T One of the most common problems and often the most confusing aspect is window balances. With this guide, we’re going to introduce you to some of the more common types of window hardware manufacturer balances, explain how they function and give a brief overview of how to replace them.
WHAT IS A WINDOW BALANCE?
A window balance (sometimes called a sash balance, window spring, or window "balancer") is a somewhat hidden window component sitting inside the window frame. Window balances are only found in double-hung or single windows and counterbalance the weight of the sash assisting you with opening and closing your windows. Window balances are found in both residential and commercial windows. There are many different styles, types, and sizes of window balances, so finding the correct replacement can be tricky and at times frustrating.
BLOCK AND TACKLE WINDOW BALANCES
Currently one of the most common window balances, block and tackle window balance systems includes a combination of two or more pulleys, a cord, and a spring. The pulleys are grouped as the “block” to reduce the load the homeowner feels. In addition, as the cord (or “tackle”) is pulled by the movement of the sash it stretches or compresses the springs, which are weighted to match the sash weight. The pulleys and springs assist with opening and closing the window.
SPIRAL WINDOW BALANCES
Another very common window balance is spiral window balances. Spiral window balances aid in opening windows, as well as holding windows open by utilizing a spiral-shaped rod within a tube. This rod connects to a spring, which is what provides the tension for supporting the sash. The tension is adjusted by being wound (using a spiral balance tensioning tool) to match the sash it is supporting. Spiral balances are one of the simplest types of balances to find replacements for. All you need is the length of the metal tube, color of the coupling on the end, and whether your window is tilt on non-tilt (sideload). If you don't know your coupling color, you will need to weigh your sash. The weight corresponds to a coupling color. You can find more information about spiral balances such how to measure spiral balances, how to install spiral balances and more by checking out our blog.
COIL SPRING WINDOW BALANCE
Coil spring window balances are a type of constant force window balance. These balances work by using stainless steel, coiled spring as a counterbalance. This type of balance system is designed to be more durable and quieter than other balance systems. There are several parts to a coil spring balance system: the coil, the balance spring cover, the balance drum, and the pivot lock shoe. To find replacements for your balances it is best if we have pictures of your current balance system along with your sash weight.
CROSSBOW / INVERTED BLOCK TACKLE WINDOW BALANCE
Crossbow balances are an older style tilt window balance that are no longer made. These types are functionally similar to inverted block and tackle balances. They are so similar that we convert all of our customers to inverted block and tackle window balances.
To be converted out of a crossbow balance and into an inverted block and tackle balance we need the following information:
1) The whole sash height
2) The glass height
3) The weight of your sash. To get an accurate weight you will need to remove the sash and weigh it using a bathroom scale or something similar.
4) The width of the plastic T shaped piece. It'll either be 15/16" or 1-1/4"
Inverted block and tackle balances function similar to standard block and tackle balances except that the string comes out of the top of the balance instead of the bottom. These tilt balances work in conjunction with a T-lock shoe to allow your window to tilt inwards. If you need to replace your inverted block and tackle window balance just take a look at your stamp, the length of the metal channel, and the weight of your sash to find the correct replacement.
CLOCK SPRING WINDOW BALANCE
Clock Spring window balances are an older style window balance, often found in older wood windows. This type of balances is similar to the previously mentioned coil spring balances in that they use a coiled metal spring to counter balance the weight of the sash.
As a professional window hardware manufacturer,we accept all kinds of window hardware orders, welcome to consult.