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What If Your Window Doesn’t Stay Up?

A: So, let’s say we opened up our window today and did that for us. That lets us know it’s out of balance. So, what we want to do, is tilt our window out—see, it fell in. So, we know that it’s in, give it a little wiggle, right back up—and we’re good to go.

When you have double-hung windows that won’t stay up, it can be very annoying, to say the least. In fact, in some cases, such as homes with small children—it can be a safety issue as well. Additionally, being it’s a double-hung window—it can cost you money. If the window won’t function right, it could prevent your home from remaining cool in hot weather.

However, don’t be dismayed, there is good news. Fixing your double-hung windows that won’t stay up doesn’t automatically mean replacing them. In fact, it may not even require one of our technicians to come out.

That’s because it’s one of the most inexpensive and easy repairs on double-hung windows there is. It may not even require any parts as it could just be a balance that’s out of alignment. This issue can be fixed in just a couple of minutes.

This quick guide walks you through what Anthony did, with a little more detail. Follow these steps and you should be able to fix this issue yourself as well.

How to Fix Falling Double-Hung Windows

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 5 minutes
  • Tools You Might Need: Flathead screwdriver

Before you begin this project—If your windows are over 10 years old or you fear you may damage the frame, you might consider a pro. Hiring a professional ensures the work is guaranteed with no hesitation. However, if you want to just replace your old drafty windows you’d be better off replacing all your windows at once. We offer some great specials on replacement window packages with affordable financing.

That being said, making a simple repair on your double-hung window won’t cost you anything but about five minutes of your time.

1. Find the Balance

Each glass section on a double-hung window is referred to as a sash. Double-hung means there are two sashes— top sash and bottom sash. These sashes slide up and down opposite from each other on an internal pulley system.

Usually, the bottom sash is the one that won’t stay open but the fix is the same regardless of which sash is malfunctioning.

All window designs are fairly similar, with some nuances in terms of components. So, first, you have to find the balance, also called a balance shoe or balancer. We’re looking for this part because typically when this happens, the balance has slid down to the bottom of your frame. That’s why it won’t stay up; it was probably done accidentally by pushing down too hard to close your windows to lock them.

Find Your Tilt Pin And Unlock It

Each double-hung window sash contains a tilt pin located in the balance on either side. These pins allow the sashes to tilt out so you can easily clean or repair them.

They look a bit different on different brand windows but when you see it, it’s pretty obvious as to what it is.  You’ll need to slide it to the left—you’ll feel it unlock.

The U-shape means your tilt pin is in a locked position. To repair a double-hung window, you’ll need to unlock it. Sometimes, if they haven’t been unlocked in a long time you may need a flathead screwdriver.

If you’re having trouble finding or unlocking the tilt pin, you can Google the brand of window you have installed. Typically, you will find there’s no shortage of guides and how-to videos on YouTube for your specific window.

2. Reposition The Balance

If your balance shoe has fallen to the bottom of the frame, slide it back up so it’s a couple of inches from the bottom of the bottom sash. Then, you’re going to want to relock the pin by doing the opposite of what you did to unlock it just a minute ago.

Adjust the Bottom Sash

Move your window down to where you’ve placed the balance and tilt the bottom sash out to realign it with the balance. The balance is what makes the window stay open. So, remove the tilt latches on top of the bottom sash and tilt it until it is horizontal.

Now, you’ll want to tilt your lower sash outward so you can realign the bottom of your window with the balance shoe, which helps it stay up. To do this, remove the tilt latches at the top of the lower sash. Tilt your window out and allow it to rest horizontally.

Give the left and right sides of the bottom sash a firm but not too hard bump, or pound where the balance and bottom sash meet. It doesn’t need to be really hard, just enough to knock them into alignment again.  You’ll hear a slight pop where the pin and balance click back in place.

3. Reset the  Window

Lastly, pop the bottom sash back into the frame and make sure the tilt pins are fully locked into the frame. Now try opening and closing your window. If you stop midway and the window stays in that position—you got it! Your window is now fixed.


However, if it still won’t stay open you can repeat the same steps one more time. Additionally, it might be a good idea to go ahead and repeat the steps on the top sash too, often that fixes it too.

Occasionally, your balance may just be broken, but they are very common and inexpensive parts. You can often find the parts at Lowe’s for less than $15.

Get Replacement Double-Hung Windows

If none of this works, or you are just tired of the drafty old, inefficient windows in your home, we can help.

Window Source can show you where your windows are leaking energy and draw up a plan to fix those issues. Our replacement windows are built right here in the US and designed specifically for Texas weather conditions.

You won’t have to live with mediocre windows anymore and increases in energy costs due to drafty windows. With our affordable financing and physical showroom right here in San Antonio—we make it easy for you.

Contact us today for a free consultation and window demonstration.