Horizontal Sliding Windows

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Horizontal Sliding Windows
Horizontal Sliding Windows
Other Names:
Replacement Horizontal Sliding Windows; Sliders, Gliding Windows
Windows manufactured with two sashes which move horizontally within the window frame.

Horizontal sliding windows, also called gliding windows, sliders or gliders offer a maximum glass area which open horizontally on tracks. The windows lift out easily for cleaning. Horizontal sliding windows glide open and closed horizontally as opposed to a hinged window which opens inward or outward or a vertical operating window in which the sashes slide up and down. Replacement horizontal sliding windows consist of two sashes which are mounted and installed on parallel rails within a window frame. Horizontal sliding windows offer versatility of size, shape, number of sashes within a frame, framing alternatives and glazing options. These windows provide unobstructed, expansive views and are one of the more moderately-priced operational windows on the market.


[edit] Considerations

Replacement horizontal sliding windows can be installed in wall openings which are next to walkways. They do not project outward, making them a suitable window which will not impede the flow of traffic. They are good window alternatives for hard-to-access areas because homeowners find it easy to operate and clean these windows. They don't require any type of physical effort to push them open as single hung and double hung windows often demand. Homeowners sometimes find that opening a single hung or double hung window requires exertion to push them upward to open, especially if there is a piece of furniture below the window which impedes accessibility.

The contemporary look of replacement horizontal sliding windows makes them an appropriate window choice for both contemporary and traditional home styles.

[edit] Placement

Replacement horizontal sliding windows are an appropriate replacement window solution for living rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, home offices and open spaces such as porches and conservatories. Horizontal sliding windows may also be used as an egress exit window if the opening is large enough to meet local codes. Sliding windows are installed in loft and attic rooms.

Generally, horizontal sliding windows are placed higher on walls, particularly in homes where children are present.

[edit] Sizes and Shapes

Replacement horizontal sliding windows are available in square shapes and rectangles, both wide rectangles and long rectangles. The horizontal rectangles are a more common sliding window alternative but large window openings may feature vertical-oriented sliding windows to provide a panoramic view. Sliding windows are often installed to provide a contemporary appearance, in which case tall, narrow sliding windows are used.

Replacement horizontal sliding window sizes may range from smaller sliders of 40 inches wide or tall to the largest sliding windows which are available in sizes of up to four feet wide or tall.

[edit] Benefits

Replacement horizontal sliding windows do not require any type of counterbalancing or locking to stay open, so there is no need for bulky framing.

Cleaning horizontal sliding windows involves built-in tilt or lift out options which allows for complete cleaning access.

Horizontal sliding windows are made with relatively few components, ensuring that the window can remain maintenance-free for many years.

Horizontal sliding windows are a good replacement window choice for almost any home design. They fit in with a variety of architectural styles. They are easy to operate, making them a good window option for homes with elderly individuals or young children.

[edit] Types of Horizontal Sliding Windows

Replacement horizontal sliding windows are available in a variety of combinations. Horizontal sliding windows may be produced with two-sashes -- one fixed sash and one opening sash -- which is the most common horizontal sliding window alternative.

An additional replacement horizontal sliding window option may include a slider with three-sashes -- a fixed window in the middle and movable sashes which slide along the sides of the fixed sash -- or four sashes in which two sashes are fixed and two glide.

[edit] Framing Materials

When choosing a replacement horizontal sliding window a homeowner will want to select the most durable and energy efficient framing material in order to ensure that the window will provide a cost-efficient window alternative. The window's purchase price is one consideration but as better horizontal sliding windows become available, homeowners are increasingly aware that a modest savings during the initial purchase of the window can end up costing two, three or four times that amount in added maintenance and energy costs over the lifetime of the window.

Replacement horizontal sliding window are rated with a U-Rating, an industry standard which judges the thermal insulating capability of a window. The U-Rating is based on the window's ability to withstand the weather's elements and provide thermal insulation. The U-Rating is determined by the National Fenestration Rating Council which judges the energy performance for windows which are sold worldwide. The U-Rating is accepted by governments and manufacturers throughout the world. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that windows that have a U-Rating of 30 or under can save a homeowner between 7 and 15 percent annually in reduced energy costs.

Tax rebates, both on a local and national level, provide financial assistance to homeowners who want to buy well-insulated replacement horizontal sliding windows. These incentives offer an additional cost reduction over the energy savings. The United States Department of Energy estimates that low U-Rated windows allow homeowners to recoup the added cost of an energy efficient replacement sash window's purchase through saved energy costs within four years of purchase.

The framing material is a major factor in a replacement horizontal sliding window's durability and energy efficiency and is a central aspect of a window's U-Rating. Replacement horizontal sliding windows which are produced with a quality framing materials have better insulation which will prevent leakage and heat transfer and will keep energy costs low.

Framing materials for replacement horizontal sliding windows include vinyl, fiberglass, wood/wood clad, composite and aluminum.

[edit] Vinyl

Vinyl windows are a sturdy and durable replacement horizontal sliding window alternative. They are a relatively inexpensive, energy efficient window alternative. Vinyl windows with heat-welded joints offer superior resistance to temperature stress over mechanically joined frames because the heat-welded joints stiffen the frames. Vinyl windows are maintenance free though a homeowner may paint the window if he chooses. Vinyl frames do not corrode.

[edit] Fiberglass

Fiberglass replacement horizontal sliding window framing material offers good value for the expenditure. Fiberglass windows are a more expensive framing material but are known for being strong and durable with no incidences of cracking, warping or corroding due to weather elements. Fiberglass frames do not expand or contract with weather extremes -- actions which can cause stress on the sash's seals and panes. Fiberglass windows do not require maintenance but can be painted if so desired.

[edit] Aluminum

Aluminum replacement horizontal sliding windows are a popular window choice because they are less expensive than other window options. They are durable and long-lasting. Due to the fact that aluminum conducts cold and heat it has been, in the past, a poor thermal insulator. Modern aluminum replacement horizontal sliding windows have thermal breaks which separate the interior and exterior surfaces of the sash, improving its energy efficiency. Aluminum frames resist deterioration because the baked-on or anodized finishes protect the frame. Aluminum replacement horizontal sliding windows compliment a variety of architectural designs.

[edit] Wood/Wood Clad Windows

Many homeowners appreciate the look of wood windows which compliment both traditional and contemporary home designs. While wood frames are an excellent insulator for replacement horizontal sliding windows they require yearly maintenance, in the form of painting or varnishing, to prevent rot and warping. The need for annual maintenance can deter potential buyers. An option which offers the attractive look of a wood interior frame together with a weather resistant exterior is aluminum clad horizontal sliding windows. Aluminum cladding is applied to the window frame's exterior to increase thermal resistance and provide protection for the window from the weather's elements. In addition, the option of aluminum cladding offers an elegant wood interior frame in conjunction with a protective exterior.

[edit] Composite

Composite sash windows are a new window framing option in which the frame utilizes a composite material created from plastic resins and chemically-bonded blends of wood. One of the most popular composite window materials involves recycled plastic blended with wood chips. Composite replacement horizontal sliding windows are a new addition to the window market so there is no long-term study of the windows' durability but increasing numbers of homeowners report positive experiences with the composite frames which do not corrode, deteriorate or require maintenance.

[edit] Glazing

The glazing options for a replacement horizontal sliding window will compliment the framing material and produce a horizontal sliding window which features good thermal insulation. Proper glazing of a replacement horizontal sliding window creates an energy-efficient window which blocks heat transfer and other weather elements.

Glazing options also include different textures, colors, cleaning options and window strengths.

[edit] Strengthened Glass

Glass for replacement horizontal sliding windows is available as laminated or tempered glazing. These safety glass alternatives can prevent burglaries while offering an additional safety measure which to protect young children from being hurt if they crash into a window. The decision to use safety glass in a replacement horizontal sliding window is dependent on the window's location.

[edit] Self-Cleaning Glass

Homeowners who position a replacement horizontal sliding window in a hard-to-reach area may wish to order a self-cleaning window. A self-cleaning window allows water and cleaning materials to roll off the window, automatically cleaning it. Replacement horizontal sliding windows which are installed in lofts and gables can benefit from a self-cleaning option.

[edit] Glass Colors and Patterns

Replacement horizontal sliding windows may be ordered with clouded or tinted glass including patterned glass or bronze, blue or brown glass panels. A homeowner may want to consider such privacy glass for a basement bedroom window or a bathroom window. Patterned or textured glass is available in a wide range of designs.

[edit] Multi-Panes

Multi-pane replacement horizontal sliding windows are available with double or triple panes of glass. The air between the glass panes acts as an insulator. Specific window manufacturers offer the option to insulate the gap between the panes with an insulating gas such as argon or krypton gas. Multi-pane windows increase resistance to heat transfer and enhance the level of thermal insulation of the replacement sash window. Industry observers suggest that homeowners who are renovating in an extreme climate consider a triple-pane window.

[edit] Low E

The Low-E (low-emissivity) coating is applied to a replacement horizontal sliding window while the window is still in the factory. It is offered by many window manufacturers who recommend the option for sun-facing windows. Low-E is an invisible microscopically thin metallic coating which suppresses the sun's radiative heat flow, thus reducing the window's U-Rating. As it blocks a portion of radiant heat transfer it lowers the total heat flow that enters a room. The Low-E coating can also help protect furnishings in a sun-facing room from experiencing fading due to the sun's rays. Homeowners can choose the level of Low-E coating for a replacement horizontal sliding window which meets their home's needs, depending on the climate in which they live. Low-E coating options include Low-E coating for a low solar gain, Low-E for a moderate solar gain or Low-E for a high solar gain.

[edit] Accessories

Available accessories for replacement horizontal sliding windows include screens, grilles and hardware.

[edit] Screens

All replacement horizontal sliding windows include screens as part of the window order. The screen is installed on the outside of the operating pane of the replacement horizontal sliding window. The screen clips onto the outside of the window frame and is easily removed for cleaning purposes.

[edit] Grilles

There are a variety of grille designs which compliment replacement horizontal sliding windows. These grilles may be custom-ordered to fit inside the two panes of a multi-pane window or as clip-on grilles which clip in and out of the sash. Frame options include colonial, diamond, classic, cathedral, cottage, prairie, trellis, checked, Victorian and traditional. Clip-on grilles may be removed for cleaning purposes.

[edit] Hardware

Standard hardware for replacement horizontal sliding windows includes locks and handles. Hardware comes as a standard hard plastic but homeowners may request an upgrade to bronze or brass hardware if they wish.

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