Does Solar Film Really Reduce Heat?

Is window film really able to reduce heat in your space? Are the window film specs accurate? Is the investment in window film worth it?

3M window film has striven to bring the best possible window films to the market. With up to 82% heat reduction, 97% Infrared reduction and the real world ability to block 99.9% of all UV rays, window film is as advertised.
 
But don’t take our word for it. The US Department of Energy makes the same claim and then some.  In 2011, the DOE completed a study of the top 50 commercially available energy conservation technologies. These technologies were ranked using the following categories: 
  • Payback 
  • Probability of success 
  • Overall energy savings 
  • Technologies with less benefit that may be considered for specific targeted applications Results 
  • Ranked as top-tier technology 
  • Fastest payback ranking available — approximately 3 years 
  • Highest probability of success ranking (based on customer acceptance, ease of retrofit, knowledge base of the technology and supply chain strength)
 
Only 4 technologies logged a fastest payback rating in addition to the highest probability of success: 
  • Window films 
  • PC power management 
  • Condensing water heaters 
  • Air side economizers and filters for data centers 
 
Replacement window upgradess were also studied, but they scored much slower ROI’s and a lower likelihood of success with significant costs and workplace disruption.
 
 In a case study with the same climate zone as Vancouver,  3M window film was selected to reduce energy costs. The result was a net positive ROI in less than a year with utility savings over $150,000 every year.
 
Further independent study reinforces the DOE study with the following improvements as direct result from window film installation:
  
  • Single-pane glass showed paybacks in as short as 1.4 years 
  • Double-pane glass showed paybacks in as short as 2.1 years 
  • Annual energy savings as much as 19 kWh/sq ft (200 kWh/sq m) of glass 
  • An 8.8% carbon emission reduction would occur if every home in California had window film installed.
 
Apart from energy savings, window film includes an established, long list of benefits:
  • Reduced glare from windows and monitor screens
  • A more balanced climate control
  • Cooler temperatures on hot Summer days
  • Increased tenant comfortability and productivity
  • Carbon neutral in less than 6 months
  • Healthier tenants due to UV reduction of 99.9%
  • Reduced fading of furnishings (carpet, floors and furniture) with 99.9% UV protection
  • Electric bills lowered as much as 10%
 
In another energy study, temperature was measured in direct sunlight with and without window film for 4 days. Temperatures were shown to be reduced as much as 9 degrees fahrenheit (6 degrees celsius).
 
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Lance W.

Owner of a locally owned company based in Vancouver, BC. LR Window Films has an award-winning team whose mission is to continually improve the company with superior service and professionalism.

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