Using solar film to prevent solar gain

What is solar gain?

During the summer a big problem in homes with a large amount of glazing is solar heat gain. The glass seems to act like a magnifying glass making the home unbearably hot. This can be compounded if the dwelling is really well insulated or has double-glazing since when the heat gets into the home, it can’t escape.

A really warm home can cause all sorts of issues:

    • Trouble getting to sleep,
    • Appliances overheating,
    • Increased energy bills since more electricity is required to operate fans and air conditioning
    • Hyperthermia in the elderly

In these times of increased energy prices, there is a really simple solution to prevent solar heating; solar window film.

Solar window film has been around since the 1970’s, although the older film tended to block just as much light as heat, so your home was cast into darkness!

Solar film nowadays though is much better; blocking far more heat than light. It does this by reflecting the unwanted infrared radiation contained in the solar rays. The infrared portion of the solar spectrum contains nearly half the heat of the entire spectrum, so if the solar film blocks this, it fulfils its purpose.

Solar film is really simple to install in your home; most DIY film is non-adhesive, so you simply cut the film to the dimensions of your window, wet the glass of the window and then apply the film, using a credit card to smooth it out and remove any air bubbles. To remove the film, you simply peel it off from one corner.

The cost of solar film to reduce solar gain

To complete this as a DIY project it will cost about £5 per window, however if you want a professional to complete the process, this will dramatically increase the price of the installation and the film that they fit will most likely be adhesive, so will not be easily removed.

Once the film is installed, it should stop about half the heat entering your home, resulting in a far a more comfortable temperature in the home. It also means you will not need to run the fan or air conditioning during the summer so you will save on your energy bills. The film also helps keep the home warmer in the winter reflecting heat back into the property during these months.

There are 2 other associated benefits with solar film; the first is that it cuts most UV from entering your home. The second is that it reduces glare, so is ideal for the study if you are looking at a computer screen.

So a cheap solution to prevent some the issues associated with solar heat gain!

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