As a business owner, few things matter more than profit. We’ve talked about the ways in which professional cleaning can boost profits by boosting productivity. Today, we want to talk about how professional cleaning can lower costs by increasing energy efficiency.
In the past, skylights have gotten a poor reputation for energy loss. Now, commercial skylights are designed to increase energy efficiency-but you can only reap those rewards when they’re clean.
Skylight cleaning tends to go overlooked because skylights are hard to get to and they are, in many ways, out of sight. Our professional cleaners have the tools, cleaning solutions, and expertise to take care of it for you.
Read on to learn how clean skylights can contribute to energy efficiency.
Increasing Natural Light
It’s no secret that commercial buildings use a great deal of energy for lighting. Recent trends lead commercial building owners to use artificial lighting for up to 24 hours a day. Even with energy-efficient light bulbs, this is still a huge source of potential energy waste.
Skylights present a possible solution to energy use in commercial spaces. Well-positioned skylights can reduce reliance on artificial lighting by up to 60%. They have the potential to provide more natural light throughout the day than standard windows, particularly those that aren’t south-facing.
The problem is that dirty skylights reduce some of that natural light gain. Over time, dust, debris, and other airborne particles can create a film on the glass. Regular skylight window cleaning ensures that you’ll capture as much natural light as possible all year round.
Increasing Winter Heat Gain
We often hear about the high energy use needed to cool commercial buildings in the summer months. In cities like Chicago, it’s just as important to consider how much energy you’re using to heat your building. Winter temperatures often fall below freezing in the windy city.
Many commercial buildings use electricity for cooling and natural gas for heating. Heating accounts for an average of 76% of natural gas use in commercial spaces. As the cost of natural gas rises, business owners need to come up with alternative heating solutions.
Skylights have the potential to create heat gain when maintained correctly. Commercial buildings often require the most climate control during daylight hours. Clean skylights generate warmth when sunlight passes through them and can reduce forced heating requirements.
Protecting the Windows
Older skylights are often made of glass. Newer models tend to consist of acrylic or other plastic materials that can block UV rays without blocking sunlight. For durability and aesthetic purposes, these plastics may have a glass glaze.
What happens when these materials come into contact with hard water, bird droppings, and pollutants? Over time, these materials can build up and create a sort of film. You might assume that rain regularly washes these materials away, but this is not correct.
When left untouched, all this dirt and grime can start to damage your skylight. It may create scratches or etching in the protective glaze or the window, itself. This sort of damage may seem minor, but it can compromise the quality and lifespan of your skylight.
Leaking is a major concern with skylights, but so is energy loss. Skylights are sealed around the edges with silicone caulking, which can withstand extreme temperatures. New or maintained caulking provides an airtight finish.
If the seals around your skylight start to break down, you’re likely wasting energy on heating and cooling loss. Climate-controlled air escapes through your poorly sealed skylights. In turn, your HVAC system or furnace works harder to maintain the set temperature on your thermostat.
Silicone caulk should last up to 20 years before you need to replace it. However, a buildup of grime can start to wear the caulking down. Debris can trap water around your skylights and create a breeding ground for mold, which can further damage caulking.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
We’ve talked before about how professional cleaning can improve indoor air quality. Over time, dust and debris settle onto surfaces around your building. A change in airflow can cause this debris to go airborne again, reducing your air quality.
The same goes for your skylights. In fact, there may be a great deal of dust and debris on your skylights if they haven’t been cleaned in years. Not only is this a health hazard, but it can negatively impact energy efficiency.
If your indoor air has a high level of pollutants, your HVAC system is in jeopardy. Removing pollutants from all surfaces, including skylights, can keep those pollutants from getting into vents. This will ensure that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work harder than necessary to maintain ideal temperatures.
Making Damage Easier to Spot
We’ve discussed the ways that grime can damage both your skylight windows and seals. Prevention is key when it comes to skylight window maintenance. While caulking is relatively low-cost to replace, window damage requires a full window replacement.
Damaged skylights can yield thousands of dollars of energy waste if you don’t act fast. In order to act fast, however, you’ll need to know that the damage is there.
By keeping your skylights clean and clear, we make it easier to notice damage and react quickly. Without skylight cleaning, it’s much harder to notice things like hairline cracks or chips. Professional skylight cleaning goes hand in hand with skylight maintenance, which contributes to energy-efficient practices.
Invest in Chicago Commercial Skylight Cleaning
For decades, skylights had a bad reputation when it came to energy efficiency. Now, newer models can contribute to energy efficiency by reducing reliance on lighting and heat. To get the most savings out of your skylights, you’ll need to invest in skylight cleaning.
Anchor World Services has been keeping Chicago buildings clean and safe for over a century. We are a family-owned, women-owned operation with the highest standards and the most professional team in the city.
Are you ready to partner with a skylight cleaning contractor to save on energy costs? Get a free window cleaning quote today before scheduling your next service.