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Windows, Part 10

energy credit is so small — compared to what that window will cost you — that it is essentially nonsense. So if you are not all that eager to let your home look like an gangland low rider lime green Honda Civic DX with oddly tinted windows, it might be best to forgo the rebate.

Many of these window brands come with a “self cleaning” capability. It does in fact work. It is not a complete fraud. This coating is applied to the exterior surface of the glass and usually only on the side facing the outside of the home. The coating is invisible. In fact it is so invisible that special electronic tools are sold to window installers so that they can determine which side of the window has the special coating.

Some years ago the Japanese discovered that when a piece of glass is coated with titanium it takes on special qualities. When sunlight (the ultra violet light part of the light actually) hits the coated glass there is a chemical reaction between the titanium and anything it is touching.

This chemical reaction slowly destroys the mechanical bond between the window dirt and the titanium coated surface of the glass. This chemical reaction also kills viruses and bacteria. If you took titanium coated glass and made a water pitcher out of it then in a few hours the water inside would be sterilized by this chemical reaction. It’s all true.

Also, the titanium is a very hard surface. It is also quite smooth. Dirt has a harder time sticking to the titanium coated glass. American glass companies have licensed this technology from the Japanese. Another place you see this very same titanium technology is in the “lifetime” polish on some brands of brass bathroom fixtures and door hardware. It’s not brass, it’s a super thin coating of titanium or zirconium using a similar process.

The salesman may try to get you to have sparkling grids put into your windows. He will charge you an extra $100 per window. What you are actually getting is a half inch wide line of silver tape (maybe a total length of twenty feet) stuck to one interior side of one pane of glass — for $100. How much is twenty feet of silver colored Scotch Tape ( it's probably actually a 3M product) worth to you?

These dual pane windows will have frames made of vinyl or fiberglass. If they are made of vinyl then they will be white. Vinyl is really just glorified sprinkler pipe plastic and it softens or even melts in the hot sun. By selling only white windows the company does not face the risk of the sun heating it enough to get it to melt. Yes, if you go off and paint that window frame black then next summer you might discover the dynamics of “free form” shapes and naturally sun-articulated / drip-looking window openings.

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