Window and door manufacturer Pella has developed a new way to open and close windows while slimming down the opening’s design.
The patent-pending Easy-Slide Operator will allow for a simpler way to operate casement and awning windows. Instead of the traditional crank, homeowners will be able to slide the operator up to open the window and down to close it.
This latest hardware release will be available on Pella’s Impervia line in January.
“We listened and worked carefully with our customers for feedback on how we could design something better for them,” says Nicolle Picray, brand communications and public relations manager. “We quickly discovered that homeowners need hardware that is easier to use, and designers want an option that achieves a minimalist, low profile look. The Easy-Slide Operator delivers on both form and function for the modern consumer.”
Users are able to lift the same lever lock in a new, sleeker design, which then allows the operator to unlock and slide up or down the inside jamb to operate the window. Homeowners will be able to fully operate their Pella windows without having to crank or bend over, but the crank will remain an available option.
Inside the Easy-Slide Operator is a kevlar-reinforced belt and ball bearing system for smooth and silent gliding. Only five pounds of pressure is needed for operation, the company says. The lever features an ergonomic design for a comfortable grip, Pella says, but also features a wingback design to protect a user’s fingers.
Pella says during research, homeowners commented most on crank windows for casement and awnings for both its difficulty of use and “chunky” appearance. The crank became a headache for elderly homeowners, says Jenn Tuetken, design and insights manager for Pella, so universal design principles were in place during the design process.
“We wanted to design a unique solution for as many people and all abilities,” says Tuetken.
Along with more accessibility and easier functionality, the Easy-Slide Operator became a favorite among architects, says the company. Architects disliked the disturbance in aesthetics that the crank caused, which did not allow for sleek, clean, modern lines that homeowners expect from their windows now.
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Prior to release, Pella says it tested the Easy-Slide Operator for 20,000 open and close cycles, which exceeds the industry standard of 10,000. This is equivalent to opening and closing a window once a day for more than 54 years, says the company. The new operator can also withstand extreme weather conditions.
Pella’s Impervia fiberglass window line is a favorite for buyers and is known for its longevity, which is why the company chose to debut the Easy-Slide Operator with the collection’s awning and casement windows of any size. Impervia also features sleek silhouettes and greater sight lines, a key feature of the Easy-Slide Operator.
The Reserve window collection will be next in line to offer the Easy-Slide Operator. Reserve features wood windows and patio doors in a contemporary style.
Due to the contemporary design of the Reserve line and its aim at architects, the operators will feature a drastically different appearance than the more traditional Impervia Easy-Slide Operator, says Pella.