Guest Post By : Krissy Mosby
There’s a reason why window film has become a preferred choice over drapes, blinds, and shutters. For obvious reasons, window film has aesthetic advantages in maintaining an unobstructed view to the outdoors. But perhaps just as notable as its visual appeal, the sustainability benefits of window film are hard to beat compared to conventional alternatives.
From measurable energy savings and a minimized carbon footprint, to proven UV protection and daylight redirecting capabilities, investing in the proper type of window film can yield profound ROI in just a couple of years. To highlight the sustainability potential of window film, below we underscore a few ways in which both businesses and homeowners can benefit.
Minimize Heating & Cooling Costs
During the winter months, windows and doors account for approximately 18% to 20% of heat loss from a standard home. For larger office buildings and retail spaces, that approximation intensifies dramatically. Conversely, heat gain from glass windows and doors can have an even greater impact, causing AC units to work overtime in an effort to maintain consistent indoor temperatures.
According to 3M™, one of the largest manufacturers of window film, an estimated 33% of cooling expenses are due to solar heat gain from windows. And for expansive commercial spaces, that number can even exceed 40%. Energy efficient window film acts as an invisible thermal shield that significantly prevents heat from escaping through windows and glass doors. Similarly, the same type of window film technology can also prevent indoor heat gain during warmer months. As in the case of 3M products, window film can block as much as 66% of the sun’s heat, minimizing the frequency of your AC system needing to run.
For buildings exposed to cold winters, the same window film products provide increased insulation to further help maximize energy savings. How much energy savings? Most applications can see an overall cost saving by up to 40%. And depending on the building, the ROI payback of window film can be as soon as three years.
Improve Natural Light
Sure, the financial benefits of reduced heating and cooling costs are perhaps the most attractive quality about window film. But the improved insulation and sun-blocking benefits of window film are just one factor of the sustainability equation.
Certain window film products are specially designed to allow consumers to optimize natural light. In turn, this means less energy is required to keep the lights on. The best example of such technology is the science and innovation behind 3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film. As the name implies, such technology redirects sunlight upwards toward the ceiling, allowing natural light to penetrate deeper into the building. Not only can this enhance the ambiance of a room, but more natural light has been shown to provide a host of benefits.
Studies by 3M™ show that buildings that use Daylight Redirecting Film to improve natural light can increase employee productivity, improve student test scores, decrease rates of absenteeism, boost retail sales, and even improve patient recovery times. More objectively, cost advantage has shown to help consumers save up to 52% on lighting energy.
Protect Against UV Exposure
Although 3M™ is an industry leader in window film, most manufacturers have developed products to help with UV protection. In the context of automobile window tint, it’s one of the primary benefits of protecting a vehicle’s interior upholstery against prolonged sun exposure, in addition to protecting its occupants.
In the case of 3M™, the company rigorously tests its window film products to improve the lives of those behind the glass. In fact, 3M™ Window Film is designed to block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Not only is UV exposure a leading cause of fading in furniture, upholstery, and flooring, but it’s also a leading cause of skin cancer, too. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, properly installed solar window film is one of the recommended ways to protect against UV damage.
Take the LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, more commonly known as LEED, is a third-party building certification program sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council.
As a globally-recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, the LEED Certification program is intended to promote healthy, highly-efficient green buildings.
Although the LEED Certification does not recognize individual products and building materials, it does recognize methods of building construction, specifically those of which are designed to enhance a facility’s sustainability. For this reason, incorporating energy saving window film products into the construction of a building can add points to one’s application for LEED Certification.
While sustainability and energy savings are the primary advantages of window film, consumers can level-up their investment with other stunning features. Anti-glare, anti-graffiti, safety, security, privacy, and decorative capabilities extend the possibilities of any window film investment, making it an attractive option for both commercial and residential applications alike.
By Krissy Mosby for www.sustainabilityactive.com