The heating and cooling of large facilities are often a significant drain on the structure’s system. With many utility companies offering incentive programs that encourage customers to save energy, one means that may be overlooked is the use of professionally installed window film.
In fact, retrofitting a building’s existing windows with window film offers immediate and long-lasting benefits – not only reduced cooling and energy costs, but also improved comfort and higher productivity for occupants, a lower carbon footprint, aesthetic improvements, and the elimination of the need for expensive window upgrades.
Window film provides, on average, up to 55 percent rejection of all solar heat (up to 85% at the window itself) – reducing the number of hot and cold spots in a building while providing a more energy efficient environment. Some films can even help to retain room heat in the winter months. By offering seven times the energy savings benefits per dollar spent in a facility when compared with full window replacement, window film is an eco- and budget-friendly option while still making the needed improvement. And if window film installation is considered at the time of a major HVAC system upgrade, the size of the system may be able to be reduced, saving some of the initial upfront investment needed as well as reducing the ongoing operating costs.
With today’s window films, spaces can attain a high degree of energy control without having to make major changes to the building’s exterior appearance, since many of the newer technology products look virtually clear from the exterior. Previously, the change in reflection or coloration would have precluded occupants from being able to use window film, leaving them to resort to closing drapes or adding window coverings, which does not achieve anywhere near the same benefits, since it stops the heat only after it has entered the building. Closing drapes or blinds also means turning on artificial lights, which in turn runs up the building’s energy bill.
In addition, facility trends today lean more toward natural daylight for mental and physical health, with offices now using glass rather than drywall. With this introduction of more daylight, greater UV exposure, discomfort and eye hazards for occupants are also introduced. Using professionally installed window film means spaces don’t need to have blinds or drapes, and also won’t be introducing further hazards.Professionally installed window film blocks up to 99 percent of UV rays from penetrating through the glass. What’s more, professionally installed window film can be customized with decorative or manifestation films to ensure people don’t walk into the glass. They may also be used to provide a level of privacy, so a passerby could not read materials that may be left out on a desk, for instance.
Another benefit? Security. In a place of worship where there may be occupants with a high security threat level, facilities may want to consider security film for its proven fragment retention properties in the event of bomb blast, natural, or man-made disasters. This type of film can be made available in energy control film also, with energy savings helping to offset the cost of security film upgrades.
Window film products are rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council for energy performance. By reducing solar heat gain in the summer and retaining a building’s heat in the winter, once installed, window film may offer year-round savings of about 5 to 10 percent of the facility’s total energy bill.
With technology improvements, window film products have become one of the easiest to implement and most cost-effective energy efficiency measures available for retrofitting. Professionally installed window film is an investment that provides many benefits for years to come. Federal, state or local incentive programs may be available for which installed window film may qualify. To view available tax incentives, visit here.
About the Author
Darrell Smith is the Executive Director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA). With over 40 years’ experience in marketing, sales and distribution and the last 30 years in the window film industry, he has served as organizational and planning consultant with trade associations, Internet related businesses, and investment firms. The IWFA is an industry body of window film dealers, distributors, and manufacturers that facilitates the growth of the window film industry though the use of education, research, advocacy and consumer awareness. To find an accredited window film installer near you, visitwww.iwfa.com/BusinessLocator/FindanInstaller.