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August 2014

Window Film and the California Building Code

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Window film has been recognized as an energy efficient building product with its recent addition to the California building code. It is the first state in America to take such a decision which was approved by the California Energy Commission on May 2012. The matter taken by the commission came into effect on January 1, 2014.Window film is a polymer that offers energy efficiency advantages by reducing the HVAC operating costs in homes and buildings. Window films are best suitable for retrofit projects since the windows installed on most new buildings might be using high performance glazing confirming to the California building code.

What are the Advantages of Window Films?

The primary purpose of a window film is to block excessive solar heat entering through the glass. In addition, a good window film blocks 99% of the ultraviolet rays that are harmful to the human body and interior furnishings. It also rejects most of the infrared rays which are the main reasons for radiant heat inside a room. It can drastically reduce the HVAC operating costs because spectrally selective window films can block undesirable heat while allowing desirable daylight to the room.

The Quality Standards of Window Films as Per California Building Code:

The following conditions are insisted when installing window films under the California building code.

  1. National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) Certification label: The NFRC is a non-profit organization that provides quality assurance to fenestration products like windows, doors and skylights. It provides the consumer a certification label that indicates how well the product will perform the way it was assured by the manufacturer.
  2. International Window Film Association’s (IWFA) Visual Quality Standards: The IWFA is a combined body of window film manufactures, dealers and distributors to foster awareness and to conduct research on the use and benefits of window films. It adopted the visual quality standards for window films in May 1999.More information about the visual quality standards is available at http://www.iwfa.com/MemberInfo/MemberResearch/VisualQualityStandard.aspx.
  3. Name of the Manufacturer: IWFA maintains a list of manufacturers of window films that meet highest industry standards.
  4. Ten Years Warranty Certificate: Most reputed manufacturers provide ten years or higher warranty to their window films.