Window Film: The Often Overlooked Way to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

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When New York state regulators established a carbon tax late last year, they drew a line in the sand that many business owners and Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) felt was bound to happen. The cost of carbon dioxide emissions was set at $125 per metric ton, in accordance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates a carbon-free power system by 2040.

This tax, as well as President Biden’s proposed U.S. infrastructure legislation, underlines a fundamental shift that is happening in buildings and commercial properties across the country: they must become more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Or prepare to pay the price.

And how will the new green buildings get there? Window film is the starting point.

HOW MANY LIGHTBULBS DOES IT TAKE?

When thinking about “greening up” their buildings, many businesses go to lighting first. After all, lights and lighting are the low-hanging fruit when implementing a green strategy for buildings and commercial properties. Buy a palette of energy efficient light bulbs, screw them into every fixture in sight, and watch the energy bills plummet. Done.

Hey now. Hold the phone.

Though lighting is a big part of the energy costs associated with any given building, windows and glass are the woefully neglected stepchildren of eco-efficiency. And we have the numbers to prove it:  28% of cooling energy demand is due to heat gain in windows.

If only there were a better way…

IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY WITH SOLAR WINDOW FILM

Statistics speak volumes: windows are responsible for as much as 34% of HVAC energy loss in commercial buildings. However, solar control films like 3M™ Sun Control Window Film can reduce the temperature in direct sunlight by as much as 9° F, making your space much more usable and comfortable.

Low-E, or low emissivity, window films and glazing are also a highly effective way of improving energy efficiency and reducing utility costs. Low-E films work by reducing solar heat gain and providing an insulative effect by selectively absorbing and reflecting heat. These films reject direct sunlight to reduce summer cooling demand, and maximize occupant comfort levels by improving window insulation—which reduces summer and winter energy use and the over-taxing of your HVAC systems.

In an assessment of low-E window film made by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the largest efficiency gains and fastest ROI was found in buildings with either a single layer of glazing or with an existing applied film that is low-performing and nearing the end of its service life.

Additionally, The United States Department of Energy found that among the top 50 commercially available energy conservation technologies, window film ranked as a top-tier technology with the fastest payback ranking (approximately three years), and the highest probability of success.

As a result of these studies, it is recommended that low-E window film can be effectively deployed across all climate zones for energy cost savings, improved occupant comfort levels, and faster times to payback on investment.

GREENER GLASS: NGS ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM 

The NGS Energy Efficiency Program is designed to reduce corporate expenditures and increase efficiencies in commercial buildings and properties. And while there are many energy conservation technologies available to help you achieve your goals, building envelope upgrades—such as window film— can effectively reduce heat gain in the summer, heat loss in the winter, reduce HVAC overload, and increase building energy efficiency.

Listen to NGS’ Managing Partner, James Beale discuss the nitty-gritty details solar window film on the Building Efficiency Podcast

NGS Energy Efficiency Services including:

  • Glazing analysis – benchmark existing glazing performance
  • Project development – building rendering
  • Rules of thumb – establish criteria for good opportunities
  • Building modeling
  • Cutting-edge technology (Equest/ Efilm/ Windows 7)
  • Savings validation
  • Dedicated account manager

Reach out to NGS today and schedule your energy efficiency and glazing performance consultation.

 


Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

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