Going green is in vogue with architects and interior decorators and for good reason.
Green conserves energy and other resources, improves the home environment and promotes reuse and recycling. With instability in the Middle East, seesawing oil prices, a warming climate and gas-thirsty automobiles, the challenge of conserving energy and reducing America’s dependence on oil becomes the essential green element.
Buildings are something of an energy-efficiency blind spot in this country. Public attention tends to focus largely on automobile companies and mileage, but houses and skyscrapers consume more energy than cars. According to the Energy Department, residential and commercial buildings account for 40 percent of total energy consumption in this country versus just 28 percent for the entire transportation sector.
In new houses, with panoramic picture windows, broad glass sliding doors and sunrooms, the energy loss is likely to be larger than in old houses. Windows in a new house now typically account for 15 to 30 percent of the total heating load and may account for more than 50 percent of the summer cooling load.
Because buildings consume enormous quantities of the earth’s resources in their construction and daily operation, they represent many opportunities for innovative eco-friendly design as well as cost savings.
Window film is green because it saves energy by reducing heat loss and gain. Solar film limits both the amount of solar heat passing through glass and the amount of internal heat escaping through glass. Window film is most commonly applied directly to the interior surface of all types of glass where it generally lasts 20 years.
In the heating season, usually more heat escapes from a window than comes in from the sun. Window films can help reduce this costly heat loss by reflecting indoor radiant heat back into the room. In the cooling season, even when draperies and blinds are closed, most of the sun’s heat passes through the glass into the room. Window films stop the heat of the sun at the window. Additionally, window film protects home furnishing from the sun’s damaging UV rays thereby lengthening the useful life of fabrics, floorings, furniture and artwork and the need for energy consuming replacements.
Professional installation of nearly invisible window film is critically important to aesthetics and longevity, which is why Vista® films are exclusively sold through trained dealers who are responsible for installation. These dealers also are technologically qualified to help homeowners match the choice of film to meet an individual challenge and are usually listed in the yellow pages under “Window Coating and Tinting.”
Solar control window films offer affordable (a 12-square-foot window can be filmed for hundreds of dollars less than a similar sized high performance factory tinted window would cost), practical solutions for all glazing problems including glare, cooling and heating, interior fading, views and glass fragmentation. In addition, the installation of solar control window film takes little time, does not intrude on daily domestic activities and averts the need to replace windows.
The competent selection and installation of widow films like those available from CPFilms will enable an ideal healthy, safe, energy efficient sunlit home—a green home. So now we know, it is easy being green.
Virginia L Kubler is business director-window films, CPFilms Inc., producer of custom-coated solar control and security films. The company’s window films are sold under the brand names of Vista® and LLumar® for residential and architectural applications.