In the northern hemisphere, the sun’s lower winter angle in the sky peers straight into your windows, causing glare, more fading from its UV rays and unwanted hotspots. The usual remedy is to block out the natural daylight with curtains or blinds. However, this may darken the interior and create the need to turn lights on.
Then there’s the appearance of the home. From the exterior a home’s windows may appear disheveled with a drape partially open, a blind a bit crooked and next to it, a curtain pulled tight.
Then there’s the cost of curtains, drapes, blinds and shades, that can add up quickly. Can you go “curtainless” and still reduce the sun’s glare?
“A cost-effective solution is long-lasting, professionally installed window films, which can be permanently affixed to the glass by experts in a day or less to windows, doors and skylights. Many designs and features are available, such as privacy films that still allow in natural light, or clear, glare-reducing films that offer energy savings,” says Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA).
Window films themselves are high-tech systems with multiple performance coatings produced to address specific problems in buildings. They may last 15 years or more and can be installed on single or dual pane windows in good condition, and they may also upgrade the glass to today’s energy standards.
Window films with the IWFA logo are rated just like windows for their energy savings features. Window film manufacturers and businesses may offer a warranty that not only covers the window film, but may also cover the window glass.
“Window films are always ‘on’ and work when you need them so there is no need to pull drapes, shade or blinds,” adds Smith.
Other benefits in addition to savings may include enhanced safety, the blocking of up to 99 percent of UV rays and privacy films. Window films may also help to keep heat in during winter and reduce the sun’s solar heat by up to 80 percent in summer. Another plus is that a home may have a cleaner, modern look.