Solar Window Film to Save Energy

There’s no getting around it; the hotter the weather gets, the more expensive indoor climate control gets. There are a number of things that can be done to the home to rein in energy expenditure and lower utility bills. Using solar window film to save energy is a good jumping off point.

Save Money on Energy Costs

Energy efficiency is all the rage these days, and people everywhere are looking for ways to save money on their utility bills. Today’s newer, more energy efficient homes are being built with Low-E windows that reduce harmful ultraviolet, or UV, penetration and solar heat gain. But, for older homes, unless a homeowner can afford to replace all the existing windows with energy efficient ones, what can they do?

A simple, cost effective answer is to install a window film treatment, either by doing it themselves or having it professionally done.

Window Treatment Films Come With a Variety of Energy Saving Benefits

Today’s window treatment films come in every shade, from tinting so light as to be almost invisible, to privacy tinting that prevents outsiders from seeing inside the home. Some brands, such as Gila, have films that can block up to 99% of UV penetration, which can protect a home’s interiors and furnishings from fading.

In addition to blocking harmful UV rays, some brands have films that can block solar heat gain inside the home, which will reduce the overall energy costs of maintaining the inside temperature in the Summer. Many also have a Low-E coating that can help retain heat inside the home during the winter months, thereby reducing heating costs as well.

Top of the line brands can save hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs, which will help reduce the home’s carbon footprint emissions by thousands of pounds. Gila even offers an energy savings calculator on their website that can estimate the annual savings and carbon emission reduction based on where the home is located, how large the home is, and which type of window film is to be installed. (see the link at the bottom of this article)

Top Quality Window Treatment Films Begin to Pay for Themselves Immediately

Installing a good quality window film treatment is fairly easy for the do-it-yourself types. But, in the event the homeowner is either unwilling or unable to perform the installation, there are several companies, such as Window Genie, that can install a variety of window films at a reasonable price.

Once installed, the top line window treatment films will begin to pay for themselves immediately by reducing the amount of energy required to heat or cool the home, as well as making the interiors more comfortable by reducing the amount of annoying glare.

Be Sure to Choose the Right Window Film for Your Windows

Of course, all window treatment films aren’t for every type of window. Some films aren’t recommended for dual pane windows due to excessive heat absorption which can cause the gasket between the panes to fail, or even, in extreme cases, cause the glass to crack. Anyone interested in installing a window treatment film themselves should determine what type of windows they have and which films are safe to apply. Any professional window treatment film installers should be able to safely determine this for the homeowner.

Double and Triple Glazed Windows VS Window Film

Window technology has increased tremendously in the last decade. Double and triple glazed windows are a great choice for new construction or when it comes to using a remodeling contractor to upgrade. The downside is the high cost of both the windows and the window installation labor costs.

Many homeowners looking towards remodeling are wary of the high cash outlay due to the state of the economy coupled with the rising cost of gasoline and food. This is where solar window film comes to the rescue!

Benefits of Solar Window Film

Heat transference – Film conserves energy in both the summer and the winter. In summertime, it reflects thermal energy, as well as a percentage of UV rays back outdoors. In the wintertime, it minimizes warm air transference to the outside world. It’s estimated that as much as 70% of a home’s heat escapes via contractor grade windows.

Minimize UV rays – As mentioned above, solar window treatments reflect UV rays. The percentage reflected varies by film grade and manufacturer. UV rays play a big part in fading carpet and furniture fabric.

Privacy window film – darker and mirror style films will afford a good degree of privacy for the occupants.

Window Treatment Installation

Is this a good DIY project? Good question. The answer is a qualified yes and no. Unless the homeowner has done this a few times, it’s best left in the hands of a window treatment contractor. For best results, installation must be done with an eye to details.

Additionally, a reputable window specialist will provide a comprehensive warranty. In many cases, a payment plan may be available. The windows should not be washed for a period of time; this is generally 30 to 60 days. The film is curing and bonding during this time.

Window Film Grades

Most manufacturers or contractors tout at least three grades, often more. The difference is in the amount of energy efficiency offered and the amount of privacy offered.

In general, expect to be offered a choice of lightest, light, medium, and darkest. The darkest film tint is often available in the same color tint as the lighter products, plus choices of bronze and silver. These last two give the maximum privacy due to a mirror appearance. They’re also the best green building alternative.