Windows & Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is all about using less energy to perform the same task, and in our homes and workspace it could mean consuming less power to regulate the temperature and provide sufficient lighting. Over the years there has been an emphasis on buying appliances and other electrical goods that are rated higher for efficiency, communicated simply with the Energy Rating Label: more stars mean better energy efficiency. More recently, focus has shifted to encouraging consumers to replace incandescent and halogen light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights. But these aren’t the only steps you can take to improve energy efficiency; the windows in your home or office can have a significant effect on the ambient temperature inside and reducing any energy efficiency gains brought about by your energy rated appliances and lighting.
One way of changing this is to switch to using double or triple glazing on all your windows, but this is an expensive option that also isn’t always possible in some buildings. A simpler, more cost-effective solution is window tinting, which can be done faster and with less disruption than installing new glazing throughout. With the right tint you’ll not only be able to keep cool – or warm – air from escaping through the windows, you’ll also be able to reduce your dependence on lights by still allowing a large amount of natural lighting to enter your home or office.
How Window Tinting Helps Maintain the Right Temperature
In summer you want to keep solar heat from entering your home or business through the windows, which will help reduce your dependence on the air-conditioner. This can be achieved through the use of window tints that block a large amount of solar heating. This information should be easily available when inquiring about window tinting, but you can also look at the energy rating for the recommended tints. Thanks to the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS), you will find that windows and some window treatments – including tinting film – are also rated for energy efficiency in a similar manner to that of appliances and other electrical goods.
Window tinting films are rated for both heating and cooling and depending on where you live you would be interested in films that offer both heating and cooling benefits, keeping solar heat out in summer, but also preventing interior heat from escaping in winter. These benefits are available with both residential and commercial window tinting, and with so many commercial buildings having all-glass facades, installing the right window tint can have a dramatic effect on the ambient temperature, and your monthly energy bill.
Window Tinting and Natural Light
A common misconception is that window tints also block out natural light, making the inside of your home or business darker. While it is possible to install window tints that purposely block out a lot of light, it is also possible to choose tinting films that still allow most natural light to pass through. The feature you are looking for in this instance is Visible Light Transmission (VLT), with a higher percentage for VLT meaning that more light is allowed to enter. This is completely different to solar heat and UV rays, and a higher VLT does not always mean less solar heat or UV rays are blocked. This is another way to help improve energy efficiency, with more natural light reducing the need for electrical lights during the day, especially in offices or rooms with larger windows.
At Instant Windscreens our tinting specialists are not only trained to professionally install window tints on vehicles and both residential and commercial windows, they’re also able to offer professional advice on which tints are best for the results you want to achieve. Call today and we’ll come to you to discuss, measure, and quote – no cost or commitment required.