There are many advantages to having a home or a property that fills with natural light during the day – your electricity bills are lowered because you aren’t switching on the lights as often and the place just feels happier overall. However, there are a few downsides to natural light too – your air conditioning has to work harder to keep your place cooler and you may need to draw your curtains or lower your blinds to reduce glare which means you lose out on those panoramic views and need to turn those lights on after all. The UV rays from the sun can also mean your soft furnishings, artwork, and wooden floors are all at risk of fading.
Read on to learn how solar window films can help address all these pain points so you can take full advantage of the light from your windows and patio doors.
What is Solar Window Film?
Solar window films, also known as solar control window films, are window films specifically designed to control the amount and type of sunlight entering a space through glass windows and doors. The film is made from a strong polyester laminate that offers protection against UV rays. The film itself has a scratch-resistant surface on one side and a strong adhesive on the other.
The film can be installed on either side of your glass windows or doors making it ideal for residential homes as well as large commercial, glass-fronted buildings.
Benefits of Solar Window Films for Energy Efficiency
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 30 percent of a property’s heat is lost from windows during winter and 76 percent of sunlight coming in through windows translates into heat during summer. This means that your heating systems have to work hard to replace the heat that is being lost or your cooling systems have to combat the heat streaming in from the windows.
- Reducing solar heat gain through the windows can lower the cooling load and the electricity consumption of air conditioners. Depending on the type of film and the glazing on the windows, solar window films can block up to 66% of the total solar energy and up to 97% of the infrared light that causes heat.
- Reducing heat loss through the windows, which can lower the heating load and the fuel consumption of heaters. Low-emissivity window films can reduce heat loss in the colder months by up to 40% and improve glazing performance to almost dual pane levels.
- Reducing glare and improving visual comfort, can reduce the need for artificial lighting and increase productivity. Solar window films can reduce glare by up to 95% and allow natural light to enter without compromising the view.
- Reducing UV damage and fading of furnishings, fabrics, artworks and other items, can extend their lifespan and reduce replacement costs. Solar window films can block up to 99% of damaging UV rays that cause fading.
- Cost Savings: According to Energy Central, for commercial buildings, window film can deliver seven times the energy-saving benefits per dollar spent compared with installing replacement windows.
- Reducing carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Solar window films can help buildings meet energy efficiency standards and regulations and avoid emissions taxes or penalties.
How to Choose a Solar Window Film?
Depending on your needs, you can choose a solar window film based on the following properties:
- The amount of visible light transmission (VLT) that you prefer. This is the percentage of visible light that passes through the film. A higher VLT means more natural light and a clearer view, while a lower VLT means more privacy and a darker interior.
- The amount of solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) that you need. This is the ratio of solar heat gain through the window to the incident solar radiation. A lower SHGC means less heat gain and a cooler interior, while a higher SHGC means more heat gain and a warmer interior.
- The amount of ultraviolet (UV) protection that you want. This is the percentage of UV rays that are blocked by the film. A higher UV protection means less fading of your furnishings and less risk of skin damage.
The film you choose may offer one or more of the benefits in varying percentages. If you have trouble choosing, ask the professionals to advise you. Vancity Window Films can help you pick the right option for your needs and install it too. Get in touch with our team to get a quote today.