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All About Window Sashes

If you’re shopping for replacement windows, you’ve probably come to realize that they are more complicated than you once thought. Manufacturers use jargon you don’t quite understand, which can lead to confusion. To help you be a more educated consumer, learn more about one of the largest components of any window: the sash.

What Is a Window Sash?

The word “sash” refers to a window pane and all the components surrounding it, whether the window opens or not. Both single- and double-hung windows have two sashes. The only difference is that both the upper and lower sashes of a double-hung window operate, while only the lower sash of a single-hung window opens. Sliding windows have two sashes, though most often, only one sash operates. For clarity, sashes are referred to as “operable sashes” and “fixed/inoperable sashes.”

Parts of a Window Sash

A window sash is comprised of several components, which you might hear window manufacturers and installers talk about. Here some terms you should recognize:

  • Rails and stiles: The border surrounding a window pane can be made of vinyl, fiberglass, wood, or aluminum. The material typically matches whatever the window frame is made of. The top and bottom horizontal edges are called rails, and the left and right vertical edges are stiles.
  • Sash lock: This is a piece of hardware that latches the window closed for security purposes. Casement and awning windows lock against the frame. Sliding windows lock at the meeting stile. Single- and double-hung windows lock at the meeting rail.
  • Sash pulls: The operable sash of a sliding window has indentations, handles, or raised areas on the left and right vertical stiles to make opening the window easy.
  • Tilt sash release: Modern double-hung windows often feature a tilt-in design. The tilt sash release engages this function so you can clean the window from inside your home.
  • Glazing: This is simply another word for “glass.” A single-, double-, or triple-glazed window has one, two, or three layers of glass. Usually, more glazing indicates a higher efficiency rating.
  • Muntins: These are the thin grilles that divide a window pane into smaller segments, purely for aesthetic reasons. Don’t confuse muntins with mullions, which are thick components that separate adjoining windows from one another.
  • Gas in-fill: Double- and triple-pane windows sometimes include a gas in-fill to increase their insulating ability. Argon and krypton are common gas in-fills, both of which are completely safe and inert.
  • Gaskets: Modern glazing is sealed into the framework with gaskets, which are made of rubber of thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). Gaskets improve efficiency, keep double- and triple-glazed windows a set distance apart, and prevent windows from rattling.

Weather Shield Sash Replacement Kits

Sometimes, you don’t need a whole new window – sometimes, replacing the sash is enough to breathe new life into your older home. Sash kits come in standard and custom sizes to fit perfectly into your existing window frame, saving you money compared to a total window replacement.

At Quality Window & Door, we install Weather Shield sash replacement kits in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. This is a viable option if your sashes are damaged, but the window frame is in pristine condition. Thanks to incredible efficiency and durability features from Weather Shield sash kits, you can expect a high-performing window just by replacing the sash.

If you think you might be eligible for a sash replacement kit, please contact Quality Window & Door to learn more. We provide installation estimates and on-site consultations to offer our professional opinion about the condition of your existing window frames.

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