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Casement vs. Double-Hung: Energy Efficiency, Cost, and Features

Large four pane window overlooking a colorful fall forest

Sure, the windows in your home provide an aesthetic and functional purpose. But depending on the type you have; they can also help reduce your overall energy cost and add value to your home. In this article we’re going to compare the energy efficiency, cost and features of both casement windows (the ones with cranks) and conventional double-hung windows.

Both types of windows are designed for energy efficiency, and each have specific benefits depending on where the window is located in your home. However, there are several factors—including your budget—that can dictate which one is best for you.

What Is a Casement Window?

A casement window has a small crank that opens the window at its side, either left or right. In contrast, a double-hung window is opened vertically by lifting the framed windowpane.

Casement windows are especially popular in high or harder-to-reach spots like behind a kitchen sink because of how easy they are to open and shut. While it typically takes two hands to open a double-hung window, a casement window can be easily opened with one hand using the crank.

Are Casement Windows Energy Efficient?

Casement windows have strong seals on all four sides of the window frame. Their design makes them one of the best high-efficiency window options—especially if you choose one of the more recent models.

Additionally, if you want to cool down your house on a breezy day, casement windows are ideal for ventilation because the window acts like a sail and directs those nice breezes into your home. This means you can run the air conditioner less frequently and save energy costs.

So, if you’re looking to replace your windows with something that’s more energy-efficient, it’s a good idea to start with casement windows. Our Glass Doctor® experts recommend choosing energy-efficient low-e glass for optimal performance.

Low-e stands for low-emissivity. This is a glass treatment comprised of a microscopically thin layer of metallic oxides. Although a low-e coating can change the color of the glass slightly, you will still benefit from everything low-e glass has to offer without obstructing your view of the exterior.

Remember, complete energy efficiency in your home goes beyond just your windows. Reach out to our fellow Neighborly® home service brand Aire Serv® to learn more about how you can make your home’s heating and cooling systems more energy efficient throughout the year.

Casement vs. Double-Hung Energy Efficiency

All modern windows are designed with energy efficiency in mind, but casement windows are more energy efficient than double-hung windows.

Casement window seals are stronger because they don’t need a track to slide on. The fit of the double-hung window track needs to be loose enough to allow it to easily open and close. Because of this, there’s more opportunity for air to find its way in or out of your home, to the detriment of your monthly utility costs.

To improve the energy efficiency of double-hung windows, many homeowners install weather stripping to improve the seal and make it tighter.

Casement Windows vs. Double-Hung Cost

Because casement windows are more energy efficient, you can expect to pay more for casement windows than you would for double-hung windows. Some top-of-the-line casement windows can cost as much as two times that of a double-hung window. The main reason for the extra cost is the more complex mechanics of the casement window.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may opt to go with less expensive double-hung windows. You can make your double-hung windows more efficient by installing weather sealing and window film that will help reduce heat transfer during warmer months.

Pros and Cons of Casement Windows vs. Double-Hung Windows

In addition to cost and energy efficiency, there are a handful of other pros and cons of each style of window:

Aesthetics

Casement windows are generally more contemporary-looking. The seamless design provides clean lines and an unobstructed view through the whole pane. Double-hung windows have a more traditional look. If you like the look of large windows, with no lines obstructing your view, then casement windows are the better choice.

Safety

Because of the strong seal and the crank on the interior, casement windows offer better security. Of course, any window’s glass can be broken by an intruder, but braking glass is more likely to attract attention. Double-hung windows have a latch that is secure on newer windows but is susceptible to breaking.

Ease of Use As mentioned, casement windows are much easier to open, thanks to the crank. Unfortunately, the crank is often one of the first mechanical pieces on the window to fail. When this happens on older windows, it can be difficult to find replacement parts. Double-hung windows may open and close easily at first, but over the years, they may become more difficult to open if not maintained properly.

Durability

When it comes to durability, double-hung windows usually win out when compared to casement windows, especially casement windows that are made of wood. Casement windows tend to weather faster than double-hung because they’re exposed to the elements when fully opened. In general, both casement and double pane windows constructed of aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass are durable and should last for many years to come.

How to Increase the Efficiency of My Windows

Compared to your old windows new windows are much more energy efficient. If your budget doesn’t include a window upgrade or complete replacement, then there are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your current windows.

  • Keep any windows you don’t want opened locked and sealed.

  • Purchase heavy drapes to help reduce the loss of cool or warm air through your windows.

  • Adding weather stripping to double-hung window can also minimize air leaks through window frame.

  • Window film can also help keep the interior of your home cooler during hot summer months, which will help lower air conditioning costs. Tinted windows cool things off by reducing the amount of UV rays that enter your home.

The Final Word

Although there are many ways to reduce energy cost, your windows are front and center when it comes to energy savings. And although choosing the style and functionality of your windows is important, who you choose to install them is even more important. Whether you decide on casement or double pane windows and whether you’re replacing just a few, or all of your windows, your local professionals at Glass Doctor have the experience and expertise to get the job done right. Contact us at (833) 974-0209 or request an estimate online.

And if you’re looking for some other ways to reduce energy cost, reach out to our fellow Neighborly home service brand, Mr. Handyman, to learn about how you they can help you improve your attic insulation.