How Well Does Window Insulation Film Work?

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.