Double Hung Window Weights

Double Hung Window Weights

Double hung windows are one of the more traditional and older window styles. You need to know how your window works to understand what might be wrong if it begins to stop functioning correctly. In this article, we break down the use of a sash weight in double and single hung windows and your options should you need to replace them.

What are Window Weights?

Window weights are often made of lead and are weights that counterbalance the weight of the window sash to allow the window to move up and down smoothly. Depending on the age of your window, the system it uses will function differently. For example, in new hung windows, a modern counterbalance system is used. Old houses with old windows will utilize either a weight and pulley system inside the sash or a tape sash.

A sash is attached to lengths of cord or a chain in the pulley system, depending on the pulley's material. These pass over a pulley that is mortised into the window jamb near the top of the opening.

How Do Double Hung Window Weights Differ from Single Hung Window Weights?

The primary difference between a double hung window weight and a single hung window weight is that the double hung will have twice as many. This counteraction on both of the windows allows both of the window panels to slide. It involves more moving parts and will weigh slightly more due to one additional sliding weight. A single hung window only has one panel that moves and therefore only one window weight in each jamb.

How to Access the Window Weights

In modern windows, the materials used to construct the window weight are more durable. However, in older windows, the sash cord of the weight was often made from pure cotton. Luckily, most manufacturers anticipated replacing the cords and provided access to them via an access hatch placed in the vertical window jamb. You will find the pocket cover on the lower sash track for all single and some double hung windows. Otherwise, look on the track for the upper sash.

You should be able to pop the pocket cover off but do so carefully not to damage the window jamb or the cover. There might also be a screw that holds the cover in place. Once you take the screw out, you should be able to lift it, and it should slide right off.

Where to Buy Window Weights

Buying window weights isn't tricky, but if you have older windows that you don't want to replace yet, you will have to do some digging. For example, antique cast iron window weights can be found on eBay and sometimes on Etsy from specialized sellers.

Window sash weights are the easiest ones to find since almost every manufacturer or hardware producer will make sash weights. These are currently some of the most common weights you will find in modern double and single hung windows. If you know who manufactured your window, you should contact them first to find out whether they sell replacement window sash weights. That way, you are sure to choose the correct weights for your window.

How to Choose the Right Weight

If you can't find replacement weights meant explicitly for your window, you will need to figure out how to choose the right weight for your window sash weights. A good rule of thumb is that the weight of a typical window sash is 22 pounds and thus will need two counterweights weighing 11 pounds.

If you need a more accurate measurement for the smoothest movement of your window, the best way to calculate sash weight is to weigh the completed and glazed sash. First, you need the total weight of the wood, glass, and hardware. Then you can figure out the weight of the two counterweights. The combined weight of the two should add up to the weight of the entire sash.

Are you having trouble finding a reliable manufacturer to replace your sash window weights? Or maybe you aren't finding an easy way to figure out the weight the two weights should be. In either case, you can also fall back on the decades of experience you find in window and door experts at Brennan Corp.

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