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Accent By Masters News

Window Film: A Window of Opportunity

From: FacilitiesNet.com

Excerpt:

There are many examples of wasted energy in a facility — lights left on in rooms without occupants, or inefficient HVAC systems, for example. One source that often goes unrecognized is the energy required to cool space heated by sunlight coming through windows. Roughly one third of an average building’s cooling load is due to solar heat gain through windows, according to the Building Energy Databook, an annual report of data averages published by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Of course, windows provide views and sunshine that can reduce the need for artificial lighting. Even so, more daylight also means more heat, and this requires cooling to keep occupants comfortable.

One way to reduce solar heat gain and improve the energy efficiency of a building is window film. Solar control window film is applied to the inside of a window where it reflects and absorbs heat. In addition to reducing the need for cooling, window film helps create an even, comfortable temperature throughout a building.

A building’s directional orientation relative to the sun can create “hot spots,” or areas that receive significantly more sunlight than others. Depending on the sophistication of a facility’s HVAC system, this can create challenges for maintaining occupant comfort.

“If a building has mainly large glass areas facing north and south, additional cooling may be needed to maintain comfort for offices on the southern exposure,” says Steve Debusk, energy solutions manager, CP Films. “In situations like this, offices on the northern exposure are typically overcooled and uncomfortable. By reducing the solar heat gain on south facing offices, the air conditioning system is better able to maintain comfortable conditions for all.”

Excess solar heat gain can also be a problem even in colder temperatures, says John Miller, a spokesman for V-Kool.

“South- and west-facing walls can be getting too much heat, even in winter, which can require air conditioning,” says Miller. That can be true even on days when heat is running in other parts of the building.

Full Text: Window Film: A Window of Opportunity

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