AS MANY HOMEOWNERS ARE DISCOVERING, WINDOW FILM CAN ACCOMPLISH MANY ENERGY-EFFICIENT BENEFITS.
The MacMillan Dictionary defines versatile as, “having a wide range of different skills and abilities.” Regardless of the size or type of facility you manage, most homebuilders and homeowners are looking for versatile technologies that can do many things well.
Some of those versatile technologies include keeping residents comfortable, reducing energy costs, protecting furniture from fading, and increased safety and security. As many homeowners are discovering, window film can accomplish many of these benefits cost-effectively. Window film is a polyester film generally made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the same polymer used to manufacture water bottles, for example.
Most films are applied to the interior surface of a glass window in a home, commercial building or car. They have a scratch-resistant coating on the outer surface to protect the film. There are many types of window films. Some are clear and feature multiple layers of PET to offer protection from shattering glass; others are tinted with metals, dyes or pigments to reduce the visible light transmitted through the glass, and block heat. Decorative window films can replicate the look of frosted glass or etched patterns.
One Community, Many Impacts
To understand window film’s versatility, try imagining different businesses and homes in a community, and how window film can impact many of them:
• Office buildings – Solar control window films reduce sun glare and block up to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays and up to 86 percent of the sun’s infrared heat. This keeps employees more comfortable, healthier and productive, saves cooling costs, and keeps furniture from fading.
• Hospitals – Safety window film is designed to hold broken glass together in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. This not only prevents physical harm from shards of flying glass, but also keeps high winds from entering a structure and doing damage, keeping patients and valuable medical equipment protected.
• Supermarkets – Some specially designed window films can prevent glass freezer cases from fogging, which saves energy costs and enhances customers’ shopping experiences.
• Schools – When safety and security films are applied, glass is designed to break, but not shatter. This can potentially delay and frustrate a would-be intruder. Some window films offer privacy so that intruders can’t see students and teachers inside.
• Restaurants – Window film reduces solar heat glare and heat gain, which allows restaurants – even those with large windows facing toward the sun – to keep their customers comfortable.
• Medical research facilities – Some specially designed films block UV rays, which allow light-sensitive research to happen.
For homeowners, window film is also an often overlooked means of energy efficiency and protection that combines practical function and aesthetic beauty. From a heating and cooling perspective, your windows are the most vulnerable parts of your home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that one-third of a building’s cooling load is from solar heat gain through windows, and nearly 75 percent of existing windows are not energy efficient. Professionally installed window film can reduce cooling costs by up to 30 percent. In the winter, the film helps retain interior heat, reducing heating costs. In fact, many window films can qualify for “green” credits, and energy rebates helping home owners become more energy efficient, while reducing costs.
Some of the other benefits of window film include:
• Reduce the amount of heat that transmits through glass windows and doors;
• Regulating the amount of solar energy passing through the glass, helping utilize natural light while creating a comfortable environment for residents;
• Blocking up to 99 percent of harmful UV rays;
• Most window films are designed to block over 99 percent of harmful UV rays while offering a neutral color that is not too dark and lets in a pleasant amount of light. With today’s technology, many window films can block a significant amount of heat while still allowing 60 to 70 percent of visible light to enter the building;
• Helping hold glass shards together if broken;
• Holding glass together under the most extreme conditions, minimizing injury to those nearby, both inside and out;
• Reducing fading of flooring and furnishings;
• Helping block over 99 percent of UV radiations that damage furniture, carpets, woodwork and residents.
These are just a few examples of how window film works to improve the efficiency and comfort of homeowners. For those considering upgrading their windows, window film can achieve long-lasting improvements for residents and the bottom line.