Window Film Blog
Photo of a woman on a couch in her home who is very hot and uncomfortable for a blog post entitled Solar Control Window Film for Home

Best Solar Control Window Film for Home

Looking for solar control window film for home? You’ve come to the right place. 

If you have a heat problem with your windows and your rooms are hot and AC bill is out of control, solar control window film is a great lower cost option to solve your issue. Concord Window Film has two types of solar control window film to block the heat from entering your home: ceramic film and metallic film.

Let’s dig into the details.

What is solar control window film for home?

Solar control window film for home is any class of window tint that prevents solar energy from entering your windows.

The sun’s energy hits earth in a band called the electromagnet spectrum. The energy bands that solar control window film for home deals with are: the visible light spectrum, the infrared spectrum (most commonly associated with heat), and the UV spectrum.

UV light on the electromagnetic spectrum for a blog post on uv-blocking window film and eye health

In general, window film is a type of plastic film made from PET and treated with different ingredients (dyes, metals, nanoparticles) that reject or absorb solar energy.

How does solar control window film for home work?

Solar control window film for home works by reflecting and absorbing the solar energy from the sun as it hits the window.

Depending on the ingredient used to achieve this, you may have more absorption or more reflectivity. You can read about the different technologies used to make window film here.

Typically, lighter films absorb more of the solar energy, and darker and reflective films, reflect more of the energy. Most films will do some of both.

Let’s look at how solar energy passes through a clear window, and how that changes when we apply a solar control window film for home like ComforTech™ Ceramic Series film:

Measuring the performance of solar control film for home

Window film performance is standardized and rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council. This is the same agency that rates windows in the United States.

All reputable window film manufacturers have their films tested by an approved NFRC lab that then records the window film’s performance measurements.

It’s important to have these standards in the industry so that the performance of films using different technology, or films from different brands can be easily compared against each other.

The main performance measurements for solar control window film for home

There are three main performance measurements folks should pay attention to when choosing a Solar control window film for home:

Total Solar Energy Rejected (TSER)

TSER is defined as the percentage of light that is rejected by the glazing unit (filmed window) measured against the total amount of solar energy that hit the glass. 

It is usually expressed as a percentage, and the higher the number, the better solar control the film provides.

Read more about total solar energy rejected and window film.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

SHGC is a measure of the amount of heat that a glazing unit (filmed window) allows into a home.

It is calculated by taking the amount of heat that is transmitted directly into the home and adding to that the heat that is absorbed by the glazing unit and re-radiated back into the home through convection. 

This is also typically expressed as a fraction or percent. The lower the SHGC, the better the solar control performance of the film.

Read more about solar heat gain coefficient and window film.

Visible Light Transmission (VLT)

VLT is a measure of the amount of visible light a filmed window lets into the home. The lower the number, the less light is let through.

Many window film companies use the VLT to name their products. So a Silver 15 film, typically has a VLT of 15. 

Read more about visible light transmission and window film.

Example solar control window film for home performance specifications

Below are the performance specifications for our ComforTech™ Ceramic Series window film.

ComforTech Window Film Specifications Chart

You can see from the chart that as the visible light transmission of the film decreases and the film gets darker, the more heat it rejects. This is evidenced by the increase in TSER and decrease in the SHGC.

Comparing the lightest film, ComforTech™ 45 to our darkest film, ComforTech™ 05 you can see that the lighter film has a higher total solar absorptance number at 50% and a total solar reflectance of 14% – meaning it is absorbing more of the solar energy than reflecting it.

Then when you look at ComforTech™ 05, you see that it has a lower solar absorptance of 39% and a higher solar reflectance of 54%. So the darker film is reflecting more of the solar energy than it is absorbing.

Concord’s solar control window film for home

We have two main types of solar control window film for home: a metallic film and a ceramic film.

Silver 15 Reflective Film

Our Silver 15 Reflective film is a metallic film that provides terrific solar control and UV protection for your home.  Silver 15 presents an economical alternative to our ComforTech™ Ceramic Series for those who need solar control and don’t mind the shiny look of a metallic, mirror film.

Silver 15 Reflective has a terrific TSER of 79% and lets just 21% of the solar heat that hits the window into the home.

Silver 15 Reflective Window Film Performance Specifications for a blog post on Reflective Window Film for Homes

In addition to solar control, Silver 15 will provide good daytime privacy with an exterior reflectivity of 62%. But note that it will also be reflective inside the home at night with 62% interior reflectivity.


ComforTech™ Ceramic Series

Our ComforTech™ Ceramic Series is our flagship solar control window film for home. Made with nanoceramics for a neutral charcoal look, ComforTech™ comes in five shades to meet varying customer needs. ComforTech™ 45 is our lightest shade and ComforTech™ 05 is our darkest.

All shades of ComforTech™ are dual reflective which means the film has a lower reflectivity inside than it does on the exterior of the film. This helps reduce reflectivity inside the home and makes it easier to see out the film at night.

Every shade will provide a measure of solar control as shown in the performance specifications above. But the darker the shade you choose, the better the film’s solar control performance. Choosing a shade is really a personal choice based on how big the issue is that you are trying to solve along with your individual aesthetic.

Choosing a solar control window film for home

If you are unsure about which film to choose or which shade to choose, we have a quick Product Recommendation Quiz that will ask a few questions and recommend a film or films to meet your needs.

We also suggest purchasing a sample kit that includes pieces of all our solar control films. The cost is $5, but there is a coupon code that comes in the kit for $5 off your first film order.

Then tape the film to one of your windows to view how it will look in your space. Be sure to view the film from both the inside AND outside and look at it during the day and at night. There is no substitute for seeing the film in person in your own environment!

And as always – feel free to reach out to us and we can walk you through your options! Call 888-206-1413, email [email protected] or connect with us via the chat bubble on the bottom right corner of the website.

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