Managing the Sun’s Heat with Window Film

While window films aren’t typically thought of as glamorous, these products perform an impressive array of functions. Security, aesthetics, privacy, safety in the event of shattering glass – all are jobs that window films do well.


It’s in controlling the effects of the sun’s energy, though, that window film’s most important work gets done. Heat and light from the sun benefit humankind tremendously, of course – and at the same time cause damage to skin and property, and require consumption of energy to manage, mainly in the form of electric kilowatts for cooling.


How does window film control the effects of heat on the interior of a building or automobile? Through reflection, absorption, or a combination of both. The sun’s rays are composed of three types of energy: visible light, and infrared and ultraviolet energy that we can’t see, but can only feel.


Depending on its construction, window film allows most or all visible light to pass through the glass to which it’s applied, while reflecting and/or absorbing most of the heat energy from the sun before it’s felt inside the building or car. Reflective window films bounce much of the sun’s infrared (IR) rays back into the atmosphere, while non-reflective or dyed films simply absorb or block the IR rays.


Controlling the amount of heat that passes through glass by installing window film slows fading of furnishings and carpet, and significantly reduces cooling costs. An experienced, reputable window film professional will help you determine which window film product is right for your home, building, or automobile.


The Terminology to Know When Considering Window Film

Like most products that perform one or more technical functions, window film carries with it a set of terms that may be over the head of the average consumer at first glance. There certainly are words we’ve all seen and used – light energy, heat energy, even ultraviolet and infrared. Beyond those, there are the more scientific terms, like reflectance, transmittance, and absorption.

Window film language gets even more technical than that. Is it important for you to know and grasp every window film technical term? Of course not. But familiarity with some of the basic language used to describe how window film works will help you make a more informed purchasing decision. You’ll better understand the differing functions of various films, which allows you to make a smart choice. And you’ll level the playing field a bit when it comes to talking with the window film professional who estimates and installs your project.

Here is a bit of window film terminology to know:

Total Solar Energy

This is the entire spectrum of the sun’s energy that reaches the earth’s surface. It’s made up of visible light, ultraviolet (UV) light, both UVA and UVB, and infrared (IR) energy. Window films manage all of these types of energy to some degree, and for different purposes.

Visible Light Transmitted

This is a measurement of the amount of sunlight a piece of glass lets through. A very dark window film may transmit only 5-10% of visible light into a room, while a light or nearly clear film may allow 90% and up. Visible Light Reflected indicates how much light is bounced back to the source, whether the source is the sun outside or the building’s interior lighting.

UV Rejection

Damage is caused to interior furnishings and carpet, not to mention to the skin of room occupants, by UV rays. UV rejection tells you how much of this harmful radiation is turned away by the window film.


Emissivity is essentially the insulating quality of a piece of glass or of the window film covering it. Low-emissivity (Low-E) films reflect a great deal of the heat generated on a building’s interior back inside, a desirable quality for window films installed in colder climates.


U-Factor indicates the level of heat energy, independent of the sun’s radiant energy, that passes through a glass/window film assembly. It’s calculated with a multiple of the difference between indoor and outdoor air temperatures, and like Low-E, a lower U-Factor number means better heat retention inside a building in cold weather.

Talking the window film talk will give you an advantage when it comes to selecting a window film product and getting the greatest value from your purchase. For the exceptionally scientific-minded, a full glossary of window film terminology provides an even deeper look into the functionality of these products.

Download Glossary of Terms


Who Needs Window Film?

It’s likely the average consumer has never considered buying window film, in fact, many of you may be asking yourself “who needs window film?” The answer is fairly simple — anyone who is concerned about personal and property protection.


You should consider window film if you:



Own a car.


Window film is like sunscreen for your car. Automotive films, just like architectural films, can block up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays. Research shows that 53% of skin cancers in the U.S. occur on the left, or drivers’, side of the body. Professionally-installed solar control films, also known as tinted window films, help block out both UVA and UVB rays that cause skin cancer. By blocking UV rays, window films also reduce glare, reduce heat inside the vehicle, and protect the interior from fading and cracking.



Own a home.


Just like you probably wouldn’t think to apply sunscreen before getting inside your car, you probably wouldn’t consider putting on SPF 30 just to sit in your living room or bedroom. The harmful UV rays that penetrate unprotected glass can damage your skin, causing premature aging and wrinkles, and as we already mentioned, skin cancer. Solar control films reduce your AC usage and energy costs by lowering the amount of heat entering your home. Your AC simply won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool. If that wasn’t enough, window films can also reduce glare which can cause eyestrain, as well as offer protection from fading of interior furnishings, carpeting, artwork, and flooring.



Own a business.


Business owners are concerned about protecting their investment. Whether you own a small business or multi-million dollar company, having window film professionally installed increases security both inside and outside of your commercial building. Safety films can hold shattered glass in place, providing an extra level of protection from threats like burglary attempts, vandalism, and natural disasters. Solar control films can also significantly reduce energy costs, provide increased privacy during the daytime, improve visibility— especially for computer monitors and TVs, and provide significant fade protection for office furniture and decor. All around, they create a more comfortable environment for employees, visitors, and tenants.


Window Film in Your Community

Every single day you could—and quite possibly do—benefit from window film. If you haven’t yet noticed, that’s likely because window film is an undetected superhero, saving you from the sun’s harsh UV rays and offering a layer of defense against intruders trying to get a peek inside your home, school, or business.




Even though you can’t see window film, you can trust that it’s working around the clock to block up to 99% of UV rays, and up to 86% of the sun’s heat. And window film installation costs only a fraction of what window replacement can cost. Not only will you save yourself the hassle and out-of-pocket expense, you’ll save on long-term energy bills. From keeping you cool and comfortable to providing much-needed privacy, window film helps you—and your entire community—live better.


Click here to download an infographic that shows how window film works throughout your community.


Window Films Save Energy and Money for Small Businesses

When you own a small business, you look for ways to improve your bottom line. One way to do this is by installing commercial window film, which reflects and absorbs incoming light and heat to cut down on energy expenses and protect your investment.



Cooling Cost Reduction


Cooling Cost ReductionMany electric companies charge higher rates during peak periods, which typically coincide with daytime business hours. Because window film blocks the sun’s heat, it allows offices and showrooms to remain cooler longer and decreases the need for air conditioning to kick on during peak rate times. This means you save money on your electric bill and extend the life of your HVAC system. Reduced heat from windows also helps keep building temperatures consistent during work hours, which can increase employee productivity and customer comfort.



Eyestrain Reduction


Eyestrain ReductionIn addition to blocking outdoor heat, window film helps eliminate bright, direct sunlight that can create excessive glare on computer screens or displays, and cause eyestrain and fatigue. Since window film minimizes glare, you will will not have to resort to purchasing window coverings that close off free natural light, and that increase the need for electric lighting.



Safety and Security


Safety and SecurityAs a small business owner, it’s important to protect your property from burglary and vandalism, and installing professional window tinting can help. Safety and security films will hold shards of broken glass together so thieves cannot easily penetrate the glass in a smash-and-grab scenario. In the case of natural disasters that may break windows, window film keeps glass in place to protect people from injury and your structure from further damage. Check if your window film installer carries anti-graffiti window film, too, which can protect windows against acid etching and spray paints.



UV Ray Protection


UV Ray ProtectionDirect ultraviolet exposure from sunlight can damage your furnishings and incite replacement costs. Installing window film slows the fading of furniture, fabric and carpeting, and reduces cracking and drying on leather and vinyl. Window film can protect your skin as well because it blocks 99% of UV rays that can cause dry skin, premature aging, and skin cancer.


Installing professional window film at your business can be money well spent when looking to cut back on electric costs and to add an extra layer of protection to your furnishings and property.


Lowering Your Carbon Footprint with Car Window Film

We all know that hybrid and electric cars are a great way to conserve energy, but what if you’re not in the market for a new car? What if these cars are beyond your price range? You can still help to conserve energy while driving by adding window film to your car.



A Driving Ambition to Reduce CO2


A Driving Ambition to Reduce CO2Because window film blocks solar energy, it makes your car cooler. This means you’ll use less air-conditioning and fuel and produce less carbon emissions. It may seem like a tiny drop in the energy-efficiency bucket, but when you think about how much you drive and run the air-conditioner, day in, day out – especially in the summer months or if you live in a year-round warm climate – it adds up to another way you can conserve energy and help to protect our planet for future generations. After all, transportation is the second largest source of CO2 emissions according to studies from the Environmental Protection Agency.



The Ultimate Protector


The Ultimate ProtectorIn addition to lowering your carbon footprint, you’ll also enjoy all of the other benefits of car window film. It protects you from the sun’s rays, which not only cause skin cancer but also produce glare that can impede your vision while driving. Window film also protects the interior of your car from fading and cracking. In the event of an accident, window film keeps glass from shattering and reduces injuries. This also deters crime because thieves can no longer shatter a window in seconds and quickly grab what they want to steal – getting through the window film takes longer. A darker shade of window film will also hide any valuables from view.



Find Your Shade of Cool


Find Your Shade of CoolIf the thought of a darker shade of window film turns you off, rest assured there is a complete spectrum of shades that will help keep your car cooler and conserve energy. To see which one is right for you, try out this tint simulator. It lets you see how different shades of window film will look on a car.


Window Film Versus Window Shades

Deciding between installing window film or window shades might be a matter of personal preference, but when you compare their value in energy efficiency and protection, you can make an informed decision that will benefit you in the long run.



Solar Heat Gain


Solar Heat GainShades can be effective at blocking sunlight and reducing incoming heat when they are light-colored and lowered or closed completely. In states like Florida where it’s sunny a majority of the year, shades may reduce heat gain up to 45%. Some styles though, especially darker shades, can actually absorb and trap solar heat and expel it into a room.


Because window film reflects sunlight before it enters the home, it can block up to 78% of the sun’s heat and absorb the remaining heat that isn’t reflected. This means air conditioning does not need to run as frequently, so energy bills are lowered. Additionally, the insulating properties of window film provides year-round savings by diminishing home heat loss through window glass when outdoor temperatures are colder.



Glare Reduction


Glare ReductionWhen direct sunlight causes glare on screens or business displays, shades allow you to block or redirect light. This also means rooms are darker and more interior lighting is required to account for the loss of natural light. Ultimately, energy usage and cost is increased.


Window film controls excessive brightness and prevents glare without forsaking natural light. As well, you are able to look out windows and enjoy views and scenery, which has been shown to increase well-being and mood.



UV Protection


UV ProtectionAlthough natural light can offer natural beauty, the sun’s UV rays can be damaging to people and furnishings. Harmful UV radiation that filters in through windows can cause skin damage and cancer as well as increase premature fading on fabrics, furniture and flooring. Depending on their material, window shades may not block UV rays effectively and can actually fade or crack from sun exposure. In contrast, window film blocks up to 99% of UV rays to provide safe, natural light.





PrivacySome businesses need to provide a level of privacy for their patrons and many homeowners do not want exposed windows that display their valuables. Window shades will close off onlookers, but the loss of natural light and views can be displeasing. The reflective properties of window film allow you to see outside during the day, but no one can see inside.





SafetyShades may block some shattering glass from projecting into a room, but window film makes windows more durable. If someone or something breaks the glass, the film helps keep the window intact, and broken pieces do not enter a building and cause personal injury.


You can shed some light on the benefits of using window film versus window shades when you compare how each addresses saving energy and protecting self and home. Depending on your goals, you may find window film can give you more bang for your buck.




Celebrate the Energy-Savings and Other Benefits of Window Film!

There is no better season to celebrate window film and its amazing benefits than the holiday season! Between energy savings and health benefits, we really can’t find a reason why you shouldn’t invest in window film in the new year. Thanks to the International Window Film Association, here are 10 reasons we are celebrating window film to ring in 2017!


  1. Window film can help cut home cooling costs: reduce the heat in your home with window film. Your central air system shouldn’t have to work so hard.
  2. Go “green” or go home: did you know that many neighborhoods offer incentives for green projects? You can even receive tax reductions for window film installation. 
  3. Say goodbye to glare: don’t you hate when there’s a glare on the television or through the window? With window film, glare is never a problem.
  4. Protect your home and your family: you never know what could happen. Whether severe weather strikes, or the neighbor’s lawnmower throws a rock at your window, window film can stop the glass from shattering. 
  5. Alternative to window replacement: wanting to save energy in your home but don’t want to invest in new windows? Try window film instead—it’s less expensive!
  6. UV rays penetrate your home and car windows: however, with window film, you’re protected. The most harmful UV rays are blocked by window film.
  7. Customize, customize, customize: give your windows a sleek look with your choice of window film. Whether you want something tinted or transparent, window film can help give your home or office a look of its own.
  8. Sight for sore eyes: did you know that untreated windows only protect your eyes from 25 percent of UV rays? Window film can increase that percentage!
  9. Protect your investments: home furnishings aren’t cheap. Protect them with a layer of window film and keep them from undergoing sun damage.
  10. Large, small, high, or low, window film doesn’t discriminate: regardless of the size or location of your windows, window film can be installed no matter what!


Save money and energy, protect your home and family, and add some design and aesthetic to your home. There’s no downside to window film, so celebrate with us and put it on your to-do list for the new year!


Home Energy Quiz & Summer Links

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably learned quite a bit about energy conservation. So now it’s time to test your knowledge! Take this quiz from the Department of Energy that covers everything from what accounts for the most energy use in American homes to LED lighting myths.



Take the Quiz


Maybe you’ll discover that you already know a lot about energy conservation – or maybe you’ll learn something new? Either way, you can never know too much about energy conservation!



Links for Summer


Links for SummerSummer brings us hotter temperatures and high travel season, so we’ve compiled a few links with some summer energy-saving tips for your reference below. Stay cool and happy travels!






Keep Your Cool with Heat Rejection

Heat rejection is a smart, efficient process that keeps cooling costs down by preventing excess heat from entering a building’s interior. According to the International Window Film Association (IWFA), window films are an effective way to achieve this, obtaining up to 80 percent solar heat rejection.



Heat Rejecting Window Films


Heat Rejecting Window FilmsApproximately 40 percent of a home’s heat comes through its windows. By bouncing solar energy back and away from the interior, window films provide a home or other building with a “solar shield,” cutting cooling costs by as much as 30 percent.



Keeping It Light


Keeping It LightWhile almost any window film will provide heat rejection, today’s modern, high quality window films filter out damaging UV rays yet still allow visible light to penetrate the film’s surface. Although heat-causing solar energy is reflected back outside, creating energy savings, light is allowed to penetrate the film, preserving interior aesthetics. Not to mention preserving the enjoyment of beautiful views!



Long- and Short-Term Benefits


Long- and Short-Term BenefitsThe harmful effects of sunlight add up, not just in terms of energy costs, but also in damage to furnishings. Window film protects valuable fabrics and art from damaging ultraviolet rays that cause fading. This can potentially save thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Also, a variety of styles and hues make window films an architectural enhancement that can increase a building’s design value. Some homes will even qualify for a tax credit.



Additional Advantages


Additional AdvantagesAside from its heat rejection capabilities, window film offers a number of valuable benefits. First, it protects occupants from damaging UV rays and the glare that leads to eye fatigue. These same films allow more natural light to filter through and help reduce the need for artificial lighting. Second, window film helps to eliminate hot spots within a space, regulating the temperature and eliminating the need to run the air conditioning as frequently.



If you’re considering adding window film to your home or building, make sure you gain the maximum benefits by having them installed by a professional window film dealer. To find a Madico Window Films dealer in your area, call 888-887-2022 or email