April 22, 2016
The Pros and Cons of Self-Cleaning Windows
After a long, wet winter of snow and rain, dirt and dust can build up on traditional window glass. If you hate the thought of climbing ladders, bucket and squeegee at the ready, to scrub off this grimy film, you may want to consider replacing your existing windows with self-cleaning windows.
Sound too good to be true? The technology has been around just a few short years and we find that it does actually work. So, yes, you can buy replacement windows that clean themselves automatically, using nothing but the sun and the rain.
The Science Behind Self-Cleaning Windows
Self-cleaning windows are also known as solar windows because they use the sun’s ultraviolet rays to break down the adhesion of dirt and debris from the glass so that rain or a light water spray can rinse the grime away.
The key to making this work is a compound called titanium dioxide, a photo-catalyst that causes a chemical reaction when ultra violet rays shine on the glass. The window manufacturer coats each outer pane of glass with a very thin layer of this compound. The coating is so ultra-thin that it only reduces the light passing through the glass by about 5 percent.
When ultraviolet rays hit the coated window, the compound helps to loosen dirt and grime on the surface over time, and then the next time it rains or you spray the windows, the window washes clean with minimal spotting and streaking.
Drawbacks To Self-Cleaning Windows
There had to be a catch, right? The most obvious, this only applies to the outside of the windows. You’ll still have to wash the insides the old-fashioned way for now.
Other drawbacks? This window technology is generally more expensive than non-solar windows so you’ll have to weigh the advantages of safety and convenience over cost.
The results are not instantaneous. It takes a while for the ultraviolet rays to activate the compound when first installed so the effects of your first few rain showers may not immediately result in perfectly clean windows. If you have a particularly long dry spell, you may have to provide the “rain” by hosing your windows down occasionally.
Worth the Change?
If you really hate window cleaning, particularly if you end up spending your money hiring someone to do it for you, or if your windows are inaccessible or hard to reach, the benefits of self-cleaning windows definitely outweigh the drawbacks.
At Home Town Restyling, we have a wide range of replacement windows for every budget and professional installers on staff to complete the project on time and on budget. We also back up everything we do with lifetime warranty. Do you have more questions about replacement window projects? Download our FREE Homeowners Guide to Replacement Windows and start planning like a pro or contact us today for a free quote.