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Sliding vs Hung Windows: Which is Right For You?

Sliding or hung, which is better? We often hear homeowners ask about which style of opening window is best for their home. Which is more energy efficient? Which is quieter? Which one lets in more light? In this blog we end the sliding window vs hung window confusion.

Different window styles

But before we do, let’s take a look at the three main types of windows styles you can get for your home.

Sliding window – Sash (or multiple sashes) slides open to the left or the right

Casement – Standard crank windows which have rotating crank handle

Hung window – Windows with panels that slide upwards and downwards; panels may even open into a horizontal position


Why are sliding and hung windows so popular? Vertically and horizontally sliding windows are highly regarded for their ease of operation and the large opening they can create. Double sliding panels mean the window can be opened from either end. If the window has a tilting panel, the window lets in a lot more natural airflow. Tilting windows are also easier to clean, making them ideal for higher floors.

What is a slider window?

A sliding window (also called a ‘slider’) has two or more glass panels that can slide. Single sliders have one fixed sash and one moveable sash; double sliders have sashes that both slide independently. A double slider has a couple of major advantages: first, the window can be opened at either end; second, especially for larger windows, two sliding panels improve ventilation.

Since a sliding window is installed horizontally, a home may require civil modification to accept a frame that is wider than it is tall. Horizontal sliders are also good for hard-to-reach spots, for compact spaces and if you want to maximize the view outside.

What is a hung window (and double-hung)?

Think of hung (and double-hung) windows as vertical slider. The concept is the same: a single hung window has one moving panel while a double-hung window as two independently moving panels. A single hung window can only be opened from the top or the bottom, while a double-hung can be opened at either end.

Regardless of the configuration, the window can come with tilting panels. These pivot along the centre of the panel and make cleaning the window much easier. Once the panels are tilted, they also open up the home to a lot more ventilation.

Hung windows look great in areas that open out to patios, decks or walkways. Avoid them at heights as opening the upper sash will be very difficult.

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Can a single hung window be installed as a slider?

We have heard this question frequently and it can mean two things: can I install a hung window in place of a slider; or whether you can install a hung window horizontally instead.

For the first question, the answer is “Yes”. A single or double hug window can be installed, but the wall and window opening will have to be modified. This may require structural work on the property but is not an uncommon conversion. The opposite is true too: sliders can be installed in place of hung windows though the window opening will need to be widened.

For the second question the answer is “No”. A sliding window and hung window may look to be the same but they are designed very differently. Just consider how a hung window holds its position when it partially open; that friction will make it extremely impractical to use horizontally.

Which direction should sliding windows open?

Open to the right or slide to the left? It really depends on your space and the type of sliding window.  A double slider can be opened in either direction but the sashes will be locked on only their respective sides. The question is more aimed at single sliders, then.

Stand in front of your window (before you get new ones) and simulate opening and closing it. However seems more convenient or less obstructed, that’s the direction you want your windows opening.


The little things make all the difference to a window or door replacement project. It’s why our installers work so hard to get the details right, like the configuration of the window, the handles and the finishing touches. When you call The Window Experts you know you will get the best service in Toronto and the GTA.


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