How much of a difference does window film really make when it comes to saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions? A very big difference, according to new data.

One of the primary purposes of window film is to reduce solar heat gain. There are several benefits to doing this; reducing a building’s energy use is first on the list. When window film is applied to existing windows, it helps interior temperatures stay consistent, which means that occupants feel more comfortable. When occupants are comfortable, less electricity is needed to run space heaters, personal fans, and whole-building HVAC systems.

In warmer months, window film can help ensure that air-conditioning and personal fans aren’t running as often in order to maintain comfortable temperatures. This means the systems aren’t using as much energy (which saves on utility bills), and that window film is also extending equipment life-cycle.

In cooler months, temperature levels are better maintained by low-e window films that help keep radiant heat inside. Natural gas and electricity resources are saved by the reduced need for whole-building heating and space heaters.

When less natural gas and electricity are being used, fewer fossil fuels are being burned either directly by the facility or at a power plant supplying heat or electricity to the facility. Less fossil fuel generation means less CO2 and other greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, which reduces contributions to global warming.

To see how much of a worldwide impact window film is making when it comes to energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions, we decided to calculate the estimated carbon emissions that have been avoided as a result of the energy savings from using our architectural window films.

In 2012, Eastman Chemical Company sold enough architectural window film to help avoid up to 83.7 million tons CO2 equivalent net emissions in its first year of installation. Over the 15-year lifespan of this architectural film, more than 1.26 billion tons CO2e net emissions could be avoided.

These estimated annual emission reductions provide essentially the equivalent environmental benefits as any of the following:

Removing nearly 16,000 cars from the road
Preventing 8.5 million gallons of gasoline from being used in cars
Eliminating energy used in nearly 65,000 homes over a one-year period
Planting almost 2 million trees (62,000 acres)
Eliminating the carbon emissions from four to five fossil-fuel power plants
We knew window film made a positive contribution to energy savings, but these numbers confirm that window film also helps reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprints of commercial buildings.

Have you calculated the differences your green initiatives are making?