When it comes time to put money into your home, you may be overwhelmed by the different options. Building on an addition, improving your landscaping, or updating flooring are smart tasks, but installing new energy-efficient windows is a worthwhile investment that will stand the test of time. While shocking for most people to learn, replacing single-pane windows with new Energy Star windows provide a layer of insulation that can save you up to $465 a year in energy costs. Of course, protecting your new energy-efficient, valuable investment will require some work. With this guide, you will learn the best techniques for maintaining and cleaning your new efficient windows.
Maintaining your new windows does not have to be difficult. However, you should spend time inspecting your windows once or twice a year before cleaning.
To get started, inspect the window screens for signs of distress. If you see any cuts, scrapes, or tears in the screen, replace them immediately. Check the screen frames as well for cracks and damage. Your screens are an imperative part of filtering heavy debris that could damage your actual window panes.
Remove the screens even if they are in good condition and set them aside for cleaning.
Once the screens are removed, inspect the weather stripping around the windows. Be sure it is in good condition and providing proper insulation and security. Make sure to check the weather stripping inside and outside the home, around each window frame. Apply new weather stripping if necessary.
Inspect the glass and vinyl frames of your windows. Cracks in either glass or vinyl are obvious signs that your windows need to be replaced. If the windows appear foggy or show signs of condensation, the window seal has failed or is beginning to fail. Failed seals will reduce the insulation of your window, allowing outside air to come into your home. This can increase the cost to heat and cool your home properly, so make sure to have these windows replaced or repaired by a professional.
Focus on the window screens first, since these will require time to dry before reinstalling. Rinse off each screen under your sink faucet to remove light dirt and debris. Use a household cleaning brush to scrub away heavier residue. Set the screens aside while you focus on your frames and panes.
Open each window and use a damp cloth to remove residue from the window tracks. After closing, use the cloth to wipe away any other residue that you notice.
Many homeowners will use a pressure washer to wash their windows, but the excess water pressure can actually damage the window seals. For the safest and most effective option, wash each window pane by hand. Add the following ingredients to a spray bottle:
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
Shake to mix the ingredients before spraying on one glass pane. Allow the solution to soak the glass, eating through dirt and debris. Then, use a squeegee tool to remove leftover cleaning solution. Swipe from the left to the right and then up and down. Be sure to wipe off the blade of your squeegee tool after each swipe.
Your vinyl frames should also be cleaned during this time. Wiping each frame down with a damp cloth is usually sufficient. However, if you notice any discoloration or stains, use the following baking soda mixture:
- 2 gallons of hot water
- 1 cup of baking soda
Add to a bucket and soak a cloth in the solution. Wring out the excess liquid before washing away dirt, dust, mud, bird droppings, and dead insects from your frames.
After cleaning the panes and frames, reinstall your window screens.
Maintaining your windows does not have to be an overwhelming task. Using this simple guide, you can clean and maintain your new energy-efficient windows. To learn more about replacement windows, contact a company like Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc.