Sash windows

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Sash windows' page

How to use them correctly

by Sara Bragg, North Laine resident

The correct use of sash windows

Last autumn we had our sash windows overhauled by a local company.  It transformed my experience of winter - during storms in the night, I no longer have to roam the house stuffing pieces of newspaper into rattling windows in order to be able to sleep.

How they work

However, now that the warm weather and possible heatwaves are coming up, it also promises to make a fundamental difference to my summer, since the two young men who run the company explained to me how sash windows are meant to work. In warm weather, opening both the top and the bottom windows, rather than just one or the other, creates a circulating draft of air that keeps a house cool and fresh. Sash window locks can be put on the frame to allow you to do this without worrying about security.

They are so cool....

This design feature of sash windows is something that I had failed to notice in 20 years of living in the house. Admittedly, until we had the work done I wouldn't have been able to act on this knowledge, since the top sashes were mostly jammed shut. However, I thought I would share it with readers who may similarly be unaware of the cooling possibilities awaiting them. And it's another reason to resist the blight of ugly and environmentally unsound UPVC windows. Their ventilation can't compete.

[Previously published in the 'North Laine Runner', No 186, May/June 2007]

This page was added on 27/02/2008.

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