What are self cleaning windows?
These are windows that contain glass that is made with a special inorganic pigment called titanium dioxide which is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium.
Unfortunately, Self cleaning windows do not really mean that no human will ever have to clean them ever again. In fact, most industry representatives will actually refer to this type of window as a window containing a low maintenance high tech glass.
Self cleaning glass is is being used more and more on buildings that have windows that are second floor or higher. They are also a popular choice on newer high rise buildings that require hiring expensive professional window cleaners that have to use special equipment in order to reach the windows. The idea behind having self cleaning glass is that it helps keep the windows looking clean longer after they have been professionally cleaned thus reducing the number of washes which reduces the building's maintenance costs.
How does this type of window work?
First, organic material that comes from bugs, bird droppings and plants will naturally be deposited on to the surface of the glass. Normally these deposits will remain adhered to the glass until they are cleaned off by a window cleaner. With self cleaning glass, the combination of the titanium dioxide and sun light causes the organic material to break down through a process called photo catalysis. Finally when there is a good enough rain, the broken down material will simply wash off the surface of the glass leaving little to no streaks behind.
Are self cleaning windows really worth it?
This can all depend on how the building is structured and what type of climate the building is located in. If the building has been constructed with large overhangs which do not allow a large enough amount of rain water to come in direct contact with the glass, then obviously the debris will not have a chance to be washed off. Buildings containing self cleaning glass would probably be most useful in climate locations that received an adequate amount of rain fall throughout the year like in Seattle WA. It would probably render useless for buildings that are located in a dry or desert climate that receives very little rain fall.
The thought of never having to clean windows ever again is a wonderful thought for most people. Unfortunately, the only way most of us will be able to get out of window cleaning is by hiring professional window cleaners.
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