Welcome to the April 2022 issue of Window Film News.
It’s only April and for better or worse, 2022 will be another year to remember. Extreme weather, restrictions, staffing issues and peaks and troughs in demand for window film continue to place pressure on tint businesses. That’s why it’s vital the Australian and New Zealand window film industries stay connected, keep updated and work together. WFAANZ will focus on a range of opportunities in auto and flat glass this year, and predicts interest in window film will continue to rise throughout 2022 and beyond.
White paper secures window film’s place on path to net zero
WFAANZ is publishing a white paper, Window Film & Decarbonisation: Exploring the role of window film in the transition to carbon positive buildings. What’s the purpose of a white paper? It’s the document we’ll use to make the case for window film in Australian and New Zealand net zero emission plans. It’s how we, as an industry, can ensure building film features in these plans to grow awareness of and demand for window film.
Our members will receive a copy of the white paper on its release. You are encouraged to incorporate its messages into your sales strategy and marketing materials, to help your business capitalise on the predicted surge in interest in window film’s ability to reduce an existing building’s carbon footprint.
An excerpt, summarising the WFAANZ position…“Heat energy always follows a simple rule – it flows from higher temperatures to lower temperatures. When the sun hits a normal window on hot days, most of the heat transmits through the glass to the inside of the building. The reverse is also true, with heat from inside a room lost through glass on cold days.
In new buildings, high performance glazing is specified to ensure compliance with National Construction Code energy requirements.
For existing buildings, however, the expense of window replacement on the scale required to meet net zero emission goals is cost prohibitive. The solution is viable and cost-effective retrofit options like window film, which can deliver comparative results to high performance glass in terms of energy efficiency.
Up to 85% total solar energy, 99% UV radiation and 95% glare can be blocked by window film.
In hot and mixed climate zones, window film’s ability to control solar heat gain can mean up to a 30% reduction in air conditioner usage, which translates to an approximate 10 – 15% reduction in a building’s annual electricity costs.
In colder climate zones, Low E window film’s ability to retain heat inside a room on cold days reduces that building’s need for ‘space heating’. Victoria and New South Wales combined account for 80% of residential and 83% of commercial sector gas usage, and both feature mixed and cold climate zones.
Considering that nationally 61% of residential gas usage is for space heating, applying Low E window films to low energy buildings has the potential to reduce the level of gas consumed.”
 Chen, D., 2013. 3M Window Films In Reducing House Total Heating And Cooling Energy. CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
 ASBEC Discussion Paper, Rapid and Least Cost Decarbonisation of Building Operations, 14th February 2022, page 10
Survey gets to the heart of it
Two industry surveys are being released, one for flat glass tinters and those who do both flat glass and auto (link below) and the other for auto tinters. The aim is to glean information from tinters about the state of the industry, the challenges you face and the opportunities you identify, so we can refine our strategy moving forward.
The first survey is for flat glass installers or those who do flat glass and auto. To complete the survey, please click here. We will send the link for exclusive auto tinters in the coming weeks.
By participating in this survey, you will help shape the WFAANZ strategy in relation to sustainability, training and accreditation. Your answers will inform the white paper, and the direction the association takes when promoting window film. As such, your time and input is really important and greatly appreciated.
Glass + film table shows combined VLT
A new Glass + Film table has been produced by WFAANZ, showing ‘at a glance’ the combined VLT of different films on privacy glass. You can quickly and easily check what the resulting VLT will be if you apply film to the glass – so you can ensure the combination is within the legal limit.
It’s not the VLT of the film you apply that needs to be within legal limits, it’s the combination of the glass plus the film. That’s why it’s crucial to know the VLT of the privacy glass before film is applied.
Botanic Garden walk gets filmed for protection
Perth’s popular Botanic Garden Discovery Walk isn’t the first place you’d expect to find window film. Travelling through the Western Australian Botanic Gardens, the walk boasts a spectacular elevated 52 metre glass and steel arched bridge suspended among tall eucalyptus trees.
It is on this bridge that Total Tint Solutions made their mark – so that vandals couldn’t.
Brett Thompson and his team at Total Tint Solutions removed and replaced anti-graffiti film from both sides of the walk, totaling 104 metres of glass balustrading. The job took over two weeks to complete.
Brett said, “As thousands of people walk that bridge every year, it was important to us to deliver the highest of standards on this project. While the job of removing film from 104 metres of glass was painstaking, the view was spectacular. There are much worse places to work than the Botanic Gardens in the sunshine.”
Application gets the nod from ASBEC board
Aligning with like-minded associations and industry groups will help WFAANZ promote the energy benefits of film, and secure our place on the pathway to net zero. To that end, WFAANZ recently applied to join the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).
Our application was approved in April by the ASBEC Board, with Deputy Chair Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, adding support to our application.
The next step is endorsement by the full ASBEC membership at an ASBEC council meeting on July 27 in Melbourne.
ASBEC is the “…peak body of key organisations committed to a sustainable, productive, resilient built environment in Australia.” Membership will mean WFAANZ is involved with ASBEC working groups, to ensure our policy position is represented in future talks and planning sessions with government and related industry associations.
Tolerance needed in NZ
Light meters used to measure the VLT of glass have one thing in common. In their operating instructions, most have a stipulation that a +/- percentage point tolerance must be applied when taking a reading. This is to cater for any potential discrepancy in the meter reading, and to allow for variables such as light conditions, time of day, etc.
In New Zealand, in administration of the current law, there is no tolerance allowance around the 35% VLT limit for MA class (passenger vehicles).
The result is that during Warrant of Fitness inspections (called roadworthy tests in Australia), often legally tinted vehicles are failing for several reasons.
If the measurement equipment used by inspectors to test the VLT is not capable of providing a reading that is accurate to the exact VLT percentage point, and if the manufacturers of the devices specify in product instructions that a percentage point tolerance must be allowed, WFAANZ believes an allowance should be written into model legislation.
Wayne Anstis, WFAANZ NZ, comments, “WFAANZ is working with key stakeholders in New Zealand to bring this issue to the attention of TACNZ in a bid to review the regulations and the administrative advice given to inspectors when taking these readings.”
In Australia, WFAANZ has successfully lobbied for a +/- five percentage tolerance to be applied when vehicles are inspected in certain jurisdictions. This information is then passed on to police, to ensure traffic police are aware of the tolerance also. Key learnings from this campaign will be used in New Zealand, with the end goal of taking the pressure off tinters faced with the cost (and frustration) of removing and replacing film due to inaccurate VLT readings.
Close contact rules
8 million Aussie homes need a green-over
According to a recent PowerHousing report, up to 8 million Aussie homes are not energy efficient, contributing to between 18-20% of Australian carbon emissions. Upgrading existing buildings to reduce their carbon footprint is where window film can make an impact on meeting our carbon emission targets.
Click here for the full report.
QUOTES OF NOTE
The Australian federal government’s official book – Your Home, Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes – states that window film “…can be a cost-effective way to improve the thermal performance of existing windows or doors.”
The Australian Energy Foundation:
“Window films are a great solution for improving the energy-efficiency of windows, particularly if you’d like to keep your views uninterrupted. Depending on the film you choose, window films can be designed for year-round use (retaining heat in winter and blocking heat in summer), or just summer time use.”
Low Carbon Living's residential retrofit guide:
“Homes in warmer climates can also benefit from the addition of…films to window glass. Like car window tinting, the films reduce the amount of the sun’s thermal energy that passes through a window in summer, with the benefit of improved daytime privacy…These allow visible light and reduce solar energy without affecting the aesthetic appearance of the glass.”
Do you have a plan B?
Written by Andrew Booth
Combine twenty years of tinting cars with an adventurous youth, and what are you left with?
In my case, it’s problems with my hips, knees, shoulders and hands. The toll that full-time tinting cars had on my body was compounded every year, which forced me to ask the question – how can I model my business in a way that is friendlier on the old bones and creates growth potential?
At 55, I still have a good 10 years left of working, but I’m already finding it difficult to install the rear screen of sedans and coupes. Sadly, I’m not the only tinter discovering the senior years are becoming a real issue, and I hear stories of good tinters leaving the industry altogether for something easier on the body.
A while back a local car dealership approached me to take over its tinting. The added work allowed me to employ a full-time installer, which meant I wasn’t required on the tools as much. For the first time in ages, I had the time to work on the business.
After much research, consideration and discussion with various advisors and industry stakeholders, I was convinced the future growth of the industry was fast becoming flat glass film.
So, I decided to expand our service offering to include home and office tinting. The reasons for this decision are many, but in a nutshell included – flat glass would be kinder on the body; it would open up a whole new market of customers; I could use my existing relationships with clients to on-sell these services; and in terms of the skills required, I would say that moving from auto to flat glass is easier than moving from flat glass into auto.
It also made sense because of where the world was at. Energy efficiency, sustainability, reducing your carbon footprint, rising electricity bills, etc. It all pointed in the direction of window film being a highly sought-after product. And that has been made even more apparent with COVID causing so many people to work from home and need more from their spaces.
After making the decision to move into flat glass my first step was to join WFAANZ, sit the Flat Glass exam and become WERS For Film accredited. I promoted our services and my new accreditation via our webpage, social media and SEO plan, and always talked to my auto clients about it.
Cut to my business now, and we have as much flat glass work as we can handle. It’s the best decision I ever made. I pick and choose what jobs I want by my pricing. We walked away from dealership work, only tinting cars two days in one week and three days the next. Flat glass is now 70% of our business, not nearly as hard on this old body, and it’s really satisfying getting feedback from happy clients who say you’ve made a difference in how they live their lives.
Does window film adhesive deteriorate over time and if so what is the time frame before peeling or breakdown in UV exposed site?
All adhesives, no matter which, will deteriorate over time. Window films will be unlikely to last, say, 50 years as they are a plastic based material with adhesives and coatings. It is normal for window film manufacturers to offer 10 years minimum warranty period, and they have to account for the integrity of the film and all the adhesives and coatings, because if any aspect of the product fails, it’s a fail. Actual life of an installed film depends on many factors such as sun exposure and other environmental conditions of the site such as heat, humidity, air impurities, etc. It is not the norm that films would fail within their warranty period, and films often last 20 years or more. When that is weighed against the warranty period of other building materials, especially the windows themselves, then window films offer very good warranty periods.
WERS rating are on generic windows. Can you then rework the AFRC U and SHGC values based on specific brand windows if they are known and film is retrofitted later? Or does that need an AFRC simulation lab like Fenestralia to simulate it properly?
Great question. The answer is yes in principle. All it would take to do a custom rating would be to get the specific window spec of frame and glass and ask an AFRC simulator lab like Fenestralia to generate the custom rating with film and the results would be significantly better for U Value as we are now working with an actual frame and not the theoretical worst performing frame. You would also need permission from the window manufacturer to use their files in the modelling.
Why do reflective films reflect from the outside in daylight, but become reflective to the inside at night allowing external vision through?
Best way to explain this is to set up a scenario. Say you’re standing on the street in daytime looking at a reflective house window. Because it’s a bright sunny day it is a much lower light level inside the home than out on the street. Let’s assume the film on the house has a VLT of about 30% which means its darkness only transmits 30% of visible light to pass through it either way. The light in the room, albeit not overly bright, still is visible and that visible light is travelling out through the window to the street where you are, but the film then cuts that light down by 70% as it passes through the film.
So back to you on the street where your eyes are taking in visible light and you are looking at the reflective window. The reflective window is bouncing / mirroring visible light back to you which is a high lux level as it’s from the sun, however at the same time there is the light from the room coming to you through the film.
Privacy film works because the balance of the reflected sunlight and the transmitted room light, and the fact the sunlight is many times brighter than the room light which was lower to start with and was then cut down 70% by the film. So, your eyes trying to take in the available visible light mostly sees the bright, reflected light from the film – which swamps the small amount of light coming from the room inside the house.
At night, the effect completely reverses. There is very little light outside to enter into the room, and lights inside become the dominant light source. Just like in the day, your eyes are being overwhelmed with the light mirroring off the reflective film and the tiny amount of light from maybe street lights or moon light is being cut down 70% and can’t compete with the much brighter room light.
For commercial buildings wanting a reflective film for heat rejection and/or daytime privacy, we typically install a reflective film that looks the same from each side. It’s a single layer reflective product because commercial buildings don’t typically operate at night, so the fact you are getting a mirror appearance inside at night does not matter.
For a residential home it is more common to install what’s called a dual reflective film. This is a reflective layer just like the commercial film, but it’s laminated to a low reflective film as well. When installed the reflective side faces the street and the low reflective side faces the room. This then means that privacy is achieved during the day, but at night the home owner doesn’t get the strong mirror look on their windows, which is typically not what people want. This is when curtains or blinds complement films. Films will provide the heat rejection and daytime privacy while allowing the curtains or blinds to remain open giving you access to daylight and the view, and then at night when you need privacy and there’s nothing much to see outside in the dark, you can close the curtains or blinds.
Getting Linked In
A new page dedicated to the ANZ flat glass and auto film industries has been established on LinkedIn. WFAANZ invites installers and distributors of film to support our industry by visiting and following the page here.
If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, it’s a social media platform that’s known as the ‘professional social networking site’, for people or businesses wanting to network and develop business connections. Just like Facebook, you can establish a personal page and one for your business for free.
Over 810 million members and over 57 million registered companies use LinkedIn. It’s recognised as being especially good for discovering leads, Hubspot finding it’s 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
If you need a hand setting up a page for your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thongs win Facebook
The trick with Facebook is that every post doesn’t have to be about your field of business – in our case window film.
Take this year’s most popular Facebook post by a landslide. It’s about thongs, specifically, is it illegal to drive in thongs in Australia? (No, it’s not illegal by the way, but is ill-advised). At last check, the post reached over 58,000 different people. It was shared among car lovers’ pages, caravan and camping pages, community groups, travel pages, etc.
It put WFAANZ in front of thousands of people with an interest in driving – and promoting the WFAANZ logo to these audiences serves our auto tinter members.
Just something to keep in mind when you’re scrambling for content for your socials, it doesn’t always have to sell film. Visit the WFAANZ Facedbook page here.
Welcome new members
- Protinting, VIC
- Savvy Tinting, NSW
WFAANZ also extends its thanks to Premier Film Distribution (PFD) and Window Films WA, which both came on as WFAANZ distributor members this year.
WFAANZ distributor members have films tested to meet all Australian Standards and warranty obligations, abide by a strict code of practice, and put time, energy, money and resources into the association to build the Australian and New Zealand window film industries. Tinters who want to support the companies that are ‘putting back’ into the industry, should use WFAANZ distributor member products.
Visit here for a full list of WFAANZ distributor members.
Good tinters are hard to find
Staffing is a massive problem in our industry. According to distributors and window film businesses, the issue has been growing for years and was exacerbated by pandemic-related conditions. WFAANZ post job ads on our dedicated page online, and all our social media platforms (for free of course).
Demand for experienced tinters is through the roof – so if you are one or know one looking for work, email email@example.com for opportunities.
Tinters needed at Autocare NT
Autocare NT has an excellent opportunity for the right tinter. An above award wage will be offered on previous experience. Interstate applicants encouraged to apply, escape the cold weather with flights and accommodation provided for successful applicant. Anyone with previous window tint experience welcome to apply. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kevin on 0438 560 547.
No one with a heart could watch the news reports of this year’s devastating floods and not feel for the families and businesses that were impacted. If your business was affected by the February and March 2022 South East Queensland and New South Wales floods, there’s a range of support available to help support your business. The link to both the Queensland and New South Wales sites can be found here.
No better time to join…
According to Channel 9’s breakfast show, Today, the wholesale price of electricity has risen 141% in the last 12 months. Couple that with extreme weather events and predictions of more to come, and you get a scenario where end users are seeking out ways to efficiently regulate the temperature of their homes, offices and vehicles. Enter window film.
Your industry association, WFAANZ, can help you make the most of these influences, and by joining you also support our efforts to grow and safeguard the industry.
For further information about the ways WFAANZ can work with you, feel free to email email@example.com.
Stay safe and be well.
From Ally Cronan, WFAANZ President