The Double-Hung Windows Guide:

Everything You Need To Know About Double-Hung Windows

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How can you choose the best windows for your home? Double-hung windows can add more natural light to your home while improving its energy efficiency. They increase ventilation and are much easier to clean compared to other window styles. We’ll discuss everything you need to know to select double-hung windows for your home and answer a variety of questions about this popular window style.

What Is A Double-Hung Window?

Double-hung windows feature two sashes, with one on top of the other. When comparing double-hung windows vs. single hung windows, they’re typically narrower and in some cases, longer.  Both sashes on double-hung windows can tilt open and in most cases, the glass panes feature stylish grids that add to your home’s curb appeal.

When comparing single-hung vs double-hung windows, double-hung windows offer a better way to increase air circulation and ventilation in your space. Both sashes can be opened simultaneously, helping you to cool your home faster in the spring and summer months.

History of Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have  been a popular style in the western world for many centuries. While the first set of double-hung sash windows could be found in the U.K. prior to the 17th century, their look wasn’t the same as what we’re familiar with today. In the mid 18th century, sash windows — both single and double-hung — began popping up on homes throughout the U.S.

As glass styles evolved, window sashes became thicker and more reliable. As such, the styles of these windows changed along with them. While double-hung window styles have continually adapted to suit modern design over the years, something similar to the style we know today was originally seen in the UK during the 19th century.

Single vs. Double-Hung Windows

What is the difference between single vs. double hung windows? Both single-hung and double-hung windows have two sashes placed vertically on top of each other. While single-hung windows feature a fixed upper sash and an opening bottom sash, the primary difference between single-hung and double-hung windows is the addition of a second opening sash. Both of these sashes can be tilted inward, making them much easier to clean and allows for better, more efficient ventilation.

How Do Double-Hung Windows Work?

Double hung windows are simple to operate. Whether you’re wondering how to open double-hung windows or how to clean them, the answer lies in the locking mechanism.

  • To open your windows, turn the lock and pull down on the top sash or pull up on the bottom sash and it will slide open vertically.
  • To open the window horizontally for cleaning, turn the locking mechanism and maneuver the window toward you so it’s tilted inward.

Are Double-Hung Windows Safe?

Double-Hung windows by Thompson Creek are completely safe and secure. Our windows use pocket sills, which help to prevent intruders from breaking the glass. Most window break-ins involve an intruder coming in through the bottom or middle of the window. Thanks to the placement of our pocket sills, which are at the top and bottom of the window with interlocking meeting rails in the middle, intruders are unable to break in via typical means. Additionally, these windows feature locks to keep the sashes in place, and each sash can be removed in the event of an emergency

Benefits of Our Vinyl Double-Hung Windows

In Maryland, Northern Virginia, and throughout the areas we serve, the typical weather is cold and temperate with high levels of precipitation. This mid-Atlantic climate calls for windows that withstand excessive rain and chilly temperatures, making double-hung windows the perfect choice. Thompson Creek’s windows exceed all recommended performance numbers and on top of that, they look great. The most notable benefits of these popular windows are outlined below.


Whether the temperature is hot or the air inside your home feels a bit stale, it’s important to be able to efficiently cool or ventilate your home. With double-hung windows, you’re able to open both sashes to control the flow of air both into and out of your home. By opening the bottom sash, you enable cooler air to enter your home while opening the top helps to push warmer air outdoors.

Easy Cleaning

Cleaning double-hung windows is much easier than most other window styles. Instead of hiring professional cleaners to take care of your exterior windows or climbing on a ladder to do it from the outside of your home, you can easily wash both sides of the pane from indoors. The locking mechanism easily turns to help you tilt the glass in toward yourself so you can wipe it clean with minimal effort. We suggest you take time to clean the interior and exterior of your windows twice per year.

Energy Efficiency

Thompson Creek’s double hung windows provide you with an excellent energy-efficient option for your home. The panes are made with Low-E glass with argon gas fill, which reflects heat and helps to insulate your home. On top of that, the windows are large and allow plenty of natural light inside, helping you save on both heating and lighting costs.


Keeping your home comfortable requires good windows that allow plenty of sunlight, open wide during warm weather, and stay sealed tight during storms and cooler weather. With double-hung windows, you’ll feel comfortable and safe in your home — regardless of the weather outside.

Easy to Operate

These windows are easy to open, close and care for. Aside from cleaning — and occasionally inspecting and lubricating moving double-hung window parts — they require minimal maintenance. Additionally, they can easily accommodate air conditioners thanks to vertically opening sashes.

Aesthetically Pleasing

When you select windows for your home, appearance is likely one of the first considerations you’ll make. Luckily, double-hung windows aren’t just convenient, but also aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, the broad range of customization options make them look beautiful on any house.

How to Measure for Double-Hung Windows

Whether you’re adding a new window to your home or purchasing double-hung replacement windows, it’s imperative that you take accurate measurements. To do this, follow these instructions:

  1. Use a tape measure and measure horizontally the width from the inside of the jamb (the fixed frame) from one side of the window to the other at the top of the window.
  2. Repeat step one at the middle and bottom of the window and record the shortest measurement.
  3. Measure vertically from the inside of the top frame to the inside of the windowsill on the left side of the window.
  4. Repeat step three at the middle and right side of the window and again, record the shortest measurement.

All measurements should be taken from your home’s interior. Make sure that your measurements are accurate and don’t stop at the interior trim of the window still or the sash stops, which are the small locks that keep your sash in place  Measurements must be taken to the inside of the fitted frame.

Common Double-Hung Window Sizes

While window sizes vary and are customizable for your home, standard double-hung windows come in two common sizes:

  • 36″ W x 65″ H
  • 36″ W x 60″ H

How To Customize Double-Hung Windows

Thompson Creek offers a variety of customization options so you can add windows to your home that meet your needs and style preferences.

Glass Package Options

We offer several glass packages to ensure your home is well insulated and energy-efficient. That includes double- or triple-pane glass, as well as Sound Shield glass, which filters outdoor noise. Other options include obscure glass for privacy, and tempered glass, which is stronger than standard glass.

Window Screen Options

When you purchase your new double-hung windows, you can select a half screen or a full screen. While a half screen lets more light flow through your window, the full screen enables you to more comfortably open both sashes to control airflow in your home.

Window Trim Options

We offer two trim options to help you add windows that complement your home’s style. Our Modern trim features clean lines and 90-degree angles that are well-suited to contemporary homes. The Colonial trim boasts curves and ridges that exude craftsman style, making it better for classic home styles.

Window Grid Types

Select from flat, curved, or simulated divided-lite (SDL) grids for your new windows. While flat grids tend to complement Modern trims, curved grids work best with Colonial trims with their similar contours and ridges. Both flat and curved trims are installed inside the glass. SDL grids have elements on the interior and exterior of the glass, giving the illusion of a window that’s made up of smaller glass panes.

Best Home Style for Double Hung Windows

Although this style of window is most commonly seen on traditional-style homes, that doesn’t mean double-hung windows don’t work on other homes. These windows add style, as well as convenience, to homes of all styles, types, and designs.

How Do Thompson Creek Windows Exceed the Competition?

Thompson Creek windows are designed to provide homeowners with comfort and security without detracting from curb appeal. We strive to make the best double-hung windows by putting thought and care into every detail.

Our frames feature a honeycomb extrusion structure that’s designed to maximize your window’s strength, durability, and energy efficiency while decreasing exterior noise. While many competitors use a slope sill, Thompson Creek windows feature pocket sills. By comparison, pocket sills are more secure and do a better job of preventing air and water intrusion. We further ensure your security by using interlocking sashes on our double-hung windows.

Instead of adding film or tint to your window glass, we bake it in Low-E, which is transparent to allow more light into your home while reducing ultraviolet light rays and sunlight glare. Low-E also helps make your window more energy-efficient by acting as an insulator. Glass is available in varying thicknesses, ranging from 2.33mm to as much as 5mm on Sound Shield windows.

Finally, instead of using a metal-edge spacer, which is often found in our competitor’s windows, we use a warm-edge spacer. This adds to our windows’ energy efficiency by preventing thermal conduction and reducing instances of gas leakage.

How to Buy Windows From Thompson Creek

When you’re ready to purchase Thompson Creek windows for your home, contact us today to request a free estimate. We’ll visit your home to discuss your options, go over the installation process with you, and help you select customization options that make your home look great. Our service areas include Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C, and North Carolina. Learn more today!

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