Almost every job you do as a window cleaner is going to require the use of a ladder. I have found that the largest determining factor for how fast I can clean windows is determined by the ladder. Moving ladders can be fatiguing. Placing the ladder takes up a good portion of a window cleaners day. Having a versatile and adjustable ladder will go a log ways towards helping you to maximize the amount of windows you can clean in a day increasing your income. Feel Free to follow the links to purchase the products online.
When choosing a ladder it is important to take into account three things
Maneuverability- Almost anywhere you walk while window cleaning you will be carrying a ladder. I find that at the beginning of a day I can almost run to each window the heavier and more cumbersome the ladder I have to use the quicker I slow down. You want a light weight ladder I would not recommend fiberglass in anything but a step ladder it is just too heavy!
Placement- One of the keys to speed is the ability to quickly place a ladder the less time you spend on your ladder placement the less energy you use and the faster you can get to those windows. Ladder levelers are in my opinion the best $100 you could spend, they will pay for themselves on your first day on the job! I will be making a video to explain how they work but in the mean time. There is a peg you can remove on each leg that allows the leg to lengthen. Place the leg you will not be adjusting on the ground and pull the peg on the other leg it should drop to the height you need then replace the peg and you are ready to climb the ladder.
Safety- This one is simple keep your ladders in good working order. The biggest things that I have found is that fiberglass starts to fatigue after a while you will notice when weight is put on it the fibers start to expand and if you let it go to long twist. The orange ladders are much more durable than the green or blue but they are so much heavier I simply keep an eye on the feet and when they start to fray I buy a new one as they are much cheaper as well. On extension ladders make sure the rope that adjusts the height is not frayed you can buy a new one for $11 here It will just slow you down and the few times that I have had them break I have had to get real creative (getting the ladder down)
I have found that three ladders are necessary I like to use a 6' step ladder, a 24' extension ladder, and a 32' extension ladder.
6' Step ladder I like to use the green or blue fiber glass ladders they are much lighter than the alternative and are rated for 225 Lbs which is sufficient for most users.
24' Extension Ladder This ladder will be the most used ladder of the three. It should be able to reach most of the windows in all but the larger and 3 story homes you will clean. I would recommend an aluminum extension ladder the fiber glass ladders are way too heavy for a ladder of this size and durability becomes a problem. It is vital in window cleaning to have ladder levelers. Ladder levelers make it possible to extend the foot of the ladder several inches interdependently allowing you to adjust for very uneven footings such as slopes or steps. Another piece of equipment I consider imperative with an extension ladder are extension ladder covers, these will help to prevent dents or scratches on wall finishes. (you can forgo the 24' ladder in favor of the much lighter 16' ladder I find that in many instances the 16' is sufficient it is a very nice size and weight to carry around you will have to decide if the ease of your most used ladder being light makes up for the extra times you have to get out the 32' ladder)
32' Extension Ladder (we call this one big Bertha It is Heavy and not fun to move!) unless you are a professional body builder I would not take a fiberglass 32' extension ladder if it were free. Make sure to practice maneuvering this size of ladder before using it on a customers home. As a rule this ladder needs to be retracted before moving because of leverage the higher the ladder the more torque it will provide they become extremely unwieldy when extended. Many window cleaners will not move this ladder without two window washers present. This is not necessary with care and practice but having the lightest available ladder is a must. I would recommend ladder levelers and of course you need the extension ladder covers as well.