It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy natural sunlight at work. Not only does it give you that daily dose of vitamin D but it boosts your mood. There are so many great things about sunlight. However, there are also some not-so-great things such as glare on your laptop screen, fading on your furniture, and more. It’s important for sunlight to be controlled within commercial facilities. The people indoors should be able to enjoy the beautiful light that it offers without sacrificing comfort and energy-efficiency.

The heat that penetrates your windows can account for up to a third of your cooling costs. To reduce energy bills while increasing comfort, a growing number of businesses are considering two options: low-e window film or exterior shade systems. If you’re considering the two as well, here is a run-down of both:

Exterior Shade Systems

Exterior shade systems do just what you’d think. They provide exterior shade and try to keep sunlight from penetrating windows. These systems often involve overhangs, vertical fins, exterior blinds, and even automated systems that you can control depending on the weather outside.

These systems offer advantages that are quite similar to those of window film. Since they try to keep heat from penetrating the windows, they contribute to reducing energy use and therefore utility bills. The shade that the system provides will reduce glare while still allowing people to enjoy the view if they wish.

Although exterior shades systems can be useful, they are also rather difficult to install, particularly if you are looking to install it into an existing building. Furthermore, they will never completely prevent solar heat gain. A fixed overhang may be able to block the sunlight at certain angles but fail to do so at others. Exterior shade systems also require quite a bit of maintenance. They may also increase energy bills during the winter because they’ll be blocking the sunlight when it is wanted.

Low-E Window Film

Most businesses opt to install low-e window film. Not only is it able to contribute to energy efficiency, but it eases glare and keeps furniture, carpeting, and other furnishings from being damaged by the sun. Window film can also block up to 99.9% of UV rays while insulating the window.

Unlike exterior shade systems, window film reduces energy use throughout the year. It reduces solar heat gain during the warmer months and also reduces thermal loss during colder months.

Window film doesn’t obstruct the view to the outdoors. Since it is applied directly onto the interior of the window, it also doesn’t get as dirty and dusty. It won’t require as much maintenance. You’ll often find that all it takes is a small change to a tint-friendly window cleaning solution.

As if that wasn’t enough, window film can easily be applied to existing buildings. They improve the insulating capacity of normal windows by up to a whopping 92%! This is regardless of whether you have single-pane, double-pane, or even triple-pane windows.

There’s no doubt about it. Although exterior shade systems can be great, low-e window film takes the cake when it comes to energy efficiency.

Nuvision Solutions are experts in commercial window tint that reduces the heat in your office, which provides a better working environment for your employees. Get in touch today to see how we can help!