Hurricane, Earthquake, Heatwave . . . Oh My! – by Peter J. Davey, President, American Window Film, Inc.
HurricaneWSArticleWhile writing this article, the local news report indicates Hurricane Sandy, currently off the coast of Florida, is expected to travel north, increase in strength and have major impact upon the Northeast corridor. Arriving on or near Halloween, this massive hybrid storm is colloquially being referred to as “Frankenstorm” and meteorologists are warning Northeast residents to prepare for high winds, heavy rain, possible snow and the associated damage that they deliver.
Having felt the earth move beneath our feet with an earthquake earlier this October, New Englanders are increasing demand for security and glass retention window films. Facilities and business continuity managers are securing their properties in an effort to mitigate potential damage resulting from high winds and violent weather.
Security window films were initially developed to address international concerns regarding terrorist activity and for the less publicized, yet highly destructive, vandalism. A low profile, high performance measure of security, security window films are tough, shatter-resistant films that help hold glass together during severe weather, smash-and-grab crime and explosions.
Compared to the expense of glass replacement, a security window film retrofit is an affordable option for improved safety. Repercussions of NOT installing security window film can be costly. Revenue loss due to production stoppage and delayed return of employees, customers and occupants warrant the investment. Minimizing costs related to personal injuries and repairs to damaged property surely justify the purchase. An installation of safety window film increases the probability of a rapid return to business-as-usual.
Changing weather patterns and longer and more intense heat waves have lead property owners and managers to react by improving their building’s energy efficiency through the application of quality solar control window films. An application of insulating, Low-E window films conserves energy and reduces heat gain and loss through windows all year long – substantially reducing HVAC expense. Some Low-E films manufactured using Wavelength-Selective metals which block more of the solar spectrum than conventional metals and can reduce air conditioning costs by blocking up to 73 percent of the sun’s heat in warmer months. In colder months, they reduce heat loss by up to 30 percent. Their construction enables their metal coating to reflect more interior room heat back into the room. Comfort is thus improved by a reduction in temperature fluctuations and drafts.
If your building is already equipped with Low-E windows, a quality window film can still be applied to enhance their performance. A Low-E window can block up to 90 percent of UV radiation. After an installation the same window can block more than 99 percent of the UV radiation that contributes to a building’s heat gain and loss. Some films qualify for LEED credits and installations can pay for themselves within three years and sooner as energy costs continue to rise. There are a variety of applications for window film, including energy conservation, safety and security, privacy, glare reduction as well as designer and architectural film options. Additionally, low reflectivity and high clarity, non-metallic window films are also available. Metals can corrode over time in moist conditions and can interfere with cell phone signals and Wi/Fi transmissions.
Although warmer summers, colder winters, and potentially damaging storms are increasing demand, a commitment to install security and solar control window films should be a priority — changing weather patterns or not. The energy conservation and safety benefits gained from a quick, clean, quality window film installation that brings a rapid return on investment, should provide more than enough incentive to invest. For large commercial projects, a knowledgeable window film dealer should have access to sophisticated energy analysis software that can accurately predict energy usage and savings before and after a specific window film installation. For those who are still procrastinating, perhaps a dose of old-fashioned common sense is in order…better safe than sorry.
Peter J. Davey is president of American Window Film, Inc. a 3M™ Authorized Prestige Window Film Dealer located in Foxboro, and Boston, MA, and Atlanta, GA. www.americanwindowfilm.com, 800-274-TINT
Published in High Profile Monthly, November 2012