Solar Screens and Films Can Help Control Inside Temperatures
Heat gain, which is the accumulation of heat in your commercial or retail building, can be caused by sources such as light bulbs, cooking equipment, and nearby heated areas. Heat gain makes your indoor spaces uncomfortable. It also causes your cooling equipment to work harder to overcome the extra heat, which drives up your monthly expenses. You can significantly reduce one major source of heat gain–heat that comes in through your windows–by using solar screens and films to block or reflect sunlight.
Solar Heat Gain
One of the most common sources of increased heat inside buildings is solar heat gain that occurs from sunlight streaming through the windows. The U.S. Department of energy estimates that as much as a third of a building’s cooling costs are directly attributable to solar heat gain through the structure’s windows. Since cooling expenses already account for more than half of the money spent on energy during a typical cooling season, significant savings can be accomplished if solar heat gain is reduced.
Solar Screens and Films to Reduce Solar Heat Gain
There are several effective ways to reduce the amount of heat entering your commercial structure through the windows. In an office or retail store, for example, you could add curtains and close them to block sunlight, add adjustable shades that can be opened or closed as needed, or install awnings that prevent sunlight from reaching your windows. Solar screens and films, however, are highly effective at blocking sunlight and, in the case of films, allow you to still see out your windows during daylight hours.
Solar screens and films are sometimes called window treatments. Their purpose is to block ultraviolet light that enters your building and stop the transfer of heat from sunlight to your indoor spaces. They accomplish this by preventing sunlight from getting into your commercial structure, or by reflecting sunlight away from your windows and indoor areas. Solar screens and films, however work in slightly different ways. Solar screens are framed panels of a thick mesh, fabric, or other material that prevents sunlight from shining through. Their structure is similar to metal mesh screens put in windows to allow fresh air in and keep insects out.
Solar screens can be attached permanently or temporarily, allowing you to remove these sun-blockers in cooler weather when some extra heat indoors might be welcome. Since solar screens block UV rays, they can also reduce the amount of fading that occurs when sunlight strikes furniture, carpets, books, papers, or other items. Keep in mind that solar screens can be dense enough to block airflow from outside if you open your windows for cooling or comfort. They may also attract and get covered with insets, dirt, and other material, which will need to be cleaned away regularly.
Films and Window Treatments
Window-treatment films are thin sheets of plastic that can be applied directly to the glass in a window. Many types of window films are dark-colored, though some are clear or patterned. They are intended to block sunlight and keep UV light out of the interior of a building. Other types of films reflect sunlight and UV rays away from your window. You can find window films that have characteristics such as low-e factors. In general, you can see through window films, which means the view out your window will be preserved. You can open windows normally even if they have had film applied. Window films provide benefits in winter and summer, protecting your building from solar heat gain in the summer and helping prevent heat loss in the winter.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on solar screens and films and how to use them to decrease heat gain in your commercial establishment, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!