Window Film Helps Reduce Energy Consumption

Window Film Helps Reduce Energy Consumption 

One of the best ways to reduce electricity consumption – and save on your monthly power bill – is to install energy-efficient film on windows around the house. It’s also one of the easiest.

Window films are generally self-adhering, plastic sheets that you put directly on the glass. They prevent heat from escaping in the winter, and keep it from coming in during the summer. In fact, it’s been estimated that they can block nearly 40 percent of heat lost through windows when it’s cold and up to 70 percent of the heat that gets in when temperatures start rising.

And if that’s not enough, they also stop as much as 99 percent of ultraviolet light. So they’re not just energy- and cost-efficient. They’re safer, too.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to install them, either.

Basically, you just have to make sure the glass surface is clean; trim and carefully apply the plastic film; and squeeze out any air bubbles. It will start taking hold in less than an hour and be totally ready to go in a week or so. (For detailed installation instructions, go to http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-install-window-film-carpet-tiles/index.html)

Window films work because they add a low-emissivity (“low-e”) coating to the glass that cuts the heat transfer while still allowing visible light to come into your house. Although they are a proven option for holding down energy costs, their overall effectiveness depends on a number of factors. These include:

  • Window size. Obviously, the larger the area of glass being covered, the greater the reduction of heat transfer. 
  • Location. The films are generally beneficial for windows facing east, west, and south. Windows facing north rarely need coating because they just don’t get a lot of direct sunlight.
  • Existing windows. If your windows already have low-e glass, chances are that putting on a sheet of film won’t make a lot of difference.

Because window film is an easy do-it-yourself job, you can save money on installation, too.

Typically, the films can start as low as $20 or so for a 2- by 4-foot window and can go as high as $150 if you’re looking for special properties like glare reduction and resistance to scratching. But if you decide not to do it yourself and bring in a professional installer, plan on spending $60 to $90 for a typical 3- by 5- foot window.

So as spring approaches and you’re getting the house all ready for the summer cooling season, give window film a try. It’s a smart, simple, effective way to drive down costs by keeping the heat out now (and keeping it in next winter).

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