Self cleaning glass windows. Good or Bad?

m4rky_m4rk

Well-known Member
Hi,

I am negotiating triple glazed windows for my house. My house has no eaves and is a flat roof modern construction on the side of a hill with very large windows facing SW ie plenty of sun. One company has chucked in self cleaning glass for free and another is dismissing the option. They are fighting over each other for my business :)

Has anyone got any experience of self cleaning glass? How long does it last? How effective is it? What sort of coatings are used? etc etc.

From a quick read on www one method is to apply a Titanium Dioxide coating. I am not sure how its applied. It should last the life time of the windows?

I have used RainX in the past for car windows. It worked OK but wore off after a while where the wipers rubbed it. The part worn coating was not good to look through with water forming very round beads in some places and in others not. Not sure if this the same stuff that is applied to House Windows???

Any info or experience is appreciated.
 
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la gran siete

Distinguished Member
Ultraframe Conservaglass and other ‘true’ self cleaning glass
Conservaglass is a self cleaning glass which has been specially designed to remain cleaner for longer than conventional glass. A transparent coating on the external surface of the glass harnesses the power of ultra-violet rays and rain (or water) to break down dirt and grime then wash it clean away. The coating is totally integrated into the surface of the glass and is highly durable. However, as with all coated glass, a certain level of care must be exercised when handling and maintaining Conservaglass.Maintaining your Conservatory | Ultraframe Conservatory

I am only aware of one example and as it was only fitted 3 years ago I cant comment about longevity. What i can say it was cleaned once(mainly the frame) using detergent
 

m4rky_m4rk

Well-known Member
Thanks for the info.

The company with no self cleaning windows option tells me that there have been instances of marks appearing on the surface that need a lot of work to polish out and went on to talk about no agreed standard and no official approval of performance. (I am in Austria) I am not sure if there could be problems or he is just bad mouthing the other guys product.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
I've got a shower screen with 'anti-plaq' glass. Supposedly repels water.

Must say, I can't tell any difference at all.

I have had 'coatings' on my spectacles that end up crazing and need replacing because of the coating failing. So, I'm no convert.

Confirm the guarantee as if the worse happens, you are covered.
 

Lobsterboy1

Active Member
There are different versions of "self cleaning glass" The ones where the coating has been applied as the glass has been manufactured such as Pilkington Activ™ Self-cleaning Glass or Self Cleaning Glass :: SGG Bioclean, the self cleaning glass of Saint-Gobain Glass and others which are applied after by the igu manufacturer which I would steer clear of. The ones which are applied when the glass is made should last the lifetime of the window but they do need both sunlight and rain to clean the glass. The sunlight breaks down the dirt then when it rains it washes the dirt away, so with out one or the other they don't work as well. The glass is very expensive compared to normal glass so I would wonder how they can chuck it in for free. Also have you chosen triple glazed for better thermal properties or sound, have they specified if they are gas filling with Argon or Krypton and if they are using a warm edge spacer. If they are giving you free self cleaning glass and it is one that has been applied at manufacture then I would definitely have it, if it is one that is applied after I would not as you will most probably end up with the same effect you had with the windscreen wipers.

Cheers,
Dean.
 

m4rky_m4rk

Well-known Member
There are different versions of "self cleaning glass" The ones where the coating has been applied as the glass has been manufactured such as Pilkington Activ™ Self-cleaning Glass or Self Cleaning Glass :: SGG Bioclean, the self cleaning glass of Saint-Gobain Glass and others which are applied after by the igu manufacturer which I would steer clear of. The ones which are applied when the glass is made should last the lifetime of the window but they do need both sunlight and rain to clean the glass. The sunlight breaks down the dirt then when it rains it washes the dirt away, so with out one or the other they don't work as well. The glass is very expensive compared to normal glass so I would wonder how they can chuck it in for free. Also have you chosen triple glazed for better thermal properties or sound, have they specified if they are gas filling with Argon or Krypton and if they are using a warm edge spacer. If they are giving you free self cleaning glass and it is one that has been applied at manufacture then I would definitely have it, if it is one that is applied after I would not as you will most probably end up with the same effect you had with the windscreen wipers.

Cheers,
Dean.

Thanks Dean,

They mentioned its done in an oven process by the glass manufacture. Its a special deal given to the installer which he can then pass it on to me for free. Or so he says.

The glazing is triple glazed because that's the standard here now. My house is low energy house but being a new build it had to meet quite high energy standards as part of the planning permission. I have lot of glass, so triple glazing was pretty much a must. They will be argon filled. Krypton is an option but costs more. The sound insulation will be useful because there is rail line about 0.5-1km away and I am on hill and can see it. There will be a lot of sun, maybe too much, and the occasional thunderstorm in the summer. In winter it snows. It should be good for self cleaning glass.

The windows are 0.6-0.7 W/m2K. Overall it seems that there are much higher requirements than the UK. Walls are 25cm thermal brick with 20cm Styropor on top of that. 45cm thick wall in total. No cavity malarkey.

ps what is a warm edge spacer? There was an option to have insulation foam inside the window frame but that was more for passive houses.
 

Lobsterboy1

Active Member
It sounds like you will have a warm edge spacer anyway as I don't think you could achieve those values without. The majority of double glazed units have a aluminium spacer bar between the 2 panes of glass some of the older ones and fire rated units use a steel spacer bar but as these conduct heat you can only achieve a certain u value no matter what glass is used, so we have had to start using "warm edge spacers" these are made from either plastic composite or a desiccated foam as these don't conduct heat. If you think there might be too much sun you can get solar control self cleaning glass which will help to keep the house cooler in the summer.

Cheers,
Dean.
 

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