By Kristen Koehler
Make Your Florida Home More Sustainable with Window Film
Floridians live in the sunshine state and understand the power of the sun to harness energy. But what happens when the sun is causing you to consume too much energy to cool your home? Find out how to make your home more comfortable and more sustainable with window film.
The Problem with Windows
We all love windows for the light they let in and for the views they afford. But for homeowners in sunny states like Florida it can also be a problem when those windows let in too much heat during the day. The U.S. Department of Energy says that “In cooling seasons, about 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.” And Florida gets an average of 237 sunny days a year – making it the 4th sunniest state in the country according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. With that much sunshine, it’s no wonder that the Energy Information Administration’s latest residential energy consumption survey (RECS) from 2020 found that 96% of Florida homes using air conditioning. And it’s a large part of Floridians’ energy bills – nearly 30% of energy consumption came from air conditioning according to the 2015 RECS (2020 cost data is not yet available).
Plus with climate change and rising energy prices, experts agree that the cost of running your air conditioner will only increase in the future.
Window Film as a Solution
So, what can a sustainably minded Floridians do to stay cool but also reduce energy consumption?
The answer is to make your windows more energy efficient. And one way to do that is to install solar control window film in your home.
What is Window Film?
Window film is a high technology product made to enhance glass performance.
It is constructed from biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET), a common type of polyester used widely in clothing, packaging materials, and other films. Polyester is a thermoplastic polymer that can be melted down and reformed into other products, so it is recyclable. The polyester layers are treated with components such as dyes, metals, and nano ceramic particles to reflect or absorb solar energy.
How does Window Film Work?
Window film is applied to the inside surface of a window. The diagram below compares glass with and without window film to illustrate how window film works:
On the left-hand side, you can see that most of the solar energy that hits 1/8” clear glass will flow directly through it. The right-hand side of the diagram shows glass with window film applied that allows only 35% of visible light to pass through. Here you see that the window film both reflects and absorbs more energy than clear glass resulting in a fraction of the solar energy being transmitted through the window.
Reducing the amount of solar energy entering a home, results in a house that is less hot and allows your air conditioner to work less hard.
How Efficient is Window Film?
Commercial buildings of all types (office, hotels, universities, medical) have long used window film in their designs to improve the comfort within the building envelope and to increase the building’s energy
efficiency. Controlling the amount of solar energy that enters through a building’s windows makes interior spaces more habitable and can lower cooling bills. The same is true for homes. In fact, the energy saver website from the DOE classifies window film as an energy efficient window covering. Upgrading a window with window film costs a fraction of what it would be to replace your windows. And the DOE says that an average home can expect to expect to recoup its window film investment in three years or less from the energy savings the film provides.
Window film is an effective and economical way to make your Florida home more sustainable. It’s less expensive than replacing your windows and keeps old windows out of landfills! And using your AC less will reduce your carbon footprint and save you money as well.
About the Author: Kristen Koehler
Kristen Koehler is VP of Marketing for Concord Window Film, an ecommerce company that provides professional grade window film to do-it-yourself homeowners with locations in MA, CT, CA, and FL. She is passionate about teaching people about the benefits and efficiencies of window film. Kristen loves visiting Florida every year and plans to reside in the sunshine state when she retires.