What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?

The Basics of Window Films

In simple terms, window films are comprised of a thin, strong sheet of polyester laminate that is treated in variety of ways to improve the look or performance of existing windows when applied. Typically, the film is applied to the interior surface of existing windows as a retrofit. To properly adhere to the glass, one side of the film has an adhesive that bonds the film to the glass surface and the other side has a scratch-resistant coating for durability.

There are window films created specifically for a variety of home and commercial building improvement applications. Films designed that you can barely detect they are installed on the glass, but significantly help with heat control. In addition, other films like 3M Thinsulate can comply with Title 24 allows a single pane window to perform like a dual pane unit. There are window films designed for decorative glass enhancements as well as films for increasing the safety and security would be intruders or natural disasters.

Window Films Popular Uses

Energy Savings

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?Keeping a home or commercial building comfortable means utilization of a HVAC system. It is estimated that roughly 30% of the need for cooling and heating is a result of heat passing through window openings. Window film technology can actually act as an insulator on your windows. Keeping the heat out in the Summer and helping retain the heat in the Winter. The result is your HVAC system will not need to work as hard to keep the space at the desired temperature.

Glare Reduction

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?Modern architecture often features large windows. While this opens up a space, often these large windows bring with them glare issues at certain times of the day. Window films can be used to reduce glare by up to 87%, relaxing your eyes and making it easier to do things like viewing a computer or television screen. Also, because modern window films are made with ultra-clear, distortion-free materials, other than the glare reduction, your views will be maintained and you probably won’t even know the film is there.

Preservation of Furnishings

First, let’s discuss what exactly causes this type of sun damage. A common misconception is that the sun’s UV rays are what cause sun damaged floors, furniture and furnishings. While these UV rays are certainly the largest component that causes fading, as this chart illustrates, they only account for 40% of the total. Solar heat, or the heat you feel passing through your windows and the visible light streaming in are also major contributors. These account for an additional 25% each of the causes of fading. The last factor is listed as “other” as it is comprised of a variety of things that are harder to control and are not major overall contributors. These are things like interior lighting, humidity, etc.

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?

One of the first things you might realize from this chart is that you cannot “stop” fading completely. The fact is that unless the item you want to protect in a dark, climate controlled room, it will typically fade over time. However, if you plan to have the flooring and furniture in a place that will be exposed to these elements, the most you can do is attack the major contributors of fading. By significantly attacking these contributors, you can slow down this fading process and extend the life of your floors or furnishings. For these reasons, one of the best ways to attack the primary causes of sun damage and fading is with window film.

Add Decorative Element or Branding to Glass

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?Installing decorative window films to glass can provide privacy for the occupants of the space. The possibilities are nearly limitless as decorative window films come in frosted, tinted, or colored window film at various opacity levels to get the privacy you need without sacrificing natural light. In addition, decorative window films can be used to display company branding or to customize your space with unique designs, prints, or patterns, including styles that resemble cut or texturized glass. Finally, these films are easy to clean, durable and can be removed easily and inexpensively without damaging glass.

Safety & Security

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?It probably is no surprise to you that windows are the most vulnerable parts of any building. They represent easy points of entry for people who may mean harm to the occupants, the building itself, or its contents. In addition, in a natural or man-made disaster, flying glass from window is often a major contributor to injuries and death. However, when professionally installed safety and security window films are added, the glass doesn’t shatter, delaying the intruder’s entrance, and preventing flying shards of glass from harming anyone.

Daylighting and Daylight Redirecting

What are Window Films and How Can They Be Used?3M Daylight Redirecting Film is designed to redirect sunlight from windows deeper into buildings to increase natural light. Bringing natural light into your building provides many benefits for your tenants as well as reducing the need for artificial lighting — saving you money on energy costs. Compared to existing light-reflecting strategies, Daylight Redirecting Film is easily integrated into new or existing windows. It requires no extra hardware or infrastructure and no additional maintenance or special cleaning. It’s also more cost effective than many existing daylighting solutions.

Contact Us for More Information

CalCoast is celebrating 30 years of serving Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and we would love to help you with your window film project. If you have any questions, would like more information on window films, contact us today by calling (805) 962-4352 or emailing us at info@calcoastwindowtinting.com for a free, no obligation consultation and estimate of implementing  a decorative window film solution in your home or commercial space.

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