Windows are an essential part of any home, as they provide natural light, ventilation, and a view of the outside world. However, windows can also be a source of problems, especially in hot and sunny climates like Arizona. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause your windows to fade, crack, or warp over time, reducing their aesthetic and functional value.
Moreover, sunlight can also heat up your home, making it uncomfortable and increasing your cooling costs. Fortunately, there are some ways to protect your windows from sun damage and heat gain, without compromising their benefits.
Here are some tips to help you keep your windows in good shape and your home cool and comfortable.
Apply Window Film
One option for reducing heat gain and sun damage is to apply window film, a thin layer of plastic that adheres to the glass surface of your window. Window film can block up to 80% of heat and 99% of UV rays, and can also reduce glare, increase privacy, and enhance security.
There are different types of window film, such as:
- Reflective or mirror film
This film has a metallic coating that reflects sunlight and heat away from your home, creating a mirror-like effect on your window. It is very effective at blocking heat and sun, but it also reduces the amount of natural light and visibility from inside your home. It can also create a glare for your neighbors or passersby, and may not be allowed by some homeowners associations or local regulations.
- Tinted or colored film
This film has a dye or pigment that absorbs sunlight and heat, creating a tinted or colored effect on your window. It is less effective at blocking heat and sun than reflective film, but it also preserves more natural light and visibility from inside your home. It can also add a decorative touch to your home, as it is available in various colors, such as blue, green, or bronze.
- Clear or transparent film
This film has no coating, dye, or pigment, and is virtually invisible on your window. It is the least effective at blocking heat and sun, but it also has no impact on the natural light and visibility from inside or outside your home. It is ideal for preserving the original appearance of your windows, or for windows that have a low exposure to sunlight and heat.
When choosing window film, make sure to consider the following factors:
Window film performance is measured by several factors, such as solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), visible light transmittance (VLT), and ultraviolet light transmittance (UVLT). SHGC is the fraction of solar heat that passes through the window, and ranges from 0 to 1. The lower the SHGC, the better the film is at blocking heat. VLT is the fraction of visible light that passes through the window, and ranges from 0 to 100%. The higher the VLT, the more natural light the film allows. UVLT is the fraction of UV rays that passes through the window, and ranges from 0 to 100%. The lower the UVLT, the better the film is at blocking sun damage.
Window film quality depends on the material, thickness, and durability of the film. The most common material for window film is polyester, which is strong, flexible, and resistant to tearing, scratching, and fading. The thickness of the film ranges from 2 to 8 mils (0.002 to 0.008 inches), and affects the strength, clarity, and installation of the film. The durability of the film depends on the quality of the adhesive, the exposure to sunlight and heat, and the maintenance of the film. Most window films have a warranty of 5 to 15 years, depending on the manufacturer and the type of film.
Window film installation requires careful preparation, measurement, cutting, and application of the film to the window. You can install window film yourself, or hire a professional to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and use the proper tools and materials, such as a squeegee, a utility knife, a spray bottle, and a lint-free cloth. If you choose to hire a professional, make sure to check their credentials, references, and reviews, and get a written estimate and warranty for the service.
Install window shades
Window shades are another option to protect your windows from sun damage and heat gain. Window shades are fabric coverings that hang from the top of your windows, and can be raised or lowered to control the amount of light and heat that enters your home. Window shades can also add some privacy and style to your rooms, as they come in various colors, patterns, and materials. Some window shades are specially designed to reflect or absorb solar heat, making them more effective in keeping your home cool. Window shades can be operated manually or automatically, depending on your convenience and budget.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
If you have some outdoor space around your home, you can also use natural elements to protect your windows from sun damage and heat gain. Planting trees and shrubs near your windows can create some shade and reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches your glass. Trees and shrubs can also improve the air quality and the appearance of your landscape, making your home more eco-friendly and attractive. However, you should be careful not to plant too close to your windows, as the branches and leaves can scratch or damage your glass. You should also prune your plants regularly to maintain their shape and health.
Hire a Professional Window Cleaning Service
A professional window cleaning service can remove dirt, dust, and grime from your windows, inspect your windows for damage, and apply a protective coating to prevent further damage.
Arizona Window Washers
Arizona Window Washers is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the residents and businesses of Arizona for over 10 years. We offer a range of window cleaning services, including residential, commercial, and post-construction window cleaning. We also offer other services, such as pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and solar panel cleaning.
Arizona Window Washers uses the latest equipment and techniques, and the most eco-friendly and effective products, to ensure your satisfaction and safety. We also offer free estimates, flexible scheduling, and competitive pricing.