The right windows can accent any home. They can be stylish and provide a lot of natural light. Having large or numerous windows, especially ones that face south, can have a negative effect as well. The ultraviolet rays coming from the sun can damage your carpet or furniture. The infrared sunlight will also warm up your house considerably, which during the summer may not be very helpful for your comfort or your wallet. A lot of extra sunlight during the summer can lead to much higher energy bills due to running the air conditioner more often.
To help combat these issues, special coating films have been developed for windows. These coatings appear invisible, so they let in just as much natural light as windows without the film, but the film filters out the infrared and UV light, reducing the amount of heat gain and damage to your flooring and furniture. Some people worry that the film, which is very similar to car window tinting, will alter the color of the light entering the room. According to Darrell Smith, the executive director at the International Window Film Association, the current generation of window film is much better than it used to be.
Old window films were dark in color in order to absorb a lot of light, or they were more reflective to reflect the light back. This resulted in blocking 65% of solar energy and light. Today’s films only work on the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums of light, thus letting in all of the natural visible light while blocking about 80% of the solar energy, including 99% of UVA and UVB light. If you’re looking to get your windows coated, ask for color neutral films. Regardless of whether you get color neutral or dark films, you will save about 5% to 10% on your monthly electricity bills thanks to keeping the solar heat gain down.
The window films available today can also lend to your home’s decor. They can be used to make your windows appear etched or frosted while offering the same amount of protection. Do keep in mind that if your windows are in need of being replacing, this will not fix them. Old windows may leak air, which can cause your energy bills to increase, as cold air will seep through from the outside. If your windows are relatively new and still covered by a warranty, contact the manufacturer to ensure that adding a film will not void your warranty.
Window films can get you tax credits of up to 10% or $500. Contact your energy provider to see if you qualify for such a credit. Installing window films can be a bit pricy, but the sooner you act, the lower the rate. In the summer, the prices tend to rise with the temperatures. A 30 sq. ft. window can cost anywhere from $120 to $270, depending on where you live.
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