Dead simple UPVC window maintenance that'll save you heat and money...
UPVC window hinges are completely unappreciated, are cleverer than most people think and definitely forgotten about.
Looking after them with this dead simple advice will save you energy and money and keep you warmer.
These hinges have a pretty complicated job to do too, trying to close AND properly seal a window at the same time.
But boring and easy as it is to do it, they almost never get oiled.
Because they never get oiled, they get tighter and tighter and after a few years they can't do their job properly.
Hey presto, you start to get gaps in the corners where the hinges are located, and the windows get draughty.
Then, at some point you might think that you need to replace the windows when they could actually be good for many years.
A dab of oil on the hinge pivot points every few years can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is a simple practical guide on how to do that.
Doing this simple job can
fix windows that have already become tight and draughty
prevent draughts occurring because of this problem
increase window lifetime
make the windows much easier to open and close
Oiling them is dead....and I mean DEAD easy
It just takes 60 seconds on each window with a light silicone spray can oil like WD40. You can use ordinary WD40 if you have it but it will need re-doing every year. Silicone is much better.
You can do all this from inside without a ladder. You don't need to take the hinges off the window and don't need any tools.
The image below shows a typical hinge. Some hinges are a little more complicated. ALL the hinge pin points that the various metal links swing on need a quick squirt as pointed to with the arrows.
Make sure you squirt on the pivot points that are out of sight too. Even with a window open you won't see them all. Use a small mirror to see round the edge of the window if you need to see where to spray.
Once you have squirted each pin open and close the window FULLY half a dozen times. This will help the oil work its way into the hinges properly. Also spray a little into the sliding track you can I've pointed to on the right of the picture
You should notice a big difference in how freely the window opens and closes.
Always hold a spray oil can like this reasonably uptight when spraying. NEVER use it on its side or upside down.
You can user thicker oils (such as car engine oil or bicycle 3-in-1 oil) but with WD40 it is MUCH easier to get oil to the hinge points that are out if sight.
Even if the above doesn't fix draughts in your UPVC window they can still be made draught free by other methods. Look out for another post of mine shortly on this subject. You can sign up for updates on here and will be alerted automatically.
Hinges sloppy or feel worn out or even jamming?
If the hinges feel worn out and the window is slopping about or it really isn't closing it might not be that they need replacing. Just check that all the screws fixing the hinge to the frame and the frame to the window are tight - they do sometimes come loose in time. You'll usually need a Phillips type screwdriver for that.
If you are convinced the hinges are goosed hinges they can be replaced pretty easily They are widely available to buy online. There are many types though so do make sure you have an equivalent replacement. Replacing them is a pretty easy DIY job. This very cheery helpful Irish fella on YouTube shows you how to do it in just 5 minutes.
Basically, you need to take the opening part of the window off, unscrew and remove the old hinges, screw on the new ones and screw the window back up into the frame. The only tool you need is a Phillips screwdriver. Downstairs windows are easy. Upstairs ones are much trickier and obviously shouldn't be done unless you are confident and understand the risks. For upstairs you will need one person up a ladder and someone inside helping too.
I do know a husband and wife team who replaced all the windows in their home including upstairs last winter. They found it quite a 'bonding experience'....
So....go and love your window hinges
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