Understanding the available benefits and standard specifications of window film is essential for architects, designers and property managers who are considering building upgrades that will affect energy efficiency and sustainability.
In order to select the right window tinting for a specific facility, prioritizing project goals is an important first step. Energy efficiency, glare reduction, light reduction, maintaining natural light and protecting interior furnishings are among the factors to consider.
Solar Energy Rejection
Not to be confused with temperature reduction, solar energy reduction refers specifically to lessening energy within the solar spectrum, which is made up of ultraviolet radiation, infrared light and visible light, from being transmitted through a window.
When deciding the type of product to install, it is important to understand how window films improve the performance of existing windows, by looking at the film’s Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, U-value, emissivity, and UV Transmission.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
As there is heat in the sun’s rays, the light streaming in a window can cause an increase in room temperature. The solar heat gain coefficient specification measures the amount of heat gain that the film allows. The lower the number, the less solar heat gain is allowed. When a facility upgrades to a window film with a lower solar heat gain coefficient, the temperature is stabilized during daylight hours and indoor cooling systems are used less often or extra cooling capacity is made available. This results in lower energy costs and a more energy-efficient building. It also often results in more comfortable conditions for building occupants.
Winter Median “U” Value
The U-Value measures the non-solar heat transfer that occurs through the window glass and film, in essence representing the insulating quality of the product. To understand a U-Value spec, know that the lower the U-Value, the better the insulation qualities.
Lower emissivity allows Solar Film for Home products to reflect heat back to its source. To find products with this benefit, look for low-emissivity or low-e window tint (emissivity ratings of 0.35 or less, preferably 0.20 or less). Much like low-e glass used in complete window replacement, low-e window film keeps warmth in during the winter and keeps heat out during summer months.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays, which make up part of the solar light spectrum, are known to harm the skin and cause interior furnishings to experience color fading. Some types of window tint block as much as 99.9% of damaging UV rays.
Solar Film for Home that blocks a high percentage of UV rays create a more sustainable facility, as they extend the life of interior furnishings by reducing fading. Additionally, many window film products are recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation as effective protection against skin cancer.