About 63% of all energy spent in the residential sector goes into maintaining indoor temperatures. With about 82.5% of Canadian citizens choosing to heat their properties using natural gas, strain on the natural resource is steadily increasing.
However, with the increase in knowledge regarding making more environmentally friendly choices, more and more people are starting to replace standard windows with energy efficient alternatives. These state of the art windows can significantly reduce the amount of heat loss that occurs through windows, which accounts for about 20 to 30% of all energy wasted in the house.
But installing an energy efficient window brings with it its own problems, the leading of which is cleaning. Most energy efficient windows use Low-E glass, which is covered with a thin layer of metallic oxide to absorb heat, glare and UV rays, and cannot be cleaned in the standard way.
An increasingly popular choice for people all over Canada, Low-E glass can keep temperatures within the house constant, thus reducing the need for constant heating, and subsequently reducing energy expenditures.
Here are some of the best ways to keep your energy efficient windows clean:
If the problem is just a bit of dust, the outside of Low E glass can easily be cleaned with a gentle pressure wash.
What you need to be careful of is that the water you’re using on your windows should always be soft water. If your garden hose is usually supplied with hard water, you may want to look for another source, as hard water can cause build-ups, streaks and could even potentially damage your windows!
What Not to Use
While the outside of energy efficient glass can be cleaned just like standard glass, the inside, which is coated with metallic oxide, needs a little more care. There are some materials and chemicals you should NEVER use on your Low E glass windows, as these have the potential to cause irreparable damage. These are:
- Abrasive cleaners (will scratch the glass)
- Lint cloth (will leave lint behind)
- Powder cleaners (will damage the metallic oxide layer)
- Alcohol or ammonia based cleaners (will leave streaks on the glass)
- Squeegees, blades or scrapers (will scratch and leave streaks on the glass)
- Metal wool (will scratch the glass)
- Petroleum based cleaners (will permanently damage the glass)
What to Use
The best way to clean your Low E glass is by using a simple solution using water and a mild non-acidic dish soap solution. Use a spray to evenly and generously spray the area with a layer of the solution, after which you may wipe it off with a clean, non-abrasive, lint-free cloth. Microfiber cloths work the best for this purpose!
Here are all the materials that are safe for use on Low E glass:
- Lint-free cloth
- Acetone for spot cleaning
- Water and mild dish soap
- Diluted hydrochloric acid for removing tough stains
The cleaning procedure:
Generously spray a solution of one part vinegar and ten parts water, or other cleaning solution, or dip a lint free piece of cloth into the solution and apply. It is important that the window be thoroughly wet before wiping to prevent squeakiness, which will lead to streaks and could damage your window.
Whip out another, dry and clean lint-free towel or cloth and wipe. NEVER use a squeegee or abrasive cloth on the interior of Low E glass windows.
Once the glass is almost dry and there is a thin, uniform layer of moisture left on the surface, stop wiping. This will help prevent streaking.
For stubborn stains, a diluted solution of 99% water and 1% hydrochloric acid may be used.
About Crystal Glass
The leading auto glass service in Edmonton, Crystal Glass specializes in all kinds of glass needs, from windshield repairs and replacements to installing Energy Efficient glass in both residential and commercial windows. With over 65 years of experience, there’s no one you can trust more than us with all your glass needs!