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Installation of window film on retrofit commercial projects is becoming one of the easiest strategies to reduce energy costs.  Our feature article "Window Film Energy Cost Reduction" provides details on the benefits of window film installation. For this month's article, eDiscoveri interviewed International Window Film Association (IWFA) Executive Director Darrell Smith.  If you find this information helpful, please forward to a colleague.

Window Film Benefits & Rebates



Benerfits & Rebates


Installation of window film can lower energy costs.  Other benefits include increased energy efficiency, UV reduction, fade protection for furniture, carpets and drapes, reduced HVAC costs, and controlled damage from broken glass when using security window films.  


The three primary areas reviewed when developing strategies for energy reduction and cost savings in a commercial building are: HVAC, lighting and envelope.  Installation of window film is one of the strategies that is being used to develop a more energy efficient building envelope.  Check with your local utility to see if they offer rebates and incentives for the installation of window film. 



The International Window Film Association (IWFA), for over 25 years, has been the third-party industry source for accurate technicala information on window film products and their uses.  The IWFA educates industry influencers and consumers on the energy savings, protection against broken glass and UV properties of window film and delivers standardized training.




eDiscoveriWhy do I need window film?  What can window film do for me?


IWFA: The addition of window film to an existing window can greatly increase the energy efficiency of the window on which it is installed by blocking as much as 84% of the solar energy while letting the visible light pass through it; giving up to 99% UV protection, adding glare control if desired, lessening the dangers of glass fragments in the event of glass breakage, and changing the building aesthetics to a cleaner, more modern look, therefore restoring some of the original architectural integrity to it.
eDiscoveri: What is window film?

IWFA: Window film is comprised of one or more (usually more) layers of polyester-based films which have been treated with chemicals and/or metals and laminated together to have specific physical properties in a total product resulting in solar performance parameters of the finished film which, when installed on glass in an existing window, greatly improves the energy efficiency of the glazing system

eDiscoveri: How does window film work? 

IWFA: Different window films work in different ways by either reflecting, absorbing, or transmitting specific bandwidths of energy such as ultraviolet energy, visible light energy, and both near- and far-infrared energy.

eDiscoveri: What are the types of window film? 

IWFA: There are energy control films, safety/security window films, and decorative films, all of which can be used for residential and commercial building applications, as well as automotive window films.

eDiscoveri: When will I get my return on investment?  

IWFA: The return on investment of a window film installation can vary greatly dependent on the building specifications, the building orientation, the geographic location and its weather patterns, the window film chosen, and the operating patterns of the facility.  However, ROIs from studies done in California with its 6 climate zones have shown ROIs from one to six or seven years (study can be found on IWFA website at
www.iwfa.com).  IWFA member manufacturers supply their dealer/installers with the service of having a full energy analysis done on a building using state-of-the-art software called Efilm based on the EnergyPlus simulation engine from the U.S. Department of Energy.  This analysis can give specifics of not only the ROI but also the demand reduction in both KWH and dollars by month for a given building.

eDiscoveri: Where should window film be installed? 

IWFA: There is a window film for installation on all types of glass.  Even the newest and best windows can only stop about 70% of the ultraviolet energy from entering a building, and it only takes a small amount to contribute to fading and deterioration of carpet, drapes, and furniture in an office as well as to expose occupants to its harmful effects.  Even clear window film can block up to 99% of this ultraviolet from penetrating the glass.
eDiscoveri: How should I select an installer?  How are installers accredited/certified?
IWFA: The IWFA (www.iwfa.com) provides two services to help those looking for window film installers.  First, on its website under the Business Locator tab, consumers can find dealers in their vicinity merely by entering their local zip codes.  They will then get a listing of dealers with name, address, email, phone, and a direct link to any website they may have.  Separately, there are notations on each dealer's listing as to which IWFA accreditations that dealer has earned.  But no matter how someone finds a dealer, we recommend that they provide a copy of their business license and proof of adequate insurance for the job.  In addition, we believe a customer should request BEFORE THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED a copy of the exact warranty to be received after the job, a copy of the manufacturer's film-to-glass recommendation chart showing the film specified for this job on their glass, a specification sheet of the performance characteristics of the film to be installed, and a sample piece of the exact type of film which will be installed.

eDiscoveri: Where can I learn more about window film?  

IWFA: Go to www.iwfa.com.

eDiscoveri: Who is IWFA?   

IWFA: The IWFA is the International Window Film Association, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit trade association representing manufacturers, distributors, and installing dealers of window film products worldwide.  Its mission is to provide accurate information and education about window film products and their proper uses to the public, to government agencies, to utilities and code officials, and to industry members.

eDiscoveri: What rebates and/or tax deductions are available for window film?  

IWFA: Window film can be used to help a building meet certain energy reduction guidelines for whole building renovations or for meeting LEED certification, thus making it eligible for certain Federal, state, or local utility incentives (or tax credits).  Since these vary by region and building type and sector, the IWFA cannot comment generally at this time.

eDiscoveri: What standards or groups, such as GSA, require the installation of window film?  

IWFA: Many Federal and state agencies, such as the GSA or the ISC (Inter-Agency Security Council) have set minimal bomb-blast, earthquake, and energy performance standards which much be taken into consideration in any retrofit of a public building.  Since the use of window film products has been accepted by those agencies as a proven method for providing certain levels of those types of protection, window film should be one of the technologies considered for use in any public building upgrade.
Key Points
Window film installation can increase energy efficiency, provide UV protection and lessen damage from broken glass.  Some utilities are offering incentives and rebates for window film installation as a successful project with energy cost savings.

Call eDiscoveri at +1 804 291 7667 to learn more about about window film and how it lead to a successful project with energy cost savings.
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eDiscoveri helps customers discover low-cost/no-cost methods of reducing energy costs.  Please let us know if we can be assistance to your company or government agency.
Ralph W. Russell, II
+1 804 291 7667