Updating Existing Windows with Window Film Offers More Immediate Benefits

Posted by Darrell Smith, IWFA on February 13, 2019
Updating Existing Windows with Window Film Offers More Immediate Benefits

To save money on a building’s energy costs, window replacement may not be a smart move, according to conclusions from government agencies indicating it may take decades to recoup the cash outlay for the installation of new, energy-efficient windows.

The assessed value of adding 20 new energy efficient windows in California for example may range from $10,220-$18,580 based on a 2019 building assessors manual listing $511-$929 for each window. Annual energy savings for the replacement of existing windows in a home is from $27-$111 for dual-pane windows and $126-$465 for single-pane windows, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This means it may take decades to financially justify window replacements based on energy savings alone. Alternatively, window films offer advanced energy savings and other benefits and can be quickly installed at a fraction of the cost of replacement windows, often with a return on investment in under three years. Window films are rated by the same standards as replacement windows by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) where the ratings can be verified for free.

“Window films professionally installed on structurally sound single or double-pane windows may reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 percent, while the installation cost may be 91.5 percent less than putting in new windows,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA).

Although window film is a low-maintenance, energy-saving product, it is by no means low-tech. All window films block 99 percent of UV radiation to help reduce interior fading and protect skin and eyes and help to reduce waste from discarded vinyl, metal or wood windows and may preserve a home’s character. Anyone not familiar with window films can visit to learn more and connect to a manufacturer or local installer for an estimate before the busy spring season sets in.

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