What is a Window Sash?

What is a Window Sash?

The window sash is more than just an aesthetic touch on your home. It plays an important part in your window’s functionality and architecture.

Staying knowledgeable on the components of your home’s windows – like the window sash – will help keep you aware of when your windows are in need of attention or replacement.

To understand the role the window sash plays, we’ve outlined the basics below.

What is a Window Sash?

So, what exactly is a window sash? The part of your window that fits inside of the window frame is called the window sash. It is the part that moves up and down and holds the glass panes in place, contributing to the overall stability of the window.

It works as a kind of pulley system. On a single-hung window, you will have a single sash that moves and one that does not. A double-hung window on the other hand, you will have two sashes that are both moveable.

The sash also works as a locking system for the window. Keep in mind there could be more than one operable window sash, depending on the type of windows you have in your home.

Why is a Window Sash Important?

The window sash plays a vital role in the overall operation of your window. It aids in the opening and closing of the window and a sash that is not working properly is typically easy to identify.

For example, you know something is not operating properly if the window suddenly becomes more difficult to open or close. This could indicate an alignment issue, among other things. The window sash is also important because it typically provides a locking system that adds a level of security to the home.

How Does a Window Sash Work?

The window typically is designed with two window sashes suspended by a cord. A sash that is working properly should slide seamlessly up and down using a weight and pulley mechanism located inside the frame. This allows for each of the frames to open and close separately from each other.

Window Sash Materials

Your home’s window sashes can be made of varying materials, the most common being wood, aluminum, and vinyl. The material that is chosen should depend on the appearance you prefer, the maintenance needed, the durability of the material, the cost, and the energy efficiency. Note which of these are most important to you prior to making a decision.

  • Wood: Many builders still opt for wood, as it is the most versatile material for window frames and sashes. Wood typically needs to be stained or painted for a finished look. Wood is a more natural option but can be costly.
  • Aluminum: The most budget-friendly material for a window sash is aluminum. It is a highly durable material that is designed to not split, crack, or warp over time. This is good to keep in mind to help minimize any long term maintenance on the windows.
  • Vinyl: This material is not only strong and durable, but energy efficient. Vinyl also does not require the staining or painting of other sash materials and is the least likely to crack, peel or warp over time.

When Should I Replace a Window Sash?

If you are noticing an issue with the functionality of the opening and closing of the window, it may be time to replace the sash. If you see water from a leak or any sort of airflow entering the home, this could indicate the window is not sealed or closed properly. This is a sash-related problem. Typically, the replacement of the entire window is not necessary. In the case of broken glass or other localized damage, you may be able to replace the sash only.

If the sash is fixed in place, or the damage extends beyond the window, you may need a professional window contractor to replace the window or perform extensive repairs.

Stay In the Know

As a homeowner, getting to know the purpose and functionality of the window sashes in your home is a great way to stay proactive in the need for maintenance or repairs. Staying in the know is the best way to do this. Should you ever have concerns or questions about your window sashes, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to schedule an appointment online.