A large HS glass door that will optically connect the living room with the garden is a dream for many of us. Modern patio doors should be visually appealing, burglar-proof, with appropriate thermal insulation parameters and easy to use. But the comfort and safety of using HS doors, especially large doors, often depends on their additional equipment. Therefore, it is worth preparing to buy them. What to look for? What to ask the seller? It will answer these questions Jaroslaw Wodzislawski – expert from GU Polska, one of the leading providers of window and door systems and building management systems.
A customer comes to the seller and tells him that he is looking for a patio door. Together, they agree that the lift and slide system will be the best choice. And after?
Jaroslaw Wodzislawski: There are a few key points to keep in mind. First of all – the degree of burglary protection. It is increased by additional devices, for example reed switches, additional interlocks, patent insert, etc.
How do the devices listed work?
– Reed switches are used where an alarm system already exists. They are actually small contact elements that can be used in each window connected to the window management system and the alarm. Thanks to them – and through the application on the phone – the user can easily check whether the window is closed or open.
By additional locks, I mean additional structural elements of patio doors, including burglar-resistant locks that prevent the thief from opening the window with a crowbar and additional latches that prevent burglars from breaking through. open the door HS.
On the other hand, an example of a patented insert is, for example, a BKS Janus half insert with anti-drill protection. The HS door can be equipped with a handle with a half-cylinder blind from the outside, which will effectively stop a burglar.
It is worth asking the seller about these elements and the possibility of assembling them, if you are serious about raising the burglar-proof level of the HS door.
Burglary protection – this is the first. Second what?
– Comfortable opening and closing. HS doors are comfortable to use on their own, but they can be very large and heavy, while their users can also be children or elderly people with reduced mobility. That is why it is worth learning about HS door accessories, which will facilitate their operation. Special mechanisms are useful, such as the handle damper: GU HS LiftUnit, which makes it easy to operate a door leaf weighing from 150 kg to 600 kg. It even halves the force needed to lift the wing. GU HS LiftUnit can be retrofitted with already installed HS doors (compatible with GU-934 trolleys), especially if, as a result of their renovation and, for example, replacement of the glass, the door leaf becomes much heavier. Mounting the mechanism is easy and hassle-free. I would like to add that GU HS LiftUnit is hidden, that is, invisible.
Probably not all customers have heard of the existence of such solutions. What mechanisms supporting the comfort of use of HS doors are still worth asking?
– For example, solutions that protect against the consequences of loss of control when closing and opening the leaf. I mean the damping mechanisms: GU HS SilentClose and GU HS StopUnit.
GU HS SilentClose gently slows down the sash a few centimeters before reaching its final position and closes it automatically noiselessly. In the case of GU HS StopUnit, after having stopped the leaf before reaching its end position, it must be moved manually towards the end, if necessary. The two shock-absorbing mechanisms reduce the risk of pinching fingers and prevent damage caused by the chassis hitting the frame. They are invisible and therefore neutral for the aesthetics of the HS window.
What if the customer wants the HS door to open and close by itself?
– He should ask the seller whether it is possible to install a drive, that is, an electromotive solution that significantly affects the comfort of using large HS doors. For example, you have the choice between two models: HS ePOWER and HS Master – both for door leaves weighing up to 400 kg. The motors have been tested by the DEKRA research institute, which means that they meet the conditions for barrier-free construction and can be used in private homes as well as in public buildings. They differ in the method of assembly. The HS Master reader is mounted on the frame above the window.
In the case of the HS ePOWER, the drive technology is completely hidden and the power transmission via the contactor power supply is wireless – the HS door moves despite the absence of a cable connection between the sash and the frame. The motor is powered by built-in batteries, so the door can be operated even in the event of a power failure. On the other hand, the HS Master drive can be retrofitted to an already used HS door – the drive is made to measure.
Is the drive alone enough to automate the door?
– The motor is only part of the HS door control system. It’s up to us what it will look like in the end. The motors can be operated, for example, with: a touch screen (patio doors with the HS ePOWER motor have it instead of a handle), a remote control or the Push & Go function, i.e. say by slightly pushing the sash, but it is also possible to open and close the door using a telephone, and even voice. The second option, however, requires connecting the reader to the control module and the smart home management unit.
And if we don’t decide on a drive, are there any other additional items that make the handle operation easier besides GU HS LiftUnit?
– Yes. This is, for example, a handle damper, which controls the smoothness of its movement, supports its rotational movement and prevents the automatic return movement of the handle. Of course, it is invisible after installation.
You can also use a handle with an extended handle (the standard length of the handle for HS is 270 mm, the extended handle is 400 mm), which allows you to reduce the operating force by half and meets the requirements of barrier-free construction (in accordance with DIN 18040).
Additional equipment also includes a special spring, which also reduces the operating force, i.e. “force on the handle”, and can be used in HS door leaves weighing from 200 kg to 400 kg . After installation, it remains invisible.
The choice is huge. What to choose ?
– The use of appropriate mechanical devices is generally dictated by the weight of the wing. Its dimensions and weight, on the one hand, greatly facilitate the additional equipment for us, on the other hand, it must be remembered that some elements are mounted in sheets with a certain maximum weight.
Although the suitability of the solution to the HS door may be a key element for the user and his needs, it may turn out that the configuration of the aforementioned elements does not necessarily lead to the optimal choice.
Therefore, I believe that before making a decision, a thorough consultation with the seller should be carried out to ensure that the mechanisms used will meet our expectations. We must also remember that some of them, such as GU HS LiftUnit, are only available in GU fittings, so it is worth paying attention to which fittings our HS doors are fitted with or will be fitted with.
Does the possibility of additional equipment for HS doors only depend on their fittings?
– Not only that, it also depends on the material the HS doors are made of. Take, for example, a micro-ventilation rail. It is a solution that allows you to ventilate rooms with closed patio doors. The headband slides out of the frame and meets RC2 burglar resistance requirements. It is a safe solution for air exchange, for example at night. The tape is used in wooden doors and PVC doors. Theoretically it is possible to retrofit wooden doors that are already in use, but in most cases the installation will involve a lot of work, and in the case of PVC doors it may turn out that some systems are not of the all prepared. As a result, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to retrofit existing doors. Therefore, if we think of an HS door with such a safe micro-ventilation installation, we must make up our mind before buying an HS door and let the seller know.
What about the retrofit for the other solutions mentioned?
– At any time, we can equip the HS door with a patented insert handle or an elongated grip handle. In the case of drives, the door can be retrofitted with the HS Master, which is made to measure. It is very rare that there is a problem with this.
And what are the most common mistakes when choosing patio doors because the customer did not ask the seller the right question beforehand?
– It’s easy not so much for a mistake as for a situation in which our expectations and dreams miss the end result. Therefore, we must remember that it is worth getting acquainted with the products we plan to buy in advance – not only virtually, but also in real life. Many of them are on display, for example, in the showrooms of customer service offices. Maybe our neighbor or friend also has an HS door with additional equipment. Worth asking – installers, sellers, other users. This is the best recipe for a successful purchase.
Remember that the weight and size of the sliding sash affects how and how easy it is to use. Contrary to appearances, this does not always mean that the smaller the dimensions of the HS door, the easier it is to open and close. Therefore, it would be a mistake to buy the awning of your dreams. Let’s ask and see, then we will choose the optimal solution.