What Is Solar Window Film and How Does It Work?

by Hannah Stephens
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From faded furniture to stuffy, uncomfortable rooms, UV light can wreak havoc with your living space. While you could solve the problem by drawing the curtains and sitting in the dark, solar control window film provides a much more practical solution to hot interiors and skyrocketing energy bills.

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This clever home upgrade can significantly increase your home's comfort and efficiency without breaking the bank.

What Is Solar Control Window Film?

Solar window film attaches to windows and reduces the amount of UV light that enters your home. Generally, people use solar control window film to stop their homes from becoming uncomfortably hot. However, it can also protect your home furnishings from fading due to excessive UV light levels. You can purchase peel-and-stick film sheets to apply to your existing windows or use the film to improve the performance of new units.

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How Does Solar Window Film Work?

The external surface of solar control window film is reflective, causing heat and UV light to bounce back off the window instead of entering your home. There are various types and grades of film available, and which one you should choose depends on your budget and how much UV light and heat you want to block.

Installing solar window film can change the appearance of your windows during the day. Your windows may appear slightly tinted from the outside, similar to the glass in a pair of sunglasses.

Solar window film doesn't completely stop heat from entering your home. Instead, it allows non-UV light and a certain amount of heat through the glass, preventing your home's interior from becoming dark and chilly.

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Is Solar Control Window Film Worth It?

Installing solar control window film could be a smart investment, especially if you live in a hot climate and rely on your HVAC system to cool your home for a large portion of the year. Experts from the International Window Film Association say installing solar film can reduce the amount of solar heat entering your home by up to 85%. This reduction could allow you to save up to 40% on your utility bills.

Another factor to consider is the reduction in UV light. Solar films for home windows block up to 99% of UV light, providing significant protection for home furnishings. Installing window film can also make it harder for intruders to break your windows and prevent glass shards from dispersing across your room.

Solar window film offers a cost-effective alternative to window replacement if your windows are inefficient but otherwise in good condition. Hiring a professional to install window film costs around 90% less than installing new windows while providing a similar improvement in efficiency. You could also opt to install budget windows and upgrade them using window film instead of paying for more expensive, energy-efficient windows. Some jurisdictions and utility programs provide incentives and rebates for solar window film installation, further reducing the cost of your project.

Overall, solar control window film is often a more practical alternative than keeping your windows and blinds shut in hot weather. Many brands offer exceptional heat and UV protection without completely blocking light to the inside of your home.

How Long Does Solar Window Film Last?

How long solar window film lasts depends on several factors, including the quality of the film and whether you have it professionally installed. The IWFA says many products can last for 15 years or more if you install them correctly.

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