Understand The Solar Optical Properties Of Window Film Used For Tinting

The primary objective of using window film is for energy saving and conservation of heat and other resources. It is the complex technology of these window films makes the equation simple. If you keep out the heat from your room, then less energy will be required and spent to cool the building in the summer season using your air conditioning. On the other hand, during the winter, if you control and reduce the heat loss from the inside, you will reduce the workload on the heating system. Thanks to the high-efficiency window films.

According to research, most of the heat is lost or gained through windows, but that does not mean you will keep it shut always. If you do so, then the primary objective and functionality of the windows will be compromised. Your rooms will be stuffy and uncomfortable due to poor ventilation and circulation of air. It will also be unhealthy and unhygienic. The easy and effective solution to manage and control amount of heat inside a room is by using window films.

Most effective solution

Using window films in your car, office or home is the cheapest and cleanest way to conserve energy in the most environmentally friendly way. Ideally, it is the solar optical properties of the window films that enable it and facilitates in saving energy. Moreover, on this planet, the most conscious energy is energy that you do not need to use. The three most significant and biggest areas in your building that provides you with such an opportunity to conserve energy are lighting, HVAC, and the entire building envelope.

Most people start with conserving energy by reducing the use of lights. This is because it is easy, quick and typically the most cost-effective way.

The envelope of the building is probably the most overlooked opportunity. Ideally, it is the most significant option to save money and energy both.

Simple as it may sound, you can put in a little effort and money in window filming, turning off the light when not necessary, avoiding unnecessary trips, and using the HVAC as and when required can help you to save a lot of energy. These are the most cost-effective, simple and passive ways to preserve energy and effectively offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Measurements to consider

There are typically five key measurements or metrics to consider when you select a window film. These are also called the solar optical properties of the film. These are:

  • Visible light
  • Transmitted visible light
  • Visible light that is reflected in the interior
  • Visible light reflected in the building exterior and
  • The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC.

All designers, property owners and Commercial Window Tinters must understand all of these solar optical properties of the window film. It will help one and all to select the specific type of window film that will meet the unique needs of an individual.

The variance of solar energy 

The solar optical properties of a film of a film vary and have a significant role to play in its ultimate functionality. Each of these properties can be explained in details along with its different groups and sub-groups as under:

  • Total Solar Energy: This is the entire energy found in a solar spectrum that reaches to the earth’s surface and all living and non-living things on it. This spectrum includes UVA and UVB, the infrared energy that may range up to 2500 nm and visible light. However, the common concept of total solar energy happens to be the heat in it.
  • Transmitted Total Solar Energy: This is the amount of solar energy that transmits or passes through the glass on the windows or any other place in the building.
  • Reflected Total Solar Energy: This is the specific amount of total solar energy reflected off the glass and is directed back outside the building. This means the heat and light energy cannot enter into the building.
  • Total Solar Energy Absorbed: This metric measures the total amount of energy absorbed by the glass. This, in turn, heats up the glass so much so that it feels hot when you touch it. This heat absorbed and stored by the glass is then reradiated back into the room in small amounts, though the majority of the absorbed heat is kept out of the room.

Similarly, there are different types of visible light as well. The visible light is that part of the solar spectrum that you can see, meaning it falls on an object and gets reflected. Typically it contains all the colors of the spectrum and therefore appears to be white, remember Newton’s disc? This visible light ranges from 370 nm up to 770 nm approximately. The three varieties in visible light are:

  • Transmitted – This is the amount of visible light that passes just like the heat through the glass inside the building. The volume of light entering the room will depend on how dark or light the window film is.
  • Reflected Interior – This is the amount of visible light in the room that is reflected off the walls and other surfaces of the room’s interior after entering through the window glass. You can see this reflected light when you look out of the building while standing inside it. If the window film has a higher reflectance value, the window will look more like a mirror from inside.
  • Reflected Exterior – This measures the volume of visible light reflected off the window’s exterior surface. You can see this when you stand outside your building and once again a higher reflectance value will make the window look like a mirror from the outside.

Other properties to know

To understand the solar optical properties of the window films, there are a few other properties you must know and consider. These factors play their role according to the season and dimensions of the room and the glass on which you install the film.

  • U factor is one such property that affects the heat transfer, especially during the winter season due to temperature variance inside and outside the building. This factor represents the amount of heat that passes through one sq. Ft. of glass in an hour. This is measured for every single degree temperature difference in the outside and inside of the building. If this has a lower value, it signifies that a lesser amount of heat is passing through the glass and vice versa. This factor is desirable when you want to retain the temperature inside the room in cold climatic conditions.
  • The emissivity of the window film is a factor that determines the ability of it to reflect the infrared energy of the solar spectrum. This will eventually control and determine the amount of heat energy that will be allowed by the film to pass through it into the room. Low emissivity of the film or glass means it will emit a lot of heat back into your room, once again helping you to maintain the desired temperature in cold climates.
  • Ultraviolet Light Rejected – This factor controls the amount of UV energy of the sun that is blocked by the film. The film may either absorb it or reflect it but will never allow it to enter the room.

Glare reduction properties

The window films also have specific properties that reduce the sun’s glare. These are:

  • Luminous Efficacy – This is the ratio of solar heat to visible light transmission for a window film. If a film has higher luminous efficacy then under a given VLT it will be very effective in high heat rejection.
  • Shading Coefficient – This is another ratio that measures the heat passing through any clear and un-filmed glass as compared with a filmed window. In this case, a lower rate will mean better heat rejection.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – This is a specific metric that is very much similar to the shading coefficient. The only difference is that this value also represents the amount of energy that is reradiated back to the room through the glass when it heats up due to increased absorption. This is the primary indicator of the effectiveness of the film in rejecting solar energy. Once again, a lower coefficient will mean better heat rejection.
  • Infrared Rejection – This is another significant factor that indicates the amount of infrared energy of the sunrays that the window film can block. The value indicates the entire infrared region of the solar spectrum ranging from 780 nm to 2500 nm roughly. Even if the window film absorbs or reflects the infrared energy, its ability will be measured in this value.

All these factors and properties of a window film will serve as your ultimate goal of total solar energy rejection to regulate the internal temperature of your building. Commonly known as heat rejection in the window film industry, this is the primary objective of the films and determines its effectiveness and functionality.

It goes without saying that you must always buy window films from reputed and reliable manufacturers and avoid any cheap alternatives. It is your comfort and health on the line with which you should not be negligent.

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Expert plumbers can identify the factors that lead to drain choking

Drainage system upkeep is important to avoid the problems arising from clogged drains. The drainage system should always work perfectly because of any negligence to look after it can result in wastewater finding a way into your rooms, basement and all over the house, including the walkway and driveway. It poses serious health risks because the bacteria and germs that the wastewater carries will spread through the home and make life miserable. Even after a thorough cleaning of the places affected by wastewater flooding, the health threats might remain. Therefore, keeping drains clean by avoiding clogging helps to prevent a lot of nuisance.

Although drain cleaning might appear a simple task, for doing a foolproof job to prevent recurrence you have to rely on the services of a professional company that specializes in drain cleaning Toronto. Fixing the problem of blocked drains is easy only if you can detect it early and act fast. It would ensure that you do not face the inconvenience of leaking pipes and overflow of wastewater that besides posing health problems can affect the safety of homes if it finds its way to electrical installations and cables.  The electrical damage can be even lead to fire due to short circuit.

All drain blockages are not alike, and the cause of blocked drains varies depending on the drain location. Once you can determine the cause, finding a solution is easy. Blockage happens not only due to some external materials finding its way into drain pipes but also because of the internal conditions of pipes and the sludge in wastewater which can lead to recurrent choking.  What factors you should consider understanding the causes of drain blockage is the topic covered in this article.

Indoor or outdoor drain

The drainage system covers the entire premises both inside and outside, and since the conditions differ between indoor and outdoor, the causes of blocking also change accordingly. Outdoor drains with trees and plants in the vicinity are prone to choking due to the accumulation of dead leaves, twigs or even dead roots at the drain points and inside the pipes that create a barrier and restrict the flow of water. Another reason could be that some heavy material reaches the drain due to careless flushing. Any stuff like sanitary products, paper towels or other items that do not flush away easily can choke pipes. Hair, tissues, and wipes are also some of the known culprits that reduce the effectiveness of drainage systems due to clogging.

Toilet, kitchen, and bathroom drains

Indoor drains are vulnerable to clogging in varying degrees depending on its location. Kitchen drains are most susceptible to frequently clogging because food and vegetable waste, as well as oil and grease, can easily slip into the drain through the kitchen sink and start choking the pipeline that ultimately blocks the flow of water. The maximum debris passes into the drain from the kitchen, and you have to be cautious to minimize the entry of unwanted materials in the drain. The drains in bathrooms are most likely to face the problem of hair clogging at the drain points. All the reasons stated here can cause significant drain blockage that needs professional plumbers to clean thoroughly with the assurance that it will not recur soon.

Follow some routine to check what goes into the drain

Creating a household routine with the objective of preventing drains from getting blocked is the best way to avoid bigger problems. You have to be careful about what goes into the pipe and what items lie close to it that could make its way into the drain so that you can take some preventive action. It would help to avoid many unpleasant situations that you might have to face from clogged drains. Leaking walls and roofs, water-soaked electrical connections and foul-smelling water would all be things of the past as the chances of drain blockage would reduce significantly.

Keep an eye on the waste in the kitchen

Remember that the drain system is capable of handling wastewater only and problems start when some solid particles find its way into drains. Therefore, keeping an eye on the solid waste that can most likely go into the drain and preventing it from getting there is an easy way to reduce the chances of blockages. Since the kitchen is the most active source of drain blocking elements, you have to be very vigilant to exclude solid particles from going into the drain.

Scrap food particles from plates thoroughly before cleaning so that the food particles do not mix with the water used for cleaning and reach the drain. Use soaps and detergent in adequate quantity to remove grease and oil used during cooking. Never pour any grease or oil into the drain but keep it in a separate container for disposing of with other waste materials. If at all you have to pour grease into the sewer, flush it immediately with water so that it does not stick to the walls of the pipe.

Restrict carrying solid items to the bathroom

When going to the toilet, ensure that you do not take any solid material like hair grips, which on reaching the drain even by chance will act as a catalyst to clog the drain very fast as it will gather all kinds of debris especially hair and form a solid chunk. Uses the bins for disposing cotton wool, face wipes, sanitary napkins, and tampons and never make the mistake of pushing it down the drain. These items can jam pipelines and cause drains to overflow. Avoid using too much toilet paper and throwing it into the drain because it causes a quick blockage.

For keeping outdoor drains free from blockages keep the yard clean and remove the debris like tree leaves, garden waste and other debris and collect is at a place for disposal so that it cannot reach the drain.

Despite doing everything, drain blockages can happen because you cannot prevent sludge formation in pipes. However, professional drain cleaning services can delay the occurrence considerably.

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Completely Ignore These 6 Cleaning Hacks—They Don’t Work

If you’re like most people, you dream of making cleaning easier and somehow find someone to solve all your cleaning problems. Thanks to new innovations, today’s cleaning tools and products are far superior to those we used in the past. As a result, our lives are much easier.

Moreover, there is a plethora of tips and hacks online offering hope for effortless and more effective cleaning. Often times, they leave you wondering why you never thought of them yourself. Some are backed by science; some not so much.

Below are some cleaning hacks that simply don’t work and will only waste your money and time. Some are even dangerous. Ignore them and follow more reasonable cleaning advice. Better yet, hire Charlotte professional maid services and use that time to do something productive or enjoyable.

  1. Microwave sponges to sanitize them

Like many other dubious hacks, there’s a bit of science to this one. Sure, some bacteria can’t survive high temperatures. However, the duration needed for a sponge to stay in a microwave to incinerate all the bacteria in it would destroy the sponge. In fact, studies have shown that about 40% of the bacteria population (some of which are life-threatening) survive the microwaving. You’re better off buying new sponges.

  1. Prevent dye-bleeding by adding salt to the washer

Save the salt for your food. By the time you buy the clothes at the store, it’s too late to prevent dye-bleeding. Any measures needed to prevent it should be done during the manufacture of the garments. Thankfully, there are hacks that actually work in case all your underwear is blue.

  1. Remove ink using hairspray

This is an old one. It worked well when hairspray was 100% alcohol. Things have changed, though, and today’s hairsprays don’t contain as much alcohol (the agent responsible for removing the ink) as they used to. Instead, they have more emollients, oils, and conditioners. So use isopropyl alcohol instead and save the hairspray for your hairdo.

  1. Remove stains in the toilet tank using a magic eraser

Granted, these erasers can be effective at removing crayon marks on walls, and soap scum on bathtubs. However, they don’t do anything for the toilet tank. On the contrary, they may end up messing up the tank’s flushing system. Made out of melamine foam, these erasers need actual rubbing action to work. They’re neither soluble nor antimicrobial.

  1. For easy cleaning, add a coat of car wax on a cooktop

Food particles and grease can be extremely difficult to clean from cooktops, especially after weeks of high heat has made them extra crusty. Even though they’re a bit easier to wipe after adding a coat of car wax, this is actually a fire hazard. Just make sure you promptly clean the cooktop in case of a boil over using a powerful grease-removing product.

  1. Kill all germs with hot water

As mentioned earlier, high temperature kills some bacteria. However, it has to be extremely hot (around 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and the contaminated surface must be exposed for a reasonably long period. Seeing as most water heaters have a maximum heat setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re fooling yourself if you think you’re killing the germs. Stick to using phenolic solutions (Lysol), pine oil or chlorine bleach after preparing raw meat in your kitchen.

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Keeping mold growth in air ducts under control helps to maintain proper indoor air quality

We are still waiting for the arrival of HVAC systems that could ensure a mold free environment inside homes. Over the years, HVAC systems have evolved and become more sophisticated. You can choose from the basic single stage heating and cooling systems to more effective and advanced multi-stage systems that are quite sophisticated. However, you would still not find any system that ensures continuous delivery of quality indoor air. Regardless of the type of air conditioning new installations you prefer, be prepared to accept the fact that you have to live with the threat of mold growth in the system. To understand why this happens and why there is no remedy to it, keep reading this article.

Places where mold grows

The design of the air conditioning system takes into account the need to control the humidity of the indoor air and maintain it at such levels that it creates the most comfortable living condition. The system design also purifies the environmental air that circulates all around by using filters before admitting it into the system. In spite of it, you would often find air-conditioned spaces smelling musty that indicates deterioration of the air quality. This happens because the air that flows through the ducts passes through mold colonies formed inside the air ducts and picks up the contaminants that result in the musty smell to it. Therefore, when you get the smell, you would know that molds have formed inside the ducts. Ducts are the only places that experience mold growth, and there are yet no signs of its prevention.

Why only ducts attract molds?

The construction of air ducts and the thermodynamics related to it are responsible for the formation of molds. The outer surface of ducts remains exposed to the warm atmospheric condition while a cold air of the HVAC system flows through it. The temperature differential between the inside and outside of the duct results in water particles condensing inside and creating a hot and humid environment that is perfect for mold growth. Since there is no way to change the temperature condition, it is also not possible to prevent mold growth in air ducts. As no other places of the HVAC system have such environment, molds collect inside air ducts only.

Controlling mold growth

Admitting that it is not possible to prevent mold growth, it makes better sense to look at options available for minimizing it so that it remains under control. The most prevalent practice is to insulate the outside surface of ducts so that the temperature differential reduces and the level of heat and humidity inside the ducts decreases. Since the environment becomes less friendly for mold growth, mold formation is restricted but not eradicated. Perhaps, this is the best solution possible under the present circumstances.

Smart living with molds is what you have to adapt to maintain proper indoor air quality when using HVAC systems. Pay attention to proper preventive maintenance so that you can clean molds as soon as it forms and use inhibitors to delay its reappearance.

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