Cleaning your windows may seem like a basic housekeeping task, but beyond being able to see through them more clearly, there are actually a number of surprising benefits to making this chore part of your regular routine. In fact, preventing dirt buildup on and around your windows can help you avoid costly damage, protect the quality of your indoor air and even help you achieve greater energy efficiency within your home. Let’s take a look at five clean-window benefits below that just might surprise you.

Increase Curb Appeal

While the obvious reason to stay on top of window cleaning is to be able to enjoy the sights from inside your home, the beauty of your home’s exterior is also impacted by the cleanliness of your windows. In fact, clean and clear windows can enhance the distinct design of your home and make it more appealing, both to guests as well as prospective buyers. Furthermore, the natural lighting that accompanies clean windows can make smaller rooms appear more spacious and inviting.

Breathe Easier

When people think of dirty windows, they usually think about the obvious culprits, like water spots and finger prints. But windows are also prone to buildup caused by other things, like cooking, burning candles or using your home’s fireplace. Over time, this buildup can actually negatively affect the health of your family. Clean windows help to maintain a better air quality while also preventing the growth of mold and mildew. (Already have mildew/mold? Here are 3 safe ways to tackle the problem.)

Let There Be Light

Cleaner windows let in more natural light, but this benefit goes beyond simply being able to illuminate your home’s interior better. Experts believe that exposure to natural light can produce a number of health benefits. For instance, the vitamin D from sunlight can help prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of heart disease. Getting more natural lighting can also help improve your mood – especially if you’re prone to seasonal depression. Keeping your windows clean and clear will allow the maximum amount of light into your home.

More Bang for Your Buck

Dirty windows not only look bad, but they can also lower your home’s energy efficiency levels. This is especially true during the cooler months. That’s because windows that aren’t clean don’t allow maximum sunlight to penetrate and naturally light and warm your home. As such, you’ll need to use more artificial lighting and heat sources to keep your home comfortable and bright. By keeping your windows clean and clear, you’ll reduce your energy consumption, which will keep more money in your pocket.

Fewer Costly Repairs

In addition to keeping the glass surface and frames of your windows clean, keeping the sliding tracks and hinges free of dirt and debris will also ensure that your windows continue to open and close properly. Over time, this ongoing maintenance will pay off in the way of damage prevention, since a well-functioning window system is much less likely to breakdown and require expensive repairs.

At the end of the day, windows are an investment. Making cleaning and ongoing maintenance a priority will help ensure that investment pays off for many years to come.