Aaaah … the sun. We have a love/hate relationship with it, don’t we? We need its Vitamin D for optimal health. Yet, we also need sunblock to protect us from skin cancer. Consequently, our relationship with the sun can be complex.
We know we can’t control that big ball of heat and light in the sky. But we can enforce standards that afford us some “protection”, particularly when it comes to buildings and glass. In providing that fortification we can also afford that building a lower carbon footprint. That’s one of several attributes sun reflective window film has.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
The first thing you should learn about when evaluating your needs for any window film is the solar heat number system. Known within the glass and glazing community as SHGC, this number system ranges from 0 to 1. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? It’s effective. Ultimately, SHGC is a measuring system for how much solar energy from the sun transmits through your glass windows or doors affects your interior spaces.
In general, the lower the number the less heat or rays come in through the window. This number matters when you are trying to make your building as energy efficient as possible. You will also want to take into consideration where your building is located and its allocation.
If you are in the South, you should prioritize blocking heat. Consequently, the SHGC rating for your preferred window film would be lower on the scale. When in the north, you want to take advantage of the sun in the winter months. Thus, you may prefer a UV reflective window film that allows for more heat in general. This would result in your window film SHGC rating being higher. These choices will ensure that your HVAC system is working less, not more.
Now that you are educated on the SHGC scoring system, let’s discuss the different types of reflective window film and how this preventative measure can make your building more energy efficient.
Reflective window film
There is reflective window film, as well as a dual-reflective window film. What is the difference? One works during the day and the other works day and night. By “working” we mean that when standing outside of the building you cannot see inside during the daylight. Instead, you feel as if you are looking into a mirror. Your entire surroundings are reflected from the building.
In contrast, at night you can see into the building. This is considered a positive attribute to commercial building owners who feel the nighttime view inside may deter thieves. Their preference for privacy within, ends when the sun goes down.
More importantly, individuals on the inside, still have sunlight during the day and can see out. It is in essence a type of privacy film. That alone is enough to attract most window film clientele. But – there’s more.
Dual-reflective window film
Both reflective and dual-reflective window film are often referred to as mirror window film. Dual reflective window film does allow for some privacy at night, in addition to the discretion it provides during daylight hours. This window privacy film provides a low-interior reflection that preserves the view from the inside of your building. At night, when the lights inside are brighter than the light on the reflective side, the building’s occupants can also see through the film.
Commercial solar window film
Also known as a heat blocking window film, reflective window film blocks both UV (ultraviolet) and IR (infrared) rays. In fact, it reflects 99% of UV rays and 97% of IR rays. It also keeps your HVAC system in check and ultimately allows your building to be more energy efficient. By reflecting those rays that radiate heat into your building, this window film helps your structure stay cooler, particularly in the warmer months.
As carbon zero buildings begin to take prevalence in the market, business owners are starting now to make their buildings as carbon neutral as possible. Because various locales across the country are starting to implement carbon taxes, ensuring that your place of business meets current codes is imperative.
Improve Building Energy Efficiency with Window Film
We know we cannot contain the sun. Nor can we control it. But we are learning to mitigate solar energy to our benefit. Sun reflective window film is a great example of that.
With it, we take in the light, while implementing privacy, while redirecting the sun’s heat rays. Commercial solar window film allows building owners to enhance the beauty of their building while enhancing its energy efficiency. It’s always easier to work with a source than against it.