Single Hung Windows

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Single Hung Windows
Block Glass Windows
Other Names:
Single Hung Replacement Windows
Windows manufactured with two sashes, the bottom of which can move vertically.

Single hung windows are manufactured with an offset lower sash which moves vertically within the frame. The top sash is a fixed sash and does not move. Many people choose to include replacement single hung windows in a bedroom, kitchen, living room or dining room. The elongated window is an appropriate window option for large window openings and compliments many home designs.

Single hung replacement windows are a standard replacement option for home construction remodeling projects. Single hung windows offer the same look as a double hung window but are available at a lower cost. Single hung windows feature two window panes, the bottom of which can be raised to provide an opening of one-half the total surface area of the window frame. The internal mechanism of the single hung window permits the lower pane to be easily raised and lowered. Some single hung windows may allow air leakage so homeowners should carefully review the framing options and energy efficiency ratings of a replacement single hung window before making the purchase.


[edit] Operation

Single hung windows consist of two sashes. The upper sash is fixed while the lower sash can be moved vertically within the window frame to allow for ventilation. The lower sash of some single hung windows tilt inwards, allowing the homeowner to clean the outside of the window while standing inside the house.

[edit] Styles and Placement

Single hung replacement windows are attractive window alternatives which are suitable to almost any area of the house. Single hung windows are featured in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, porches and home offices. Single hung windows may be installed in large window openings as a single unit. They can also be placed in either the center of a three- or four-window bay or bow window or as side windows which frame the center fixed windows. A single hung window may be placed above or below hinged windows such as an awning or hopper windows. Some architectural designs include a row of three or four single hung windows which are installed side by side. Atrium single hung windows feature opening tilt-in bottom sashes to facilitate cleaning.

[edit] Considerations

Homeowners frequently select replacement single hung windows when they're remodeling a home and want to find a window alternative that increases the amount of ventilation and light that enters a room or compliment a specific architectural style. The single hung windows operate easily which is an additional benefit of the single hung replacement window.

Single hung windows are suitable for installation in almost any area of the house. They are a less expensive window alternative than double hung windows in which both sashes move within the window frame -- estimates are that a single hung window is 30% less expensive than a double hung window.

A particular frustration of single hung windows is the difficulty in cleaning the windows. If the window is located on street level and it is possible to access the outside of the window from the exterior of the house, there is no problem. However, if the window is not readily accessible from the outside it is difficult to thoroughly clean both panes. Some manufacturers offer single hung windows with a tilt-in mechanism in which the bottom sash can tilt in for cleaning purposes, but it is still awkward to access the upper sash. Self-cleaning panes may be specially ordered which can alleviate the problem.

[edit] Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of windows are judged by their U-Rating. The U-Rating is an assessment of the window's capacity for thermal insulation as denoted by the National Fenestration Rating Council. U-Ratings are accepted as an industry standard by window manufacturers as well as by governmental bodies, including the United States Department of Energy. The U-Rating assesses a window's ability to withstand weather elements, reduce heat transfer and provide thermal insulation. When purchasing a replacement single hung window homeowners should look for a window that carries a U-Rating of 30 or less.

[edit] Framing

There is a selection of different types of framing materials available for replacement single hung windows. Some of these framing materials, including vinyl and aluminum, offer a less expensive window option but provide a lower level of insulation which increases energy expenditures.

More expensive alternatives such as composite materials, aluminum clad wood frames or fiberglass replacement single hung windows allow the homeowner to recoup the additional cost involved in the window's purchase price through savings on future energy expenditures. In addition, government rebates and tax credits are frequently available at both the national and state level to help offset the initial costs of better-insulated windows. The United States Department of Energy notes that homeowners can recoup the additional cost of a well-insulated window within 4 years, due to savings in energy costs.

[edit] Vinyl

Vinyl frames present a durable and stable window frame which can save homeowners significant sums on the initial purchase of the window. Vinyl frames cannot be painted but do not require maintenance. When purchasing a vinyl frame replacement single hung window a homeowner should check to ensure that the window features heat-welded joints. These joints offer superior resistance to temperature stresses.

[edit] Fiberglass

Replacement single-hung fiberglass windows frames offer good value for the most costly expenditure. They are durable and strong. Weather conditions do not cause fiberglass frames to warp, crack or corrode. A concern with window framing materials is the possibility that the frame will expand or contract and cause stress on the window seals and panes. This does not occur with fiberglass frames. Fiberglass frames may be painted, though no maintenance is necessary.

[edit] Aluminum

Aluminum is an inexpensive, sturdy and durable replacement single-hung window frame which is protected by an anodized or baked-on finish. Aluminum frames don't deteriorate and compliment a variety of architectural designs and styles. Some homeowners may shy away from aluminum frames because aluminum is a known conductor for cold, making it a poor thermal insulator. Modern aluminum frames include thermal breaks which separate the interior and exterior surfaces of the frame to improve energy efficiency.

[edit] Wood and Wood Clad Windows

Wood window frames are an attractive single hung window replacement option. The wood frames feature a warm and attractive interior for both traditional and contemporary home designs. Wood frames are a good insulating material but they require yearly exterior maintenance to prevent rotting and warping. Wood clad single hung windows are a relatively new window option in which a treated aluminum or vinyl cladding protects the outside of the window from decay. The clad windows require no further maintenance and offer a durable window alternative.

[edit] Composite

Composite single-hung window frames are a new type of framing material on the market. Composite windows are manufactured using a chemically-bonded blend of wood chips and recycled plastics. Long-term studies are not available for this new type of window frame but owners note that the windows are durable and provide good insulation. Composite windows do not require painting or other maintenance and do not corrode or deteriorate.

[edit] Glazing

Glazing alternatives can create a better insulated replacement single hung window resulting in a low U-Rating. Energy efficient glazing options increase the thermal insulation of a window and ensure that the window will offer the best resistance to heat transfer. The United States Department of Energy advises homeowners to purchase Energy Star replacement windows which can save a homeowner between seven and fourteen percent in energy costs over the window's lifetime.

In addition to insulated glazing options, single hung replacement windows are also available with safety glass, self-cleaning class options and patterned or tinted glass.

[edit] Strengthened Glass

Homeowners who are looking for a safer glazing option can order their single-hung replacement window with strengthened glass. This glass is laminated or tempered and can help to prevent break-ins or reduce potential injury from flying glass during severe weather or if a child crashes into the window. Safety glass is popular among homeowners who install replacement single hung windows on the ground floor or on a higher floor where the window is close to floor level.

[edit] Glass Patterns and Colors

Glazing for single hung windows may include tinted or clouded privacy glass. These colors and patterns increase privacy, specifically in a ground-floor window such as a bathroom or bedroom single. Color options include gray, blue or bronze. Patterns include both contemporary and traditional patterns and clouded designs.

[edit] Self-Cleaning

Homeowners can order self-cleaning glass for their single hung replacement window. The self-cleaning glass provides a solution to the difficult-to-access top sash of a single hung window.

[edit] Multi-Panes

Double or triple panes offer added thermal insulation to a replacement single hung window and increase the window's energy efficiency. The air which is caught in between the window panes acts as an insulator and prevents temperature transfers. Some window manufacturers insulate the gap between the window panes with an insulating gas, such as argon or krypton gas, which provides further insulation. Industry observers suggest that homeowners who live in extreme climates install triple pane windows to attain added energy savings.

[edit] Low E

Low-emissivity (Low-E) coating has become an increasingly accepted method of adding extra insulation to window panes. Low-E coating, an invisible metallic coating, is applied to the window panes while they are still under construction in the factory. The Low-E reduces a window's U-factor by suppressing the sun's radiative heat flow. Low-E blocks a portion of the radiant heat transfer, thus lowering the total heat flow that enters the house through the window. Different levels of Low-E coatings offer different levels of protection -- these include Low E coatings for low solar gain, moderate solar gain and high solar gain.

[edit] Accessories

Available accessories for replacement single hung windows include screens, grilles and hardware.

[edit] Grilles

Grilles for replacement single hung windows include the option to order a window with a grille which has been factory-installed between two panes of a multi-pane single hung replacement window. A second, less expensive option is to order a grille which clips into the outer frame of the window sash. Homeowners can order a variety of grille patterns for single hung windows including colonial, diamond, spoked and sunburst designs.

[edit] Hardware

Operating hardware for replacement single-hung windows includes handles and locks. The hardware comes as a standard part of the order as hard plastic hardware items. A homeowner may request to special order the hardware in brass or bronze.

[edit] Screens

Screens for a replacement single-hung window include a screen which covers the operating half of the window. Screens clip into the window sash and can be easily removed for cleaning.

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