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Window Film Proven #1 Cost-Effective, Energy-Saving Solution

March 22, 2012 | 4 comments

Facilities managers are always on the hunt for cost-effective solutions that will save energy, time, and money. ConSol, a leading-edge research and energy consulting firm in California, has some new information that might make choosing the most cost-effective, energy-saving products for commercial buildings easier.

 Recently, ConSol conducted a full analysis of improvements that can be made to reduce energy bills in existing office buildings. The study looked at buildings in cities throughout California(San Diego, Pasadena, Fresno, and Oakland). When window film installation was compared to other green solutions, like upgrading HVAC systems, adding R-38 ceiling insulation, and using air sealing and caulking, window film came out on top.


The analysis uncovered impressive results when it comes to installing window film in existing buildings: a facilities manager can expect to save up to 18 percent annually with window film, depending on the climate zone and what type of window film is used.


The study also showed that ROI on window film’s energy savings alone can often offer payback of less than two years. In the existing buildings that were studied, installation of window film reduced solar heat gain, which allowed for lower air-conditioning costs and reduced lighting bills.


“With over 70 percent of the buildings and homes in the California market having been constructed before 1980, window film has to be high on the list for every building retrofit project across the state,” says Mike Hodgson, president of ConSol.


ConSol’s analysis also shows that window film could play a big part in helping California meet the requirements of Assembly Bill 32: Global Warming Solutions Act. It requires greenhouse-gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, which equals a 30-percent reduction over business-as-usual projections for 2020. AB 32 recommends that 11 percent of the total savings should come from energy reduction in buildings. As the ConSol analysis shows, one way for existing buildings to achieve significant energy savings is by installing window film.


What do you think about this study? Does information from analysis like ConSol’s help you make better decisions about ways to save energy?


  1. Alan francis
    March 23, 2012

    Has there ever been a study conducted on the benefits of window film in the Northwest(cooler climates) and if so what were the results. Can this type of study be beneficial in changing the mindset of energy companies like Puget Sound Energy, who don’t consider window films in their equation as a viable resource for energy savings and don’t offer their customers window film rebates.

  2. Vista
    March 26, 2012

    Thank you for the inquiry. We conducted a similar study several years ago in Rockford, Illinois, which is much colder than the Pacific Northwest that you might be interested in. LLumar E-1220 Low-E film was applied and there are documented savings in both the heating and cooling seasons with a simple payback of 3 years or less. This study was completed before the launch of our highest performing window film series called EnerLogic, which works particularly well in colder climates.

  3. Scott Shaw
    May 24, 2015

    I just love window films, because of their capacity to reduce spendings and improve our ecological footprint. (Yes, I´m “eco-terrorist”!) :) Using films at home/offices is one way, but there´s one more option – car windows. I´ve heard that of the oil consumed by U.S. passenger vehicles, 5.5 percent is used for air conditioning (which can be reduced by tinting). So I always recommend to everyone to consider tinting of car windows as well. But, of course, you´ve to be aware of your local tint law.

  4. Vista
    May 26, 2015

    Hi Scott, absolutely – window tint for vehicles is something to consider as well. Not a topic we tend to cover on this blog, because the content is focused on commercial buildings – but it’s definitely an option to consider for vehicles. And your statistic (5.5% of oil used by U.S. passenger vehicles is for air-conditioning) is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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