Benefits of Window Films on Commercial Buildings

Benefits of Window Films on Commercial Buildings

Window films have made great strides in quality and usefulness in recent years. As these products have become better and better, they have become more and more popular. On commercial properties, the appropriate solar control glass film can reduce energy costs, maintain a more comfortable and productive environment, reduce fading of interior surfaces, lower harmful UV rays, and even increase the natural light deep into the building. Here are just a few of the benefits:

Energy Efficiency – Just like insulation in your walls and ceiling, solar control window films help better insulate your windows to reduce the solar gain by as much as 75%. This reduces air condition run time and lowers the load on the condenser.

Fast Return on Investment – With typical window shapes and sizes, the return on investment for most window films is approximately three years. However, in comparison to the cost of new window replacement, installing a window film over an older window is 10% – 15% of the cost of a new window replacement. Significant savings can be received quickly when applying films instead of replacements. Films are also a fraction of the cost of buying tinted glass in new windows.

UV Protection – Solar control window films block out up to 99.9% of all harmful UV rays, which can lead to skin disease and photosensitivity. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are also the leading cause of fading in interior finishes such as furniture, carpet and other flooring, wall coverings, artwork, draperies, paint and photographs.

Comfort and Productivity – Employee comfort is important for productivity. A large percentage of workers have trouble concentrating if the office temperature is higher than normal and report that tasks take substantially longer to complete in warmer conditions. By blocking much of the solar heat from entering through windows, films can help to reduce or eliminate the hot and cold spots in your building. The end result is more satisfied tenants and a more comfortable building. Window blinds can also be left open to allow in more of the natural light. Without films, building occupants often close the blinds to reduce the heat and glare, causing an increased need for the use of artificial lighting.

Safety – Glass windows with a film are safer because, in the case of a broken window, the film helps hold the glass together, instead of it flying through the building. In earthquakes, hurricanes, or even vandalism, the glass will stay together in one piece. The right films can also significantly reduce the chance of a smash and grab by thieves, because it takes longer to break through the glass.

Redirecting Films – These films utilize micro-replication to take the light that would normally hit the floor and redirect it up to the ceiling. This provides much more natural light in a room and has been linked to increased productivity and behavior; it also decreases the need for artificial lighting.

Why Your Home Windows Need Security Film

Why Your Home Windows Need Security Film

Many of us have played ball a bit too close to the family living room window, even though Dad warned (or sometimes threatened) us many times not to.  We knew that everything would be fine since we were so careful, until that one missed catch or misdirected kick sent a ball flying past us into the window.  CRACK!

Broken windows are not only expensive to replace, they are one of the main components of the exterior construction of a home.  Whether it be in the form of doors or windows, typical residential buildings have approximately 30% of the exterior walls in glass.  It can be scary, or at least worrisome, to many homeowners to have one third of their walls as weak as glass, knowing that a stray ball can easily open up the home to the elements outside.  

A random ball is not the only concern.  Burglars or other intruders may also see all the weak areas of your home that can easily be eliminated by a rock, hammer, or even their elbow.  Severe weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, or even just high winds can also damage the glass on your home.

Not only can a broken window let the outside in, it can also be quite dangerous.  Shards of glass could come flying inward when the window is struck by an object.  This flying shrapnel could easily slice the skin of anyone in its path.  If you’re lucky enough to not be in the way when it breaks, there is now broken glass all over the floor, couch, etc, waiting for someone to walk by.

There are stronger options such as tempered, or even bullet proof, glass that you can install in your home to reduce this hazard. But an even simpler solution may be a security film on your windows and doors.

Most window security films are made with thick, heavy duty polyester and bonded to the glass with strong adhesives.  This increases the strength of the glass and may stop it from breaking when struck by a stray ball or small tree branch.  This film can be applied professionally, or many companies also sell a DIY kit.  The film is applied to the interior of the windows, and if done correctly, is almost invisible.

When struck, the security film reduces the amount that the glass can bow.  If it does break, the film keeps all the glass intact.  Even when the glass is struck several times with a hammer, crowbar, or baseball bat, it takes a lot of effort to eventually break through.  Many intruders would give up and move to an easier target, instead of beating the window over and over again.

Not only are films great for increased security, they also can increase the energy efficiency of windows.  Picking the right film could reduce sun glare, and keep the house several degrees cooler.  When choosing security films for your home, make sure you consider the strength, quality, and manufacturer in addition to the tint, ability to block the sun, ease of install, and of course, costs.

The science of UV rays

The science of UV rays

Have you ever seen an older car with a cracked dashboard or steering wheel? Did you notice the seat upholstery was faded? These are effects of the sun’s UV rays coming through the windows. Wait, but didn’t you learn that you can’t get sunburn inside a car because the glass blocks UV light? A lot of tanned left arms and sunburned knees beg to differ. As well as science.

The science of UV rays

Ultraviolet light …

… Comes from the sun

… Has shorter wavelengths than visible light

… Is split into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC

UVA has the longest wavelengths from 320-400 nm (nanometers). This is the light frequency used in tanning beds. Glass lets in UVA which penetrates skin more deeply than UVB and is responsible for tanning.

UVB has shorter wavelengths from 290-320 nm. It is responsible for sunburns. Glass lets in about 10% of this light frequency.

The UV rays break down the molecules in fabric dyes causing a bleaching effect. This is called photodegradation. The Florida Solar Energy Center published that “Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is the single largest contributing factor in fading of fabrics” whether it is in sunny, hot climates or colder, cloudy ones.

UV rays on your car

So glass does not block out all UV light, and that light creates a bleaching effect on upholstery that are under its glare too long. It can also cause your dashboard and steering wheel cover to crack. This is how window tinting protects your investment. Instead of soaking up the sun’s rays, it reflects back the UV light, keeping as much as 99.9% of it out of  your car. That is going to make a big difference to the life of your car interior.

UV rays on you

For yourself, both UVA and UVB wavelengths “play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers,”  says the Skin Cancer Foundation. 10% of sunburn causing light builds up as you spend time in your car driving through heavy traffic or over long trips. UVA is dangerous too since it penetrates deeply into your skin, causing skin cancer and wrinkles.

So really…get some tinted windows

It is normally said that glass naturally blocks shorter UV wavelengths (below 300 nm) which cause sunburn. That’s why many people think car windows prevent sunburn and should prevent fading. In fact, glass only blocks about 90% of the shorter wavelengths called UVB. And it still allows longer wavelengths, called UVA, through. Take a look at any older car that has been out in the sun a lot and you will see that sun does affect the interior. Science discoveries may be changing every year, but your car and your skin speak for themselves.