NIW Services Blog

Northern Illinois Windows – cleaning area windows ‘one pane at a time’ for 25 years

They call it the Silver Anniversary. That’s what McHenry based Northern Illinois Windows is celebrating this summer – 25 years of cleaning Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin windows. How many window panes have they cleaned ‘one-at-a-time’ over the course of those years? That’s a number that’s almost too astronomical to consider. Suffice it to say that it’s a lot.

“I started the company with a bucket, a squeegee and a truck,” said owner Bill Thomas. “I would knock on the doors of businesses and ask them if they wanted their windows cleaned.”

Today, Thomas has crews of window washers who do the window washing as he runs the business. He coordinates the routes, schedules window washing, which also includes washing the windows in private residences, and he does continue to do sales. In those early years, he also did the bookkeeping, marketing and all the other chores that are necessary to a successful business.

“I still knock on doors,” he said. “And, I go out and do estimates. I like meeting with prospective clients so that they know who stands behind the quality and service we provide.”

Shortly after starting the business, Thomas was joined in the business by his sons Mike and Bill and his daughter Brigid. Today, Mike Thomas operates a window washing business in Longmont, Colorado. Father and son communicate often sharing ideas and suggestions. But, here in McHenry, Thomas has learned that he can’t, or shouldn’t do it all. He works with others to keep his business on track. This frees up his time to further develop the business.

Actually, window cleaning is only part of what Northern Illinois Windows offers, albeit a big part. They also provide home and office window tinting, gutter cleaning and power washing. They also install and take down Christmas lights during the holidays.

“We have several types of window film we install,” said Thomas. “But, our 3M window film is the industry standard.”

The window film comes with different levels of tinting. One thing that almost uniform about the film is that, whatever level of tint, most block 99.9 percent of ultraviolet rays. Over time, the UV rays can bleach furniture, flooring and stock that businesses keep in the windows. And after installing the window film, Northern Illinois Windows is available to wash the windows when they get dirty again.

PHOTO: Bill Thomas, the owner of Northern Illinois Windows, stands outside the Hidden Pearl Café in McHenry. Hidden Pearl is one of the customers that rely on NIW to keep their windows clean

Clean your windows in March and save 15 percent

Print this ad, or just mention the ad to claim your 15% discount.
If you look out the window right now, you may find it hard to believe that Spring is coming. It is and it’s not too far away. We could still get some rough weather but, Daylight Savings is around the corner, the days will grow longer and the cold will grow shorter. And then, a lot of people will switch into Spring-Cleaning mode.

Inevitably, Spring Cleaning includes what many consider an unsavory chore – washing windows. Fortunately, Northern Illinois Windows is available to spare them the aggravation and drudgery of window cleaning. More than that, the window cleaners at NIW know how to do the job quickly and right.

Since April is always a crazy time for window cleaners, Northern Illinois Windows is offering an Early Bird Window Cleaning Special for home owners. Have your windows cleaned in March, pay with a cash or check, and you’ll receive a 15-percent discount.

Yes, NIW cleans windows in the cold. Their window cleaners will go through wind and snow to clean your windows. They’ll clean your windows down to zero degrees. And, most importantly, they’ll leave them streak free and clean.

Imagine how nice it will be to start your Spring Cleaning and your windows are clean already.

To schedule a window cleaning, call 815-385-6646. To learn more about Northern Illinois Windows, visit

With a couple adjustments, window cleaners keep windows clean in the winter, too

Yes, you can have this window cleaned in the winter.
Window cleaners use water to clean windows. No problem – a bucket of water, some soap, a sponge and a squeegee is all they need, right? But what about winter?

In the winter, when temperatures drop, water tends to freeze outside. Window cleaners either have to stop cleaning windows or they need to make some kind of adjustment.

At Northern Illinois Windows, they mix windshield washer solvent with the water. The colder the weather, the more solvent they use. If it’s not so cold, they just use a solution with a little less solvent.

Other window washing companies may use ethanol or even alcohol racing fuel in the winter to avoid the bucket-of-frozen-water syndrome. Whatever they use, they all have one thing in common; when the temperature drops below zero degree Fahrenheit, there’s not much they can do. Even these mixtures and elements begin to thicken when the air is that cold.

Of course, another aspect of washing windows in the winter is the effects of the elements on the window cleaners themselves. The colder it is, the more they need to bundle up. As a result, their physical movement is hampered somewhat. It can slow the process.

For a professional window cleaner, they’re generally good enough at what they do tha they can clean your windows without getting the water (or whatever is in the bucket) all over themselves. That’s a bit tricky but it’s something they learn after doing the job for a while.

When the temperature gets cold, it’s a really good idea not to get wet out there. A wet window cleaner is liable to be a sick window cleaner the next day.

Many people don’t even think about the idea of someone washing their windows in the winter; they assume the cold brings the process to a halt. That’s not the case. It merely requires appropriate accommodations.

Regardless of the temperature, as long as it’s above zero, Bill Thomas, the owner of Northern Illinois Windows, said his window cleaning technicians are able to do the same quality work. They still get those windows clean.

There’s still time for window cleaning before your New Year’s party

So much to do and so little time with New Year’s Eve only days away – along with the food, the drinks and the decorations, there’s also the general cleaning you have to do before the doorbell rings with your first guest.

It’s a splendid time of year, and one of the year’s biggest parties. Guests aren’t coming to inspect your home and give you a grade for cleaning. Still, you don’t want them to get the wrong idea; you don’t want them to think you don’t care about your home or that you don’t care about the impression you make.

Considering, the last thing you want to worry about, particularly in the middle of winter, is cleaning your windows. But, if the windows need cleaning the windows need cleaning.

You can clean the house immaculately but they’ll still notice dirty windows. You can put up all kinds of great decorations to distract them, but they’ll still notice the dirty windows. If only there was a way to clean the windows this time of year. If only there was time to clean the windows before the New Year’s party. The good news is that there is a very good chance that there is a solution from both perspectives.

Quality window cleaning companies, such as McHenry based Northern Illinois Windows, clean windows year round.

“We still have a few openings if someone wants us to clean the windows in their home before New Year’s,” said Bill Thomas, the owner of Northern Illinois Windows. “It’s on a first-come-first-served basis, but if someone calls in the next couple days, there’s a good chance we can help.”

Another bit of good news is that, once the party is over, assuming things didn’t get really out of hand on New Year’s, you’ll still have clean windows. You might want to keep the shades drawn New Year’s Day, assuming you have a pounding headache trying to recover, but, after that, you can throw open the curtains and enjoy a clear view of winter’s panorama outdoors.

Thomas said that the window cleaning specialists at Northern Illinois windows are professionals. They’ll get in and get the job done without creating additional headaches for the homeowner. And, if the party is at the office, they can clean those windows, too.

Whether someone needs their windows cleaned or not, however, Thomas said he wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Window Quiz - What is a Jalousie Window?

Test your knowledge of windows

What is a Jalousie window?

Answer (according to Wikipedia), a Jalousie Window is a "louvered window, the jalousie window consists of parallel slats of glass or acrylic that open and close like a Venetian blind, usually using a crank or a lever. They are used extensively in tropical architecture. A jalousie door is a door with a jalousie window."

Glass Facts - this one will raise an eyebrow or two

There are different kinds of windows. For instance, the window above a door and, sometimes, above other windows, is called an eyebrow. No, it's not thick and hairy but it's still an eyebrow.

The first glass window?

Could this be the first glass window? Possibly. It is dated to approximately 100 AD and was found in Alexandria.

(Source: Wikipedia -

No, it’s not too cold to wash your windows

Winter scenes fade away with dirty windows.
Well, now that the cold has set in, there’s nothing to do but let the windows get dirty and wait for spring to arrive, right? If that were true, how would you enjoy that pristine, snow-covered scene outside the window this winter?

Fortunately, quality window cleaning companies, such as Northern Illinois Windows, clean windows all year round. As professionals, they know how to overcome the elements. They’ll leave your windows as clean and streak free in the winter as they do in the middle of summer.

What’s more, as professionals, they’ll clean your windows safely and with virtually no obtrusion. Bonded and insured – the window cleaning technicians at Northern Illinois Windows have the training and equipment to do the job right and safely in all four seasons.

Over the course of the winter, when many homeowners simply allow the dirt to accumulate on their windows, many respond by keeping the curtains drawn. With short periods of daylight, and more time spent indoors, this can increase the sense of cabin fever that can give people the blues.

Clean windows make you feel good. They encourage you to leave the curtains open. That additional sunlight can cheer you up. At the same time, the sun will pour heat through the windows thereby lowering the heating bill.

Professional window cleaners aren’t flustered by the cold. Window cleaning season runs year round and includes residential cleaning and business cleaning. With the latter, clean windows are essential year round.

When a customer walks into a store, a dirty window sets a bad first impression, even if it is the middle of winter. On the flip side, that you’ve taken the effort to have your windows cleaned regardless of the elements, speaks loudly about your commitment business’s commitment to quality service and products. It also says you care when the windows at your home are clean.

Welcome to The Northern Illinois Windows blog

This, the new Northern Illinois Windows blog, is where we will post information relevant to window cleaning, window tinting, gutter cleaning and power washing. We hope you find this information helpful in maintaining your home in top condition and we welcome your questions and feedback. Regular maintenance of your windows, gutters and siding will extend the useful life of your home, not to mention how much the neighbors will love you for it.
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