Solar films help decrease energy bills while increasing comfort. No matter the location, windows are one of the most significant assets of a house. Whether it is refreshing morning sun during winters or droplets during rainstorms, windows allow homeowners to experience different weather conditions.
However, rays from the sun contain damaging Ultraviolet and Infra-Red (IR) radiation. Radiation, if left unattended, can cause damage to the skin, as well as furniture within the home. An easy yet efficient solution is to use a solar film on windows.
What is Solar Film?
Solar film is a window tint applied to windows in homes and offices to reduce light, heat, glare, and UV rays. A sheet of strong polyester laminate is handled in various ways to improve the existing window’s look and performance. One side has a scratch-resistant coat, and the other has an adhesive that sticks the film to the glass surface.
Architectural window films work by controlling solar energy passage into room spaces, increasing the insulating performance of windows, providing aesthetic possibilities, or considerably reducing the safety and security hazards connected with fragile, quickly fragmented glass.
Solar control window films for homes help control the sun’s radiant energy (heat), decrease the penetration of heat, improve outward visibility by reducing harsh glare and help to reduce the damaging and dangerous effects of ultraviolet light on the skin, eyes, and furnishings.
The solar film offers a cost-effective and flexible solution to reduce radiation’s harmful effects from the sun. Due to its accuracy, stability, and compatibility with different surfaces, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the most widely used material for making solar films.
How do solar films work?
Solar film reduces heat gain by blocking solar radiation. Solar radiation, or solar energy, comprises three components: ultraviolet radiation, visible light, and near-infrared radiation.
Near-infrared radiation makes up 53 % of the solar spectrum, visible light 44 %, and ultraviolet 3 %. When rays from the sun hit the window, the energy is absorbed, and the window reflects some, but most are transmitted through the glass.
According to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), a mirror reflects about six % of solar radiation, absorbs 5 %, and transmits the remaining. When this energy enters an area and is mixed with the surrounding heat already present in a room, from people, computers, and reradiated heat absorbed by furniture, the excess heat can make an uneasy difference.
Installing solar control window film increases the amount of solar energy reflected and absorbed by the window. Most window films have a thin metallic coating, made up of aluminium, stainless steel, silver, or a combination, that reflects and absorbs solar radiation. Most of the radiation absorbed is reradiated outward, though some are radiated into the building.
The most crucial performance measurement of solar control window film’s heat rejection ability is the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). SHGC measures the total amount of solar energy transmitted into the room. This includes solar energy directly transmitted through the glass and solar energy absorbed and radiated into the film’s building. The heat rejection ability of window film can be as high as 80 %. The amount of energy reflected and absorbed varies depending on the types and quantities of metals used in the film.
The near-infrared and visible light rejection abilities of window films vary. The best combination will be decided by the purposes of the application and what outcomes are wanted.
Window film can improve occupant comfort as they save energy. Spaces near windows are often too warm because of the amount of heat coming in from sunlight. By reducing the solar heat gain, window films can make those perimeter areas more pleasant for people using the spaces.
Some utilities offer rebates and other incentives to install window film because of its ability to help save energy. A facility executive considering a window film installation should check with the local utility to see if incentives are available or planned.
Types of Solar Films
The dyed film consists of a layer of dyed adhesive polyester film applied to the inside of the window. The heat that escapes the film is transferred to the glass and lost to wind.
Dyed film’s dark tint makes it excellent for anyone who wants privacy and comfort.
The deposited film is created via the deposition process, a form of physical vapor deposition. During this process, the film is fed through a tank containing metal ingots.
The tank is then made into a vacuum from having its pressure reduced, filled with argon gas, and then heated. Due to the heat, the metal gives off particles that then cover the surface of the film.
The deposition process results in a thicker film than most, which limits possible applications. The relative thickness also creates a darker, more reflective tint.
Sputtered film is created via the sputtering process. As the deposition process, the sputtering process takes place in a vacuum; however, the metal goes through atomic manipulation.
In this process, charged ions are blasted at a pure metal in a chemically inert gas such as argon to force the discharge of metal atoms. The expelled metal atoms then collect evenly on top of a polyester film.
Light and refined, the sputtered film has the exceptional ability to block UV radiation, though it cannot block heat as well.
The hybrid film contains metals and dyes. With this combination, the hybrid film has the benefits of both while minimizing their disadvantages. The film is less reflective and lighter in hue than its metallic alternatives but retains block heat due to its dyed layer.
When choosing a solar window film, you should consider each individual capabilities and which you prefer. No matter your preference, there are multiple ways to find a customized window for you.
Benefits of Solar Films
Protection from the Sun’s Harmful Radiation
The sun’s harmful UV rays can damage the eyes, skin, and furnishings even when one remains indoors. High-quality domestic solar film can reduce these harmful UV rays by up to 99.9%, reducing sun exposure on household objects. Less exposure prevents fading on furniture and other household objects like carpets and artwork. Using solar film for home windows, the life and quality of interior decor can be extended.
Energy Savings All Year Round
Solar control film can significantly reduce energy bills; in some cases, up to 30%. During the summertime, these films block the build-up of heat inside the home by working 24/7, so the air conditioner doesn’t have to. As a result, one can save money without sacrificing comfort.
Apart from cooling the home quickly and efficiently during the summer, solar window films can result in energy saving during winter. The insulation characteristics of solar films help in holding the heat during the winter. Hence, less power is required to heat the home.
Reduce Glares at Home
Although glass windows add to a home’s aesthetics, excessive glare can be quite disruptive when watching TV or working on a computer.
Solar control window films can provide optimal and satisfactory living conditions by reducing up to 94% glare.
Help Prevent Break-ins
Apart from blocking harmful radiation from the sun, some films can serve as a security feature for the household. The heavy-duty polyester compound increases the durability of these films to protect valuables from theft.
Applying a one-way solar control window film can give the much-needed privacy, all while still being able to look outside. These films provide a higher exterior reflectivity and a lower interior reflectivity allowing for excellent views both day and night.
Solar control films are an affordable and convenient choice that improves the aesthetics of the home. Beyond that, it concedes for a healthy and safe atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.