During the design process, architects typically locate windows to capture views of the surrounding environment. Unfortunately, the sun can quickly ruin the enjoyment of these grand vistas. Glare and heat can stifle our enjoyment of the view, and the sun's harmful UV rays may fade and destroy not only fabrics, but wood surfaces and works of art as well. The combined effects of the sun can also contribute to the formation of skin cancers and other skin diseases.
Protecting yourself against these potentially harmful rays of the sun is the primary reason behind the installation of protective window tinting films.
In order to provide the very best protection, Energy Control Consultants installs the very finest product line available - 3M™ Architectural Window Films. These films can block more than 99% of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, reduce up to 78% of the sun's heat, they can reduce heat loss in the winter by as much as 35% and provide significant protection against glass breakage and other threats.
The number one request from our residential clients is for fading protection. Let's take a closer look at what actually causes this damage…
Window Tinting and ultraviolet radiation and fading damage
What is "UV" and why should I be concerned about it?
UV is short for ultraviolet, a wavelength of radiation that is a part of the sun's spectrum. UV radiation is invisible, yet it has a profound effect on us and on our homes. Overexposure to UV in humans can cause sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and can even suppress the immune system with longer term overexposures. Just as we can use protective clothing and sunblock to defend ourselves against UV when we are exposed to sunlight, 3M Architectural Window Tinting Films can prevent transmission of UV into your home.
So what is the "Big Deal" surrounding UV, you ask?
Of all of the causes of fading, ultraviolet radiation is the single largest factor in the fading of soft goods…fabrics, carpets and other furnishings, contributing up to 40% of the total damage. The good news is that our 3M film can reduce the penetration of harmful UV to below 1%. Once treated with film, UV ceases to be a contributing factor to your fading problem.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposure to the sun and its harmful UV radiation has caused an epidemic rise in skin cancer cases in recent years. Because of 3M's vast research into UV and how it damages human tissue, 3m has recently released AldaraTM, a drug for treatment of Actinic Keratosis, a certain type of skin cancer.
Because the reduction in skin damaging UV after the installation of 3M film is almost total, 3M Architectural Window Films have been awarded a certificate of recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation of American.
As you can see, the addition of 3M Architectural Window Tinting Films to your windows is the best protection you can provide against the damage that UV causes.
Infrared radiation and fading damage
Infra-red (IR) is another range of radiation from the sun that is more commonly known to most people as "heat". IR contributes as much as 25% of the total damage from sun fading. Part of the IR actually exists in the visible part of the spectrum, so it is necessary to use a protective film that is at least lightly tinted in order to provide adequate protection from damage. It is this IR reduction that provides our clients with the additional benefit of reduced utility bills that, in some cases, repay the investment in the film within a few short years.
Visible Light and fading damage
The intensity of the visible portion of the spectrum is another major contributing factor to fading damage. In "English", this means that the bright sunlight that makes you reflexively squint (to protect your eyes) also causes damage to your interior. Again, it is necessary to use a protective film that is at least lightly tinted in order to provide adequate protection from damage. If someone ever claims to have a "clear" protective film, be very afraid…that person is selling snake oil. "Clear" and "protective" are mutually exclusive…you cannot have both and have an effective product.
Additional causes of fading damage
Other factors that can contribute to the damage that you may see in your home are the quality of colorfastness of the dyes used in the fabric, the humidity (both high and low), the amount of abrasive wear that the item receives, solvents or pollutants in the air and the overall quality of the item in question. 3M Architectural Window Tinting Films do not have any effect on these issues, and so therefore we mention these to show that it is virtually impossible to entirely stop fading damage from occurring.
Other protective properties
The combined factors in our films can also protect your expensive artwork. Since UV, visible light and heat can all do damage to art, the addition of window film can help prevent the harmful effects of these elements.
Another benefit of protective window film is that it helps to hold glass together if it breaks. When glass with an application of window film is broken it is held together as a single unit instead of shattering into dangerous fragments protecting you and your family from injury. Statistics show that flying, broken glass can cause more than half the injuries caused during earthquakes.
Earthquakes, you ask?
Oh, by the way…did you know that eastern Tennessee is one of the most seismically active areas in the country outside of California?
Contact us today for more information about our protective films, or to ask for a consultation with one of our representatives.