Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By James Trent

Perhaps you have heard about sash window refurbishment but do not really know what it is. You may know what they are but not how the work, or are supposed to work. Maybe you wish yours worked better, but are not aware of how they should work, or how they can be fixed.

These have been around for a long time, probably since at least 1658. They were quite common in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian style houses in England. The double version with both a top and bottom movable panel were popular the United States, but have become less so with the advent of air conditioning. Now many windows are designed not to open at all.

These ingenious devices were actually superior in that they have a bottom panel which can be opened by raising and a top panel which opens by lowering. This arrangement allows hotter air, which will rise to the top of a room near the ceiling, to vent out the top opening creating a slight vacuum in the room. As this happens, cooler, fresh air from outside will be gently sucked in through the bottom opening. This air, being cooler will tend to stay in the bottom of the room where the people are.

Thus we have a naturally operating system of air circulation, saving electricity and wear on the forced air system. That system can be reserved for very hot days or parts of days. In this way maintenance work and system replacement can be delayed and minimized.

Many people are justifiably concerned about outdoors air quality. They may not know that indoor air quality in an average home can be seven times worse than the outside air quality. The reason for this is simple. The construction materials used in the home, paneling, carpeting, drywall, and paint contain numerous toxic chemicals like formaldehyde which constantly out gas into the air. Furniture materials, pesticides, chemicals used for household cleaning, so called air fresheners, perfumed body care products and scented candles further degrade air quality.

This is especially hazardous in newer homes. During the first two years of a home's life a large part of these chemicals are depleted and filtered out of the building by means of the occupant's lungs and bodies. Likewise, while small amounts of toxic chemicals may not have a noticeable effect on health, the cumulative effect can be devastating.

Some toxins never are expelled from the body and the toxic load can build to a point where the body is simply unable to cope any longer. Mysterious, chronic health issues may start to show up. These might not ever be associated with toxic air at home.

While the toxic levels might not be significant individually, the cumulative effect on the inhabitant's health may be major. Tightly sealed buildings and recirculation of toxic air can result in dangerous buildups of unhealthy air. Air conditioning will not do anything to remove these chemical from the home. On the other hand sash window refurbishment can make them work as intended and help create a healthy home environment.

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