best 3m window film insulation

How Well Does Window Insulation Film Work?

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best 3m window film insulation

With winter weather approaching, you may be looking for ways to increase your home or commercial complex’s warmth and energy efficiency. Although windows improve the aesthetics of a building, they are also the source of the majority of heat loss, and therefore, increased heating costs.

While window insulation capabilities have improved greatly over the years with advancements in technology, replacing all of your windows will be costly. Fortunately, there are solutions like window insulation film that can increase the efficiency of your existing windows to trap warm air in and help reduce energy costs.

Window Insulation Film Options

There are quite a few insulating window film products available, but they can be broken down into two main categories: those that are installed inside and those installed outside. Both add an additional layer of insulation to your existing windows, essentially upgrading them from single-pane windows to double-pane windows, or double to triple.

Interior Installation – Window Insulation Film Kits

This type of window film is applied to the inside of a home or office building. Film insulation kits include a large piece of shrink-wrapping plastic that can be cut to size and an adhesive material like tape or magnets which are used to secure the plastic film to the window frame. Once installed, a heating element like a hairdryer is applied to the plastic, which shrinks it to the correct size.

Window film insulation kits are one of the cheapest ways to increase heat retention in your home. However, since they are installed inside, they can be unsightly – which is why many homeowners tend to steer clear of them. Window insulation kits need to be installed and removed every year with the change of the seasons. So, if you’re looking for short-term, one-season use, then they might work for you.

Exterior Installation – Retrofit Insulating Window Films

These window films are made up of multiple layers of ultra-thin plastics which are applied with an adhesive to the exterior of existing window glass. Once installed, these films are nearly invisible unless you want to incorporate tinting or mirroring for privacy.

Because they are a permanent solution, these window films have the additional benefit of retaining cool air in the summer along with heat retention in the winter, so you get energy efficiency year-round.

They also provide UV blocking capabilities which will keep your furniture and merchandise from fading and prevent glare for those inside, making for a more comfortable environment overall.

Does Window Insulation Film Work?

You may be wondering how well does window insulation film actually work, though? In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy conducted a study on the top 50 commercially available energy conservation technologies. Included in that study were exterior 3M insulating window films. The technologies were ranked on these categories:

  • Payback
  • Probability of success
  • Overall energy savings
  • Technologies with less benefit that may be considered for specific targeted applications

3M window films were ranked as a top-tier technology with the highest payback rating and the highest probability of success.

Additionally, ConSol Energy and Environmental Solutions, a leading consulting firm for builders, government agencies, utilities, and trade associations, calculated the effects of adding window film to a commercial building. Their study found that window films installed on single-pane glass showed paybacks in as little as 1.4 years and provided an annual energy savings of 19 kWh/sq ft of glass.

As you can see, exterior window films really do offer a good amount of insulation and improved energy efficiency. They are an affordable solution compared to replacing entire windows and can be installed much more quickly with minimal interference in your day-to-day.

Best Window Film Insulation

If you’ve come to the conclusion that window films are your best solution for increasing energy efficiency in your home or commercial space, 3M window film insulation provides significant energy savings all while maintaining your aesthetic.

Schools, hospitals, retail stores, residential homes and every type of building in between can be improved with 3M window film. It’s the ideal insulating film for glass windows and doors for all sorts of structures.

Window Film Depot is the top 3M Window Film installer, providing nationwide installation services for a wide range of customers. Ready to learn more about window film insulation? Get started by calling 1-866-933-3456 or contacting us online.

photochromic electrochromic window film glazing

What is Electrochromic Glass vs Photochromic Glass?

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photochromic electrochromic window film glazing

Both electrochromic film and photochromic film are some of the industry’s most advanced dynamic glazing products offering transformational capabilities for your windows. However, these technologies are very different and offer varying benefits.

While one offers on-demand privacy, the other offers dynamic sun control. We’ll break down the technology behind these films so you can better understand which is right for you.

What is Smart Glass?

Smart glass refers to a variety of intelligent glass options with varying properties that can transition depending on circumstances and includes switchable smart film (smart tint) and switchable smart glass.

There are three types of smart glass: both electrochromic glass and photochromic glass fall into this smart glass category.

Some glass comes with photochromic or electrochromic technology already built-in. Alternatively, smart glass film can be applied to existing glass, giving it either electrochromic or photochromic capabilities.

Electrochromic Window Film

Electrochromic film, also known as electrochromic window tint or “switchable” film, is a unique product that turns windows from transparent to frosted or tinted on command. It can be used in a variety of installations, from interior to exterior, where on-demand privacy or sun protection is required.

Electrochromic is a word used to describe materials that can change color when energized by an electrical current. The electrochromic tint of electrochromic windows is controlled by the amount of voltage applied to the glass. At the press of a button, the voltage changes, causing a reaction within the electrons that changes the way it reflects light.

The main advantage of these smart glass windows is that you can directly control the switchable nature so that you can tint the window when needed but leave it transparent in other situations. This maximizes access to views and the desired amount of light, allowing design freedom and giving architects the ability to design without blinds or other window shades.

Electrochromic glazing is ideal in many situations but is often applied in interior installations on windows, doors, and glass walls to provide a dynamic layer of privacy. Commercial, government and educational buildings can all benefit from the use of switchable window films.

Additionally, this type of film can be used for exterior purposes to change the tint of windows on command. However, it often lacks the sun and temperature control capabilities that photochromic film delivers.

Photochromic Window Film

Another common name for photochromic film is “transitional” film. This type of film changes from clear to tinted when exposed to the sun’s UV rays through a chemical process within the glass. It adapts to the amount of sunlight to provide concentrated levels of sun protection, but only when it’s needed.

Photochromic glass truly is “smart glass” since it adapts on its own and doesn’t require electricity to power it. A popular photochromic film product is CoolVu transitional film, which blocks 99% of UV rays and reduces solar-induced heat by up to 80% while still maintaining your desired aesthetic. This built-in UV and heat blocking smart glass technology help save money on cooling costs, allowing buildings to run their air conditioning less. You get the same energy savings and light glare reduction as static tint films without unattractive metallic tint.

Electrochromic Window Film for your Building

While photochromic films are more beneficial for their sun control capabilities, electrically switchable electrochromic films are more appropriate in the context of privacy and when a certain aesthetic needs to be maintained.

Whatever your smart glass needs are, Window Film Depot is here to help. When it comes to deciding between electrochromic or photochromic window films, we can discuss with you what your needs are to help guide you to the best solution.

Carbon Footprint Reduction Tips

Improve Carbon Footprint & Reduce Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings with 3M Window Film

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Carbon Footprint Reduction Tips

With current and upcoming carbon footprint reduction mandates aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, building owners, developers, and architects need a cost-effective solution to ensure compliance and avoid costly fines and penalties.

In addition to ensuring local and federal law compliance, there are many additional benefits of reducing carbon emissions from buildings. These include lower heating and cooling bills, lower electricity bills, and even funding and rebates available to buildings that have made these modifications.

Cities including New York City, Boston, and Washington DC have led the charge on carbon footprint reduction by mandating buildings to reduce and report their energy usage. These cities will be imposing fines and penalties as early as 2022 for non-compliance. With such a fast-approaching deadline, finding a fast, efficient, and cost-effective solution – like window film – will allow building owners to remain compliant without making significant changes to their building or systems.

What is Carbon Footprint Reduction?

Carbon footprint reduction is the practice of consuming less energy. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial and residential buildings combined consume nearly 40 percent of the total energy usage in the United States, more than both the industry and transportation sectors.

Today, there are more than 4.7 million commercial buildings in the United States alone.

With the recent carbon footprint reduction mandate put into action by the Biden administration, taking carbon footprint reduction measures is more important than ever. Biden’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 50-52 percent by 2050 from the levels measured in 2005.

Part of this plan includes supporting energy efficiency upgrades in previously constructed buildings and adopting modern energy codes for new buildings. Finding a cost-effective solution for how to reduce CO2 emissions in buildings now will let owners and developers get ahead of expected state laws and legislation designed to support the greenhouse gas reduction target goals.

Federal State Carbon Footprint Reduction Initiatives

Federal and Local Carbon Footprint Reduction Initiatives

There are both Federal and Local carbon footprint reduction initiatives and laws that building owners and developers need to be aware of. Non-compliance with these initiatives can carry serious fines and penalties, making compliance crucial.

Federal Climate Policy 106

Federal Climate Policy 106 focuses on reducing carbon emissions in the building sector, which consists of both residential and commercial buildings in the United States. Without factoring in the use of electricity, the building sector accounts for 12.5 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. This includes using fossil fuels for heating, cooling, and cooking.

However, once electricity usage is factored back into the equation, this number jumps to almost 40 percent. In other words, electricity usage in the building sector accounts for roughly 25 – 27 percent of greenhouse gasses in the country.

Building energy codes require new and renovated buildings to adopt energy efficiency features in their construction and design, and can include requirements for the building envelope (insulation, windows, walls, and roof), ventilation, cooling and heating systems, and lighting.

Making improvements to all of these elements can be costly, so finding a multi-purpose solution to address several of these elements at once can save builders and developers quite a bit of money.
NYC Local Law 97 of 2019

NYC Local Law 97 & Climate Mobilization Act

In New York City, buildings account for about two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. In April 2019, the City Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act & Local Law 97. Both of these initiatives were part of Mayor de Blasio’s New York City Green New Deal, a systematic plan for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Local Law 97 requires most buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet new greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency limits by 2024. Those limits will become stricter in 2030.

With only two years for NYC buildings to meet new energy standards, owners and developers need to quickly address these issues – or face fines and penalties if Local Law 97 compliance is not met.

Emissions Limits for Commercial Buildings in NYC

With emissions limits already being significantly reduced in New York City, understanding current and upcoming limits is an important part of implementing the right carbon footprint reduction methods that will make the most impact.

Local Law 97 Compliance Emissions Limits

Local Law 97 Fines & Penalties

Starting as early as 2024, building owners will be subject to fines for non-compliance with Local Law 97. Penalties and fines will be imposed for the following violations:

    • Failing to submit the annual compliance report: A fine of $0.50 per GSF per month that the report is not submitted.
    • Falsifying annual compliance reports: This constitutes a misdemeanor and can result in a $500,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail for the building owner.
    • Emissions over the allowed limit: A civil fine is calculated as the difference between the building’s annual carbon dioxide emissions limit and its actual emissions, multiplied by $268.

For example, for non-compliance with Local Law 97, penalties for a 50,000 square foot office building with total emissions of 425,000 KgCO2e in 2024 would be $536,000. That is because the building is 2,000 KgCO2e over its acceptable limit.

How did we get this number?

First, we looked at the table above to find the classification of the building. Since it is an office building, it falls under the “Business” classification. In 2024, the emissions limit per square foot for a building under this classification would be 8.46 KgCO2e.

Next, we multiplied the total square feet of the building by 8.46 KgCO2e to get the total allowable emissions for the building, which equals 423,000 KgCO2e. Since the building’s total emissions were 425,000, we subtract the allowable number from the total number to get 2,000. Since the fine in NYC in 2024 will be $268, we multiply $268 * 2,000 to get $536,000.

    • Step 1: 50,000 * 8.46 = 423,000
    • Step 2: 425,000 – 423,000 = 2,000
    • Step 3: 2,000  * 268 = $536,000

berdo boston compliance

Boston’s Climate Action Plan

Buildings account for over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in Boston. As part of the city of Boston’s Climate Action Plan, they introduced the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance. Also known as BERDO, the ordinance requires large- and medium-sized buildings to report both energy and water usage every year.

Additionally, buildings are also required to complete a major energy savings action or assessment every five years. BERDO Boston is public information and allows for easy benchmarking of commercial and residential buildings’ energy consumption and improvements.

Energy Benchmarking DC

Clean Energy Benchmarking in Washington DC

Clean Energy DC, signed into effect in 2017, is Washington DC’s climate and energy action plan that outlines the specific actions and steps that need to be taken to achieve tangible carbon reduction goals for the district.

The Clean Energy DC Plan aims to reduce emissions by 56% in 2032 compared to the baseline taken in 2005, similar to the plan set forth by the Biden administration. Washington DC’s sustainability plan outlines 57 concrete actions that need to be taken to achieve this goal.

Washington DC energy benchmarking for buildings has been required since 2008. But with the introduction of Clean Energy DC, there came the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) that were outlined in the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018. According to BEPS, buildings must maintain a minimum energy performance no lower than the local median ENERGY STAR score by property type.

Carbon Footprint Reduction Tips & Measures

Lighting

Installing or upgrading current lighting in existing buildings can help save energy and therefore reduce energy consumption. Upgrading all lightbulbs to LED bulbs is a good starting point. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to utilize solar power wherever possible. This can include outdoor lighting that uses solar boxes instead of traditional power sources.

There are certain 3M™ window film products, like 3M™ Daylight Redirecting film, that can help reduce the need for electric lighting by increasing the depth of daylight brought in from windows by up to 40 feet. This specialized window film also redirects up to 80% of sunlight onto the ceiling, providing more natural light within the interior space.

HVAC

Improving the performance of your HVAC system can be expensive if you focus primarily on upgrading the system itself. However, by installing window film on all of the windows and doors of your building, you can improve the overall insulation of the building. In turn, this reduces the need for your HVAC system to run as frequently, which in turn reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Insulating Glass Windows

Similar to HVAC systems, replacing or reinforcing all of the windows in a building is an expensive, disruptive and unsightly process that can take a long time to complete. Window film is a much more affordable, less disruptive option that won’t change the aesthetic of your building – unless you want it to! Installing window film adds an additional layer of protection and insulation to windows, and turns a single pane of glass into a double pane, and a double pane into a triple pane.

Renovations & Adaptive Reuse

Builders and developers can make a greater impact by making renovations to an existing building or practicing adaptive reuse. Instead of building a new small freestanding retail store, renovating an existing abandoned corner unit in an otherwise busy building will reduce the carbon footprint by eliminating the need for new construction and materials.

Similarly, adaptive reuse repurposes entire existing buildings, which in turn takes away the initial carbon emissions created during the construction process, allowing the development to participate in a circular economy.

Because of these laws and regulations, many new buildings are being constructed to be net-zero. Different from carbon-neutral buildings, which is when buildings significantly reduce their carbon emissions and then offset the rest, net-zero buildings produce on-site or utilize renewable, carbon-free energy to sustain building operations.

How to Improve Building Envelope

Reduce Emissions with Commercial Building Envelope Improvements

Improving the building envelope in an existing building is fairly easy when you take the right steps. The building envelope consists of the roof, windows, exterior doors and cladding, and is often overlooked when it comes to carbon footprint reduction. But improving the building envelope is a great way to reduce building emissions.

Implementing low-cost, high reward strategies, like using window film to improve the building envelope, will allow commercial buildings to monitor energy consumption and reduction over time without making a huge investment upfront.

Since window film is applied to glass windows and doors, it addresses two out of four of the elements of the building envelope.

Reducing Energy Consumption in Commercial BuildingsWays to Reduce Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings Using Window Film

Making significant, complex improvements to large commercial buildings can be disruptive to tenants, take months – even years – to complete, and depending on the upgrade, can be quite costly.

In contrast, window film is an aesthetically pleasing, comparatively inexpensive solution for commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption.

Reduce HVAC Energy Costs

As we discussed earlier, 3M™ window film products can help reduce HVAC energy costs in commercial buildings. This is achieved in several ways.

Heat control films allow buildings to regulate moderate temperatures more effectively by rejecting UV rays and electromagnetic energy, eliminating the need for a drastically fluctuating thermostat.

Low E and insulating films provide both heat blocking technology and window insulation, retaining cool air during the summer and warm air during the winter. This reduces the reliance on an HVAC system to run more frequently during extreme temperatures.

3M™ Thinsulate Climate Control Series for Commercial Buildings is an excellent choice for energy savings, heat control, low energy, and insulation.

Improve Window Insulation

Installing window film helps provide insulation, which is yet another way to improve your building envelope efficiency.

Window film turns single pane windows into double pane windows and double pane windows into triple-pane windows without the expense of adding actual glass to the window itself.

This added layer of protection and insulation helps reduce HVAC costs by helping keep heat in during cooler months and cool air during warmer months.

Not only is window film for commercial buildings a cost-effective way to improve your building envelope, but they also have additional benefits that other upgrades and improvements don’t.

Additional Benefits of Window Film

    • Sun control and heat reduction benefits of window film don’t just improve building envelope efficiency, but also increase the comfort of tenants.
    • UV blocking technology provides additional safety to tenants, equipment, and furnishings.
    • Window film provides added window security and shatter protection to exterior glass
    • Dark and reflective films allow buildings to update the look of their doors and windows
    • Clear films like 3M™ Thinsulate and 3M™ Prestige provide sun control, climate control, and energy savings benefits without changing the appearance of glass for building owners who don’t wish to alter building appearances.
    • Window film has no visual impact, allowing for easy approval from historical societies
    • With 3M™ window film installation, labor and materials are warrantied by 3M™ Company for up to 15 years
    • Certain states offer funding, rebates, and programs including LEED points and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score increases

For more information about how you can use 3M Window Film products to improve your building envelope and reduce your building’s carbon footprint, please fill out the contact form below or call 1-866-933-3456.

How To Remove Old Window Tint

How to Remove Old Window Tint from Residential and Commercial Buildings

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How To Remove Old Window TintWindow tinting films offer privacy, UV protection, and energy efficiency, so they’re a popular window film solution. However, all window tint films have a lifespan and once they go bad, you’re left with bubbling, peeling, unattractive films that need to be removed and replaced.

Not all window films are created equal and some will go bad before others. A window tint’s lifespan depends on several factors: quality of the film itself, exposure to the elements, and the quality of installation. A professional installation can mean the difference between decades of savings or a few short years before the tint needs to be replaced.

Reasons to Remove Old Window Tint

Bubbling

Bubbling is caused by failing adhesive and poor installation methods. Many people will try peeling and reapplying the area that has bubbled, but this can make the situation worse. Unfortunately, once a film has bubbled, it needs to be fully replaced.

Discoloration

Over time, window tint will become an unappealing purplish color due to the breakdown of certain dyes in the window film. Discoloration also means the film has lost its UV blocking capabilities, so it should be replaced with a newer, effective window film.

Aesthetics

Sometimes it’s just time for an upgrade. While your window film may not be failing, it could look dated and require replacement. This can be the most difficult situation for removal, though, because the adhesive will still be intact and much harder to remove.

How to Remove Baked on Window Film

When it comes to how to remove old window tint, there are several solutions out there that you can try yourself, or hire a professional team to perform for you. There are two aspects to window tint removal: removing the film itself and removing the adhesive.

If done appropriately, peeling the film off should be fairly easy. However, if done wrong you may end up with tiny bits of film left on the window that you’ll spend lots of time peeling and scraping at. If possible, you want to pull off the film in large chunks.

Removing window film adhesive takes time and effort. The goal is to have as much of the adhesive come off with the window film as possible. Then you’re left with a minimal sticky mess that will take elbow grease and solvents to remove.

After the film and adhesive have been removed, you will need to thoroughly clean the window before installing a new film. Any bits of dirt or adhesive that remain can cause bubbles and other issues.

The primary method of removal involves using heat to break down the window film adhesive so that the remaining tint can be peeled off. There are several tools you can use to accomplish this method and it is often seen as the easiest way to remove window tint. Use the heat starting at the corner of the window and as it starts to peel, heat new areas of adhesive to loosen it up.

Steamers

You can use a steamer to remove window tint and this is often seen as one of the quickest and easiest ways to do it. If you don’t have a steamer available, one can be rented. Use the steamer on both the interior and exterior (if possible) of the window to loosen the film and peel it away. This will also soften the adhesive, making it easier to remove film and glue at the same time.

Heat Guns

Curious how to remove window tint with a heat gun? Similar to using a steamer, the heat gun should be used on both the interior and exterior of the window to break down the adhesive. Once this is done, you should be able to pull the film off and scrape away any remaining adhesive with the tools below.

How to Remove Window Film Adhesive From Glass

Solvents

Once you’ve used one of the above methods to remove the film itself, you can use a solvent to remove window tint glue. Acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or a window film adhesive remover are all very effective in breaking down the glue which can then be wiped or scraped off.

Sprays

You can also use a specially formulated window tint removal spray to remove the glue residue. These can be purchased at home improvement or auto parts stores.

Scraping

You may feel inclined to take a razor blade or sharp object to your window when you get down to the last bits of adhesive but use caution. It’s very easy to scratch the window if you don’t know what you’re doing. Once the window is scratched, there is nothing to do but replace it.

Removing Window Tint in Cold Weather

Since the main approach to removing window tint involves heat, it can be trickier to remove window tint in cold weather. You may struggle more to keep the adhesive soft in cold weather, but if you take your time and keep the heat gun or steamer close to the edge you’re peeling off, you should be fine.

Easiest Way to Remove Window Tint

We respect the DIY’ers out there, but window film removal and installation can easily be done wrong. Since installation plays such a huge role in the longevity of your window tint, we highly recommend hiring a team for professional installation. At Window Film Depot, we are ready to handle all of your residential and commercial window tint removal needs.

All of our contractors have been thoroughly trained on both removal and installation techniques so your residential or commercial project will be performed to the highest standards. This means you don’t have to worry about damaged glass or bubbly installations. You can sit back and let the professionals handle the hard work and know you’ll be much happier with the end product.

Interested in learning more about Window Film Depot’s products and installation services? You can contact us online or by calling 1-866-933-3456.

How to Burglar Proof Windows and Prevent Break Ins

How to Burglar-Proof Windows and Prevent Break-Ins

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How to Burglar Proof Windows and Prevent Break Ins

Burglars are opportunistic criminals and most of them won’t go to great lengths to get into a home. They take advantage of situations where it will be easy to make some quick money by stealing electronics, jewelry, or cash. Don’t let your home be an easy target. To prevent theft, creating burglar-proof windows and doors in your home will deter criminals from gaining entry.

While most burglars gain entry through doors, the second most common area susceptible to break-ins is first-floor windows. Second-floor windows are more difficult to reach and far less likely to be the source of a criminal’s attack. Fortunately, you have choices on how to prevent break-ins through your windows. There are several options available to you to reinforce security and keep your valuables safe.

How to Burglar-Proof Your Windows

Window Bars

Anti-Theft Window Bars

One of the simplest and most affordable solutions for how to burglar-proof windows is to install bars on the exterior of the windows. These bars keep would-be thieves from being able to gain access to the window to force it open or break the glass. However, window bars are obtrusive, and not many people want them to change the appearance of their homes. So what do you do if you want to prevent window break-ins without unsightly bars?

Window Security Films

3m Residential Safety Security Window Films

If you want to prevent window break-ins but can’t install bars, window security films are an affordable and visually appealing solution. These thin films, which are applied over your existing windows, are engineered to be tear-resistant and strengthen glass to prevent break-ins. They make the windows much more difficult to penetrate and slow burglars down, often enough to make them give up and move on to easier targets.

Additionally, these security films have other benefits that keep you and your family safe, like UV protection and protection from flying glass during natural disasters.

Window Locks

Secure Anti Theft Window LocksWhile it may seem obvious that you should lock your windows to keep burglars out, what you might not realize is that the locks that many windows come with are less than ideal and fairly easy for thieves to bypass.

There are numerous options available for secondary locks that can be installed to increase security on your windows. Pin locks are pins that slide into the window frame to keep it closed and track locks clip on the track of sliding windows and doors to keep them from opening.

These types of installations often have the added benefit of preventing children from opening windows from the inside as well, so kids stay in and burglars stay out.

Polycarbonate Safety Shields

defenselite unbreakable security glass windowsOne of the best ways to burglar-proof windows is to install polycarbonate safety shields, like DefenseLite, over your existing windows. Polycarbonate is 250 times stronger than glass and nearly impenetrable by would-be thieves. This option combines the low-profile appearance of security films with the performance of window bars to keep burglars at bay.

Unlike glass, when these polycarbonate panels are hit with blunt objects like crowbars or rocks, they flex with the impact and deflect energy away. Unable to break through these shields, most criminals give up and flee the scene leaving your windows intact and your valuables safe inside your home.

Motion Sensor Lights

Anti Theft Motion Sensor LightsWhile motion sensor lights aren’t an installation that can be applied directly to windows, they are a helpful way to deter criminals from even attempting to break in. Thieves target homes that have areas of low visibility, so neighbors and others nearby can’t spot them. If the exterior of your home is well-lit, burglars are less likely to see your home as a prime target.

Install floodlights with motion sensors at least ten feet high so burglars can’t reach them to disable them. When someone walks nearby, these lights will turn on and scare off anyone trying to access your home.

Security Cameras

Security camera and home in the eveningMuch like motion sensor lights, security cameras are an effective way to prevent criminals from even attempting to break into your home. Make sure security cameras are visible to make them the most effective since most criminals won’t bother with a home protected by security cameras.

However, some criminals are bold and will still attempt to burglarize your home with their faces covered. This is why it’s so important to protect your windows from burglars by reinforcing them with one of the options above.

How to Protect Windows from Burglars

As you can see, there are many options available for burglar-proofing windows. You can make upgrades to the window itself by installing films, locks, or polycarbonate shields or install deterrents to upgrade overall security with motion sensor floodlights and security cameras. Hopefully, you have some new ideas for how to upgrade your window security so you can leave your home with peace of mind, knowing your property is safe.

Commercial Vinyl Window Wraps

3 Types of Storefront Window Graphics for Function & Aesthetic

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Window Graphics For Function and Aesthetic

Branding on storefront windows continues to be a highly effective marketing technique, attracting customers onto the premises with business promotions and appealing graphics. No matter the type of business you own, storefront window graphics are an essential tool for wayfinding, advertising, and promotional campaigns. Window graphics come in a variety of textures, colors, and capabilities that allow you to truly customize them to your business needs.

Below are three types of window graphics that offer both function and aesthetic to enhance your business’ storefront:

Perforated Window Graphics

Perforated window graphics transform your business’s windows and doors into prime advertising real estate.

These vinyl window graphics are made up of vinyl perforated with many tiny holes to create transparency. They can be used in a number of settings, and are typically ordered in ratios of vinyl holes to vinyl. 70/30 perforated vinyl window graphics are one of the most popular, made up of 70% vinyl material and 30% holes.

Since these see-through window graphics still allow for visibility from the inside, they can also be used as a form of privacy by creating one-way vision. While those outside see the graphic, those inside see through it to the street.

Sun Control Window Graphics

While advertising and branding tend to be the main reason to seek out business window graphics, there are additional benefits to installing these graphics on your business’s windows and doors. Sun control films can be custom printed with your business’s logo or promotional materials so that you get advertising and UV protection in one package.

Solve your heat and glare problem while also creating an interesting design element or advertising your brand. These UV protective window films maintain optimal visibility while still rejecting up to 97% of the sun’s dangerous rays.

Window Wraps

If you want to make an impact on your customers, commercial vinyl window wraps will help bring brand awareness. This particular type of window graphic is custom designed to be larger than life and displayed over a large commercial area.

If you have large windows and doors on your business, consider a large-scale window wrap with branded artwork to promote your latest sales and promotions while bringing awareness to your brand and attracting customers on-site.

These highly effective vinyl window graphics are custom designed and installed to your satisfaction.

Custom Window Graphics

For decades, the team at Window Film Depot has helped numerous businesses execute stunning and functional graphics to suit their needs. With our full-service production capabilities, our team manages the entire process, from site selection, city codes, to installation. We’ll custom design, print, and install wall graphics, building wraps, and perforated window films for your business.

Our designers and window film installers provide the experience and professional insight to ensure that your brand’s message reaches its desired audience while still maintaining affordability.

 

Active Shooter Prevention in Schools

Best Window Protection for Active Shooter Prevention in Schools

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Active Shooter Prevention in SchoolsWith cases of gun violence on school campuses on the rise, active shooter prevention should be at the forefront of any security professionals’ mind.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “active shooter situations are usually over within 10 to fifteen minutes.” By that time, law enforcement officials typically arrive on the scene and are able to subdue the threat. This means that active shooter response should focus on slowing the shooter down by making it more difficult to enter the building. 

The primary points of weakness in most schools are the doors and windows on the building’s street level. Our focus will be on reinforcing those areas to deter entry, allowing those inside to get to a safer area, and stopping the shooter from accessing students and staff.

While security measures like locking doors during school hours are necessary to overall safety, they neglect the fact that these aggressors are armed and usually able to gain entry by damaging glass windows and doors. For example, in the Sandy Hook school shooting, the shooter gained entry by shooting out nearby windows after finding the doors locked. Reinforcing glazing near lobbies and other points of entry is a highly effective way to mitigate active shooters

There are two main ways to reinforce existing glazing:

Window Films

Security window films can offer active shooter protection for schools by reinforcing the existing glazing and making windows harder to breach. These multilayer films are tear-resistant and can prevent the glass from shattering, slowing the intruder and allowing more time for law enforcement to arrive on the scene.

“Test data collected in projects supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. General Services Administration have clearly demonstrated that some applications of properly installed security window films and thin laminated glass systems can provide resistance to forced entry even though they were not specifically designed for that purpose.”Applied Research Associates, Inc.

In addition to slowing dangerous criminals, these security films also protect occupants from flying glass shards, a common cause of injuries related to bomb blasts and natural disasters. 

Polycarbonate Security Shields

The best defense against active shooters in schools is bullet-resistant polycarbonate security shields, like BulletShield. Unlike most security window film treatments, BulletShield is a bullet-resistant glazing system that is specially engineered to protect building occupants from ballistic threats. It is typically installed over the existing glass, providing a retrofit solution custom-designed to protect against forced entry. In addition, Bulletshield can be installed on the interior of buildings to create “safe zone”.

BulletShield has been used by thousands of customers throughout the U.S., providing a transparent design that delivers unbeatable performance under attack. It is independently tested to provide UL 752 ballistic ratings, preventing breach against 9MM, .44 Magnum, and AR-15 bullets, to name just a few. In active shooter situations, BulletShield flexes in response to ballistic attack, keeping bullets from entering the building and stopping the shooter from being able to gain entry.

Prevent Active Shooter Situations at your School

If you’re interested in enhancing the safety of your school, following this active shooter protocol for schools can prevent attacks and keep students and staff safe. At Window Film Depot, our top priority is making schools safer, so we offer discounted programs offered specifically for schools and campuses. 

In addition to making bullet-resistant glass treatments more available to schools and educational facilities, there is also a program designed specifically for NSSF members and protecting stores from unwanted entry and inventory theft. If you’re ready to install BulletShield or have more questions about enhancing the safety of your school, contact Window Film Depot online or call 1-866-933-3456.

workplace safety healthy environment

Safety in the Workplace: 5 Tips for Creating a Healthy Environment

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workplace safety healthy environmentThe safety and health of a workplace has a major effect on employee morale and productivity, and as the leader of your business or office, the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of your employees falls on your shoulders. Especially now, during a pandemic, there is increased focus on healthy workplace initiatives. Fortunately, there are many ways to approach creating and improving a healthy work environment. 

A healthy workplace can include several aspects of the environment, from physical to mental wellbeing. We will be focusing on the physical workplace environment and the occupational health and safety of your employees. 

Work-related injury and illness can be costly, so remove yourself from liability and protect your employees from the start by investing in these simple yet effective ways to create a safe and healthy work environment:

1. Safe-Proof the Building

To avoid injury, the entire building should be inspected, and dangerous areas should be addressed. While this may seem overwhelming, this task can come down to a number of simple upgrades and adjustments to make the environment safer. This can include improvements like adding rubber padding along the ends of stairs, designating emergency exits, installing rubber mats at entryways to prevent slips and falls, and ensuring that railings are secure. 

Additionally, this can include making sure that all tools and equipment are installed properly and safely. For example, wires and electric cables should be covered or taped down to prevent employees from tripping over them. 

There are also areas that may require continued maintenance, like interior and exterior infrastructure. Walkways can become dangerous when icy, so make sure you have someone available to come and salt those walkways in the winter months. Additionally, for buildings that get a lot of sunlight exposure, UV-protected windows can improve occupant comfort while minimizing energy drain on heating and cooling systems.  

2. Use Signs and Graphics

Signage is an affordable yet effective way to remind employees of potential hazards and convey appropriate procedures to prevent injury and illness. Even for the most seasoned employees, this sort of information can be useful and preventative. 

These days, social distancing graphics and other visual reminders to maintain disease prevention protocols are necessary to creating a healthy work environment. This type of signage can help employees and customers maintain a safe distance from each other and also remind those entering the building to follow safety measures like wearing masks and sanitizing or washing hands. Once social distancing guidelines are lifted, they can easily be removed from windows, floors, and walls. 

3. Keep Things Clean

One of the key steps to maintaining healthy work environment standards is to ensure that your office or retail store stays clean. To prevent the spread of germs and disease, high-touch surfaces should regularly be sanitized, and frequent hand washing should be encouraged for employees.  

Businesses can further ensure the cleanliness of their space with technologies like NanoSeptic® self-cleaning surface films and PURE ZONE® antimicrobial films. Ideal for schools, airports, hotels, retailers, and restaurants, these films are applied on surfaces (i.e., door handles) and effectively reduce the transfer of bacteria and germs. These technologies are important investments in spaces where cleanliness is vital. 

A messy work environment can also lead to unnecessary injury. Make sure that all spills are cleaned up quickly and that tools and boxes stay organized and out of the right of way. Establish appropriate waste classifications, so employees and customers know where and how to dispose of food and other waste. 

4. Install Safety Shields 

Protect your employees by installing personal protective shields between desks or at registers and other areas where employees may interact with the public. Retail sneeze guards can prevent the spread of germs and disease, which is especially important now with the spread of COVID-19. These protective shields can be custom designed for your business and manufactured from a variety of materials, but polycarbonate shields are the most durable. 

Also, these shields can be installed between desks to keep employees safe from each other in office settings. They can be customized with additional benefits like cloaking privacy or switchable privacy to give employees privacy along with safety from the spread of germs. 

5. Apply Safety Films to Window & Door Glass

When glass windows and doors shatter, it can be a safety hazard, especially in the case of extreme weather and catastrophic events. One step you can take to improve the safety of your work environment is to install safety and security films on your building’s windows and doors. These transparent films are designed to hold broken glass together to prevent dangerous, sharp shards from forming when the glass is broken and, in turn, protect those inside. 

While these 5 steps are great ways to improve the safety of your workplace, one of the best things you can do to ensure a safe and healthy workplace environment is to encourage open communication with your employees. When they feel comfortable approaching you with an issue that makes them feel unsafe, or if they feel like safety standards are not being met, everyone benefits from the improvements made. 

What is Tempered Glass used for?

What is Tempered Glass and What It’s Used For?

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What is Tempered Glass used for?Much of the glass that’s used for residential and commercial applications is tempered safety glass. In short, tempered glass is heat-treated, making it about 4x stronger than regular, annealed glass. By design, when broken, tempered glass disintegrates into small pieces and is much less likely to do harm.  

When shattered, tempered glass windows can help protect a building’s occupants and equipment from the hazards of large shards of fragmented glass debris. 

Below, we discuss what makes tempered glass different from standard glass and its key benefits and potential downfalls.

What is Tempered Glass?

Manufactured through a process of extreme heating and rapid cooling, tempered glass is much harder than standard glass. Regular, annealed glass undergoes a thermal tempering process that increases its strength and changes its composition to shatters differently. 

The glass is heated in a furnace to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and then quickly cooled using high-pressure air blasts. This cools the outer layers of the glass much more quickly than the internal layers, so when the inside cools, it pulls away from the outer layers. As a result, the inside remains in a state of tension, while the outside goes into a state of compression. These competing forces are what make tempered glass so much stronger than annealed glass.

Due to the tempering process, when this type of glass is broken, it breaks into small, rounded chunks instead of sharp, jagged shards.  Regular, untreated glass is known to shatter into sharp pieces called spall, which are a significant cause of injury in the cases of extreme weather or attacks like bomb blasts. Tempered glass is often referred to as “safety glass” for its ability to prevent spall and keep building occupants safe. 

What is Tempered Glass Used for?

Also known as “safety glass”, tempered glass is often used in car windows, shower doors, glass tables, and other installations where increased safety standards are necessary. While the manufacturing process does make tempered glass more resistant to force, it is not shatterproof glass or unbreakable in any way. For this reason, it shouldn’t be used to prevent intruders, but it will stand up to more force than regular glass. 

The tempering process also makes tempered glass more resistant to damage from higher temperatures. That’s why you may see tempered glass used in situations where high temperatures are likely to cause glass to break like in fireplace doors or kitchen appliances. 

Disadvantages of Tempered Glass

One of the main advantages of tempered glass, its ability to shatter into tiny pebbles, can also be seen as a disadvantage. Since the glass is designed to shatter entirely upon impact, it can pose a security risk. Motivated intruders may find it easier to gain entry because a single force can cause the entire window to fall apart.

Additionally, it’s impossible to re-size, re-cut, or re-shape tempered glass once it has undergone the tempering process. All sizing must occur before the annealed glass is treated because once it is tempered, it is too susceptible to breakage to be cut or adjusted. Damage to any part of it will cause the entire glass sheet to shatter, so precision and custom installments are key to using tempered glass.  

If these disadvantages sound like they may be a deal-breaker for you, know that there are other window treatments that provide a sound alternative to tempered glass.

Tempered Glass vs Film

One of the main alternatives to tempered glass is window film. In the tempered glass window film debate, window film tends to win out for a number of reasons. These multi-layer films significantly improve glass windows and doors’ protective capabilities, making them harder to penetrate, whether by forced entry or flying debris. They’re an unobtrusive and affordable way to hold glass shards together when the window is damaged, preventing the glass from harming those inside and slowing entry.

Safety & Security Window Films allow you to upgrade your glass to code for a fraction of the cost of a full glass replacement. Building codes may specify that glass near certain hazardous locations, such as wet surfaces, doors, floors, ramps, and stairs, meet certain safety glazing requirements. 3M Safety Window Films can help you quickly and easily meet safety glazing impact requirements for far less than the cost of replacement windows.

Window Film Depot is a certified installer of 3M Safety & Security Window Films. When you contact us, we’ll get a better understanding of your needs, schedule an onsite consultation, recommend the best products for you and discuss installation logistics.

There are many options to enhance window and door safety in both residential and commercial installations, so the decision comes down to what will best suit your needs. If you’re unsure, contact Window Film Depot and our representatives will do everything we can to guide you to the right product for you.