Window Film Offers Energy Efficiency for Historic Homes

When it comes to making homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, there are options available that do not require replacing windows. Updating with professionally installed window film is more cost effective and can attain energy efficiency that rivals the outright replacement of the windows.

The challenge of replacing windows only increases when it comes to historic properties and older homes. Historical regulations or structural issues can prohibit homeowners or contractors from opting for new, energy-efficient windows. Those who are looking to improve their homes while maintaining a vintage look and feel may want to consider the benefits of window film.

A thin sheet of coating installed on existing windows, window film delivers a range of high-value benefits that are particularly useful for historic homes and properties. The film can be professionally installed on virtually any window, regardless of size, shape, or age. It is available in a variety of shades and allows the façade of a property to appear unchanged. Installing window film can improve a historic property without affecting its appearance.

Window film also can help to address other issues associated with older homes. Owners often struggle to deal with energy inefficiency caused by age and poor insulation. Windows are a notable problem area, typically accounting for 15 to 30 percent of the total heating load and up to 50 percent of the cooling load during warmer months. Another concern is that windows may not be able to be replaced at historical properties for a variety of reasons, including structural or historic considerations, government regulations, or simply because the windows or glass are not made any more. For these homes, window film is more environmentally friendly than total window replacement. Window film delivers seven times the energy saving benefits per dollar spent when compared with installing replacement windows and preserves the window frame and casement so those materials do not need to be discarded.

Old windows can not only increase energy costs, but also they allow a significant amount of UV rays to penetrate into a home or building. Untreated windows may block as little as 25 percent of UV rays. The remaining rays that enter into a home can damage the next thing that comes into their path, including the floor, furnishings and rugs, and antiques. Professionally installed window film blocks up to 99 percent of UV rays from passing through unprotected glass. Adding that extra layer of protection for interiors can help prevent continued fading and disintegration. In fact, window film is so protective that it is used to preserve the U.S. Constitution.

Darrell Smith has more than 35 years of experience in the window film industry and is the executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), a nonprofit organization of window film dealers, distributors, and manufacturers that facilitates the growth of the industry by providing research, influencing policy and promoting consumer awareness of the many benefits of window film. For more information and to download IWFA's "Making Window Film History" eBook, visit

Posted on May 05, 2017