn-out older model. You’ll walk away a winner no matter which way you choose.

If you are ready to daydream in a bit more detail, take a look at our Home Improvement Visualizer tool. You can upload pictures of your home and see for yourself which options work best.

Request a free Window Nation quote today, and we’ll help you find the best combination of windows that work for your home.

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