8 great reasons for using window film

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Solardome glasshouse with window film

A guest blog from the window film expert

Phil Baker has enjoyed an extensive career spanning 35 years working with window films. In 1999 he became the first person to distribute Johnson Window Films outside of the US. Developed for the automotive and commercial industry, window films are now used extensively for windows in homes and commercial structures to improve solar control, safety and appearance.

How window film works

Window film is a self-adhesive polyester film that is applied to glass surfaces. It is used as a “retrofit” application for existing glass in order to upgrade solar control, safety and appearance.

Glass is designed to act as a barrier from exterior elements (i.e. wind, rain and snow) while providing a natural view of the outside world. When solar energy or sunlight, comprised of heat, light and UV rays, hits an untreated window, almost 90% of the energy is transmitted through the glass, which is great for plants but may limit other uses.

In contrast, once solar control window film is applied to glass, around 80% of solar energy can be blocked; ideal for a freestanding conservatory or outdoor classroom. The special dyes, metals or nano technology within the film act as a solar energy barrier, either by absorbing or reflecting a percentage of the energy from passing through the glass.

The level of absorption and reflectance is dependent on how the film is constructed. Dyed films contain no metal and are considered non-reflective because they absorb solar energy. They are not as effective in controlling solar heat and light because they do not provide any solar reflectance. On the other hand, metallized or nano films provide both solar absorption and reflectance. They do a much better job of solar control since their construction properties control both heat and light from passing through the glass surface.

What can a window film do for you?

  1. Decrease heat: Today’s window film can provide up to 82% solar energy rejection versus untreated glass. By controlling hot spots and overall unwanted interior heat from the sun, window film helps create a more environment while reducing cooling costs.
  2. Reduce fading: Window film can block up to 99% of UV rays while also significantly reducing heat. Reducing these two primary causes of fading helps to protect your furnishings.
  3. Provide skin protection: By stopping virtually all the UV rays, window film provides an effective “sunscreen” for your skin against the harmful effects of the sun.
  4. Cut annoying glare: Like sunglasses, window film does an excellent job of cutting glare, particularly on IT screens.
  5. Save energy: Solar control films can significantly reduce air conditioning/heating usage.
  6. Increase safety & security: Thicker protective safety films are available to provide an extra level of protection in case of breakage and increased security.
  7. Enhance appearance: There’s a variety of window film options that can aesthetically enhance the exterior of a dome. From virtually invisible films to darker colours, there’s a range of shades to give you the look you want.
  8. Remedy a problem quickly: Professional installation is quick and simple. Films can also be retro-fitted should a particular issue come to light, or should you change how you use your dome.

Meeting the demands of glass buildings

The expanse of glass in modern buildings is increasing and as such specifiers are becoming wiser to the demands of glass buildings. In response, for manufacturers like Johnson Window Films, product development is also advancing quickly. We have already shown that with with the right kind of window film you can make your building far more efficient. Particularly for commercial properties that control temperature using complex and often expensive air conditioning and heating systems.

Window films for geodesic domes

In conjunction with Solardome Industries, we have also developed ways to optimise a geodesic dome by graduating window films. By applying a more heat reflective film at the top and a lighter film at the sides, you can let in more natural light, creating a more consistent temperature without compromising on views. The film also acts as a safety feature; if the toughened safety glass does get broken the film will hold the glass in place until it can be replaced. Plus, window films are low maintenance, can be cleaned as you would glass and are more efficient than blinds.

View the full list of Johnson Window Films with detailed specifications on how they affect the solar gain.

Alternatively, contact Solardome for more information.


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