Window Films Provide Choice for Trend Toward Expansive Fenestration

| May 26, 2017

by Peter Davey

Advancements in window film technologies have increased dramatically and have improved the quality of our lives. From the original sun control window film patent issued to 3M Company in 1966 to recent rollouts of dual-technology insulating film and daylight redirecting film, we have enjoyed a more comfortable, safer, and healthier experience in our buildings due to installations of quality window films.

Facility and property managers are challenged by the architectural trend toward expansive glass in windows, walls, and doors. Typically, glass generates heat gain, heat loss, and safety concerns — compounded by associated rising heating and cooling expenses. Green-minded clients are driving the market toward energy conservation and healthy indoor environments with demands for natural lighting. A quick, clean, cost-effective quality window film retrofit can address all these concerns. Upon installation, reduction in heat gain; heat loss; glare and UV damage to fabrics, furnishings, and floors; security; and overall aesthetics are immediate. Ultimately, a window film retrofit is an affordable option over glass replacement and can generate a return on investment — often within two to three years. Film options include:

  • Daylight redirecting film. A highly engineered film that redirects sunlight deeper into a building, it reduces dependence on artificial lighting while providing benefits of natural light. Data indicates that natural light increases employee productivity, decreases absenteeism, improves test scores, boosts retail sales, and improves patient recovery times.
  • Climate control. A dual-technology film that reduces solar energy entering your building while helping to prevent the transfer of radiant Like insulation for windows, this film is particularly effective in the Northeast.
  • Metallized. These traditional solar control window films with high optical clarity include a microthin layer of metal to reflect infrared solar radiation.
  • Nonmetallic. Solar control films manufactured without metals, these films are not susceptible to corrosion in coastal environments and do not interfere with Wi-Fi and cell phone reception. They offer reflectivity that is actually lower than glass.

  • Exterior. Both metallic and nonmetallized, they have a durable UV resistant hardcoat that withstands harsh weather. Exterior films offer easier access to glass that may not have been accessible.
  • Night vision. Traditional metalized films reflect equally inside and out, becoming mirror-like at night. Night vision films reflect more toward the exterior and less toward interior, providing the performance of a reflective film that can be seen through at night.
  • Ceramic. These films utilize a layer of ceramic material to reflect solar energy. They will not reflect quite as much energy as other nonmetallic films and are more reflective. However, they offer higher visible light transmission than night vision films.
  • Safety and security. Designed to hold broken glass in place, these low-profile, high-performance films help reduce the risk of injuries and property damage due to flying glass shards and exposure to the elements. They hold glass in place in the event of blasts, violent weather, or vandalism. Combination safety and solar control films provide varying levels of each benefit.
  • Antigraffiti. These films help safeguard your property from vandals using spray paints, markers, and other tools that mark, scratch, and deface property while additionally providing protection typical of safety and security films.
  • Specialty films. Designer films, window/wall graphics and architectural finishes enhance interiors provide privacy, promote products, enhance company image, and resurface furniture, elevators, walls, and doors.

Given the variety of fenestration and films, seek experienced professionals to help guide you toward the best product for your specific application. Choose a manufacturer that has longevity in the field and stands behind their products with solid warranties. Select an authorized and certified window film dealer with experienced professionals and trained installers. They will provide film samples, specifications, and all the support required to help you reach your project goals.

Peter J. Davey is president of American Window Film, Inc., a 3M Authorized Prestige Window Film Dealer, located in Foxboro, Mass.

Peter Davey

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Category: All, Products and Services