Sash balances are commonly used with double-hung windows as counterweights instead of weights and pulleys. Some balances have tape or cable with clock-type springs, which coil and uncoil as the sash is raised and lowered. Another type employs torsion springs with one end fixed to the side jamb of the window and the other arranged to turn as the sash goes up or down. The turning device in this type of balance may be a slide working in a rotatable spiral tube, or it may be a slotted bushing attached to the free end of the spring and fitted around a vertical rod attached to the sash. This rod (Fig. 11.83) is a flat piece of metal twisted into a spiral shape. The up-and-down movement of the sash causes the slotted bushing to revolve on its spiral sliding rod, thus winding and unwinding the spring. Still another type utilizes a vertical tension spring of the ordinary coil variety. One end of the spring is fixed and the other is fastened to the sash; the spring stretches or compresses in a vertical direction as the sash is moved up or down.
Some sash balances combine weather-stripping with the balances. Others have friction devices to hold the sash in the desired position.
One patented type of sash balance known as the Unique sash balance incorporates a clever counterbalancing feature by making a change in the degree of pitch of the spiral rod from top to bottom, thereby controlling the increase and decrease of spring tension (Fig. 11.83). The pitch varies from 30 to 80. As the spring turns, the changing spring tension is automatically compensated for by the variable pitch of the spiral rod sliding through the slotted bushing on the end of the spring. Thus the tension is equalized at every point of operation. This automatically prevents the sash from creeping or dropping of its own accord, without the necessity of introducing friction devices that interfere with easy operation.
Two sash balances are used per sash (one on each side) or four balances per double-hung window.
Other window hardware locks, sash pulls, sash weights, and pulleys are simple items, supplied as standard items with specific windows.