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Window Film Questions & Myths
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Frequently Asked Questions
How window film will benefit your residence or business depends entirely on your goals.
- SOLAR FILM increases energy efficiency while protecting furniture and flooring.
- SECURITY FILM helps protect against severe storms, burglaries, and injuries caused by broken glass.
- DECORATIVE FILM can add privacy to a space or create a more upscale look for your home or business.
- THERMAL FILM increases window insulation, reduces heat loss, and can help users save on their energy bills.
For professionals, window film installation has a specific and required process. We start by preparing and protecting the areas around the glass. After thoroughly cleaning the glass to remove dirt and residue, we wet the glass with a solution. The technician then presses the film against the glass and squeegees away the excess solution. The film is trimmed and rechecked for flatness. Ripples may appear until film is completely dried which may take up to 30 days. Eastern Solar Glass provides instructions for what to expect and how to care for your new film.
To provide you with the highest levels of protection, SECURITY FILM has additional installation steps. The film is applied to the windows just like any other kind of window film. Once the film is set, the film is secured to the window frame using the 3M Impact Protection Adhesives (IPA). This attachment system ensures the film on the window is attached to the window frame, creating a sturdy shield that outperforms window film-only systems.
Window films may be washed with common washing solutions thirty days after installation. Abrasive cleaning agents and bristle brushes which would scratch the film cannot be used. Synthetic sponges, squeegees, or soft cloths are recommended in addition to the cleaning solution. To maintain your warranty, do not use tape or other adhesive products on the film.
The life expectancy of interior window film is dependent upon multiple variables (climate, exposure to sun, etc). Many customers have had window films on their windows for almost 30 years. Window films are protecting themselves while they are protecting you. Ask your Eastern Solar Glass service professional for more details.
Absolutely! You should notice enhanced energy performance from your tinted / Low-E glass windows after installation.
Furniture / fabric fade is caused by multiple factors according to the International Window Film Association. 10% of fading is caused by miscellaneous factors (i.e. fabric color, material, etc). 25% is caused by heat. 25% is caused by visible light. And the remaining 40% is caused by UV rays. 3M window films can mitigate 90% of the factors that cause furniture / fabric fade.
While there are no guarantees that a specific film is safe for a specific situation, we are trained professionals that help minimize the likelihood of breakage. Our experience with applying window film to different types of glass enables us to make proper film to glass recommendations and reduce the potential for glass breakage.
The amount of money saved depends upon the type of film chosen and certain property-specific variables (location, climate, existing energy costs, HVAC system, etc). After obtaining some basic energy unit costs for a given building, we can conduct a 3M Energy Audit to estimate the annual dollars saved by different films.
Yes! Many of the WINDOW FILMS we install are a component of LEED Sustainable Design and can help you earn LEED Credits.
Our solar, thermal, and security window film is transparent. Depending on your preference, films either look completely clear once applied or make your window look slightly darker, as the film is reducing glare and excess U.V. radiation. No matter whether you choose a clear or darker window film, all you’ll be able to see is your beautiful view once applied!
Window film is typically installed on the interior side of a window. As it is a finished product, it is best installed after all other nearby construction is complete. If access to the interior side of the window is difficult to obtain, an exterior application can be performed.
Window Films are available in a variety of tints, ranging from optically clear to various darker tints. Depending upon your preference and desired look, your Eastern Solar Glass professional can help you determine which film will best meet your needs.
Yes, each film has a specific warranty as well as an Eastern Solar Glass warranty.
Not usually, as the film adhesive can have a chemical reaction with Plexiglas®. However, Eastern Solar Glass has options in certain situations. Please inquire for more information.
Window Film Myths
Although window film has been addressing the inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of glass since 1966, there are many common myths and misconceptions about it. See below to learn more.
It depends. Replacing an inefficient window with a new efficient unit is probably the best solution in terms of performance. However, it may not be cost-effective and that’s where window film comes in. Window replacement is costly and may require touch-up work and painting after the fact. Window film is a retrofit product that is fast and easy to install while being more cost effective than window replacement.
False! As long as the Low-E coating is not in the interior surface of glass where the film is applied. Window film can improve the performance of even Low-E windows.
False! Window film is not just for single pane glass. While double pane glass has a significantly lower U value than single pane glass, thus reducing heat loss in the winter months, it still has a SHGC that is somewhat similar to single pane glass. Therefore, window film can increase the energy performance of double pane glass. Additionally, some window films not only reduce a window’s SHGC, but also its U value. These insulating types of film are appropriate for any window, whether single or double pane, that needs a lower U value.
False! According to 3M Company, which holds the original patent to window film dating back to 1966, film does not cause seal failure:
“We’ve been applying 3M Window Films to insulated windows for over 40 years, having seen several millions of square feet of film applied to date.
When recommended films are applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. However, even a 20 F degree increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure. Properly made windows are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure.
Risk of seal failure is determined largely by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made windows from reputable manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated windows.”
Respectable manufacturers provide consumers reassurance by warrantying against seal failure due to the installation of window film.
False! Window film can be dark and reflective. But it can also be virtually clear and colorless. Advancements in technology have allowed manufacturers to make nearly invisible films just as effective as dark and reflective films.
False! There is no window film that is bulletproof. Window film is often installed on bulletproof glass to minimize the spall that results from a bullet hitting the glass. But the film itself is not bulletproof.
False! Window film is not just for old buildings. Film can reduce the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U value of any type of glass, whether new or old. An older yet highly efficient building may not need window film as much as a new yet highly inefficient building. The appropriateness of window film depends on many factors, including existing glass type, HVAC system, internal loads, and tenant requirements.
False! The sun shines even in northern climates so why not help to mitigate it? Buildings in northern climates have a cooling season too, even if shorter than the cooling season for southern climates.
False! A premium window film has a sophisticated scratch-resistant coating that increases the film’s durability to withstand normal wear and tear. However, if someone is determined to scratch the film, it will scratch, just like glass itself can be scratched with a little determination. Manufacturers of high-quality films warranty their films for 15 years in commercial applications and for life in residential applications. They also permit the use of ammonia-based cleaners like Windex to clean their films.