Using today’s technology, window film is now engineered to deliver energy savings similar to low-e windows.

Using today’s technology, window film is now engineered to deliver energy savings similar to low-e windows.Introduced over 40 years ago, window film is a thin sheet ofwindow coating, professionally and permanently installed, that delivers a range of high-value benefits to residential and business owners. Using today’s technology, window film is now engineered to deliver energy savings similar to low-e windows and can be installed at a fraction of replacement window costs.

Surprisingly, many professionals and consumers are still unaware of how far window film has progressed since the 1980s. In a recent Harris survey by the International Window Film Association (IWFA), 53 percent of Americans were unaware that window film allows natural light to enter a building’s interior while offering energy savings, environmental comfort, and health and safety benefits.

While today’s architectural designs embrace the use of large windows allowing for more natural light, which adds the very desirable effect of increasing sun exposure, it is important to remember the potential increase in energy this shift has on structures. Windows typically account for 15 to 30 percent of the total heating load and may account for over 50 percent of the summertime cooling load. The window films of today reflect non-visible infrared rays and block much less visible light, resulting in a very energy-efficient product which can appear almost clear.

In addition to the energy-efficiency benefit of window film, there is an added benefit of ultraviolet (UV) energy reduction. All quality window films block 95 to 99 percent of the UV. Normal windows block about half, and the best new windows marketed today stop about 75 percent. That remaining 25 percent contributes to fading and deterioration of fabrics, flooring and furniture and still can damage a person’s skin. Professionally installed window film largely reduces long-term, indoor UV exposure.

Now that you’re equipped with a firm understanding of the technical benefits of professionally installed window film, here are four reasons you can use to help explain why your customers should consider an installation:

• More affordable – When looking for ways to make their homes more efficient, homeowners often think of replacing their windows, but when faced with the actual cost of doing so many shy away. By comparison, window film is by far the more affordable option, offering a return on investment in as little as three years, and often costing up to 91.5 percent less than installing new windows.

• There are color neutral options - Gone are the days of dark and shiny metallic window tints. Window film can be installed with no negative effect on the aesthetic appeal of a home or business; in fact, it may actually “dress up” the look. Try suggesting a color-neutral, day-lighting film. Your customers’ windows will begin protecting their skin and furnishings while having virtually no visible impact on light quality.

• Lower energy bills - In hot weather, solar-control films can block up to 84 percent of the solar energy coming through windows, which may cut cooling costs by up to 30 percent. This may translate into year-round savings of about 5 to 10 percent of the home’s total energy bill. Additionally, low-e window films may also reduce heat loss, helping regulate indoor temperatures and thus cutting heating costs.

• Added protection - Window film can help block up to 99 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays, thus greatly slowing the deterioration and fading of drapes, carpet and furniture.

Finally, many companies find that window films fit nicely into the same general revenue models as their other sell/furnish/ install offerings. Window film can be a clear win for both the building contractor and the customer.

DARRELL SMITH is the executive director of the International Window Film Association. He has authored or co-authored many of the generic educational materials used for industry training and consumer information purposes. There are a number of consumer booklets available, along with additional information on the International Window Film Association website, IWFA.org. The website also has a “business locator” tab to connect with local, professional window film installers.

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