FAQ

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What is Window Film?

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Window film provides protection both to your person and to your belongings – protecting you from UV rays and your belongings from damage & fading from the sun. It also adds an element of safety and security in the event that your glass is broken.

Window film for use in flat glass applications for the purpose of solar control dates back to the early 1960’s. The original objective was to level out heating and cooling imbalances that resulted from “solar loading”. Early films reflected solar radiation preventing the inside surfaces from warming but still allowed seeing through the glass.

As window film improvements were made a demand developed for colored film as well as frost and design films that complimented architectural design. Many different designs and colors are available today making window film not only functional but also visually desirable and trendy.

In the 1970’s the energy crisis prompted a renewed interest in window film usage to reduce energy costs. Through experimentation, new materials and films were developed that greatly improved the insulation quality of window film correctly installed on both home and business windows. Thereby reducing both heating and air conditioning costs and often prompting the availability of energy tax credits. (We encourage you to check with your local power company for this possibility).

Many factors will influence the efficiencies of window film on homes and businesses. Weather conditions (extreme heat or cold), window size, shading conditions on the exterior, etc. With the steep increase in energy costs, window film has become an increasingly valuable option for residential and commercial owners as well as property and commercial facility managers. Sometimes up to 50% reduction in heat or cool “leakage” can be realized with certain higher quality window film installations. Please consult a professional when looking for advice in this area.

Solar protection and Safety Window Films come in all shapes, sizes and colors. These films are considered to be “retrofit” products in the building industry. Retrofit is any product that is applied to existing buildings as opposed to new construction. Many architectural firms are now placing window film & window tint as a part of the initial design stage of commercial office building construction. “Green Building” is a buzz word often used in newer, ecologically minded construction. Window Film is just one of the ways for your building to go “green”.

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What are the benefits of Window Film/Window Tint?

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We get asked daily – What are the benefits to having window film installed at my home or business?

The following list may not hit all the potential benefits you may experience – it of course depends on product recommendations and the specific use of the product. It’s the responsibility of the professional you hire to give you the options that will fit your situation best.


All window films typically offer:

  • Up to 99% UV Ray (ultraviolet) reduction that will result in:
    Substantial protection for furniture, carpet, flooring, draperies, wood, precious artwork, etc. against fading & sun damage
  • Will greatly reduce fabric, wood & textile deterioration of furniture
    Personal reduction of exposure to UV radiation, which has been linked to certain cancers.
  • Increased shatter resistance in cases of glass cracking or breakage
    Heavy gauge security films have proven to offer significant benefits from:
  • Natural disasters such as violent storms, hurricanes, earthquake, high winds, etc.
  • Vandalism, terrorist bombings, smash & grab, etc.
  • Scratching/graffiti (glass tagging) on exterior windows, elevator doors and glass, restroom mirrors, and similar flat/smooth surfaces
  • Performs well in all climates – in extreme hot and cold environments certain films are recommended over others – consult with your window film expert for your options.

Metalized / Solar control window film can provide:

Significantly reduce solar heat gain resulting in:

  • Increased comfort
  • Much reduced air conditioning costs (up to 30 – 50 %)
  • Reduced HVAC equipment wear & tear/maintenance
  • Increased fade resistance
  • Glare reduction on televisions and computer screens
  • Daytime privacy
  • Attractive accents to home and business windows (and automobiles)

Lower energy demands from utilities resulting in:

  • Lower overall energy costs
  • Decreased environmental emissions

With “Accredited Solar Control Window Film Specialist” installations you can expect:

  • Knowledgeable advice from sales consultants
  • High quality materials options and installation
  • Manufacturer warranties covering product failure
  • Glass warranty extensions
  • Glass thermal shock fracture and IG unit seal failure coverage
  • Full confidence that you are dealing with an industry professional
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How long will my Window Film last?

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The expected life of your window film will vary based on the type of film used, the type of glass it’s placed on, the construction of the window itself and which part of the world the building is located in. In some cases film has been documented to last as long as 12 to 22 years or more. This is not necessarily the normal life expectancy of typical window film.

You will find that any “Quality Window Film”, for both residential & commercial use, are fully warranted by any credible film manufacturer. And certain products may even offer an extended warrantee. This warranty is directly available thru the manufacturer – and full information should be offered before and after any professional installation.

Having your film professionally installed does insure that your warranty will fully cover any concerns that may arise from faulty film or failure of the film to perform as promised. Historically few claims have been filed due to the technological advances in the window film industry in the last number of years.

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Will window film really stop my furniture and carpeting from fading?

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There are 6 main factors that affect fabric & flooring to fade: 

  1. UV Rays – Ultraviolet Light
  2. Visible Light
  3. Humidity & Heat
  4. Various Chemical Vapors (including ozone)
  5. The Age of the Fabric itself
  6. Dye Fastness (usually tied to the quality of the manufacturer)

Clear single pane glass (1/8″ to 1/4″) will reject between 23 to 28% of the UV Rays from the sun. Factory coated insulated glass is slightly better, rejecting 36-41%. Professionally installed Window film that is installed on glass will reject 95-99% of solar ultraviolet light. (Yes!  You read that correctly –  95 to 99%)

Of the many different types of clear glass and window systems available – you will find they reject 13-29% of the solar heat. With window films, 80% solar heat rejection can be obtained.

There is No window film can completely eliminate ALL fading.   Window film can, however, offer maximum protection from fading due to solar ultraviolet light and solar heat.  Often reducing what would happen in a year or two to over 10 years – extending the life (and look) by many years.

If you’ve ever seen an expensive leather couch or cherished oriental rug faded by the sun – you will dearly wish you had thought of getting window film to protect against such intense damage.

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Will window films cause my glass to break?

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Any Glass window will break when stressed.

There are 5 types of stress which may cause glass breakage:

  1. Thermal Stress—this is caused by absorption of solar radiation.
  2. Tensile Stress—this is from the weight of the glass itself.
  3. Mechanical Flexing Stress—we see examples of this from wind, storms etc.
  4. Impact Stress–from flying objects: tree branches, hail, baseballs….
  5. Twisting Stress—most often caused from building or window frame sagging or settling over time.

The only type ever impacted by Window Film is the first one:  Thermal Stress.

Certain types of window films can increase the thermal stress on sunlit glass. However, there are many other factors which can increase thermal stress such as: heating and cooling vents directly blowing on the glass, partial shade of windows from trees, overhangs, or signs & decals on windows.  In addition, the different types of glass (annealed versus tempered, clear versus tinted) can have different solar absorption rates and will withstand many different degrees of thermal stress.

Window film manufacturers have recommended film-to-glass calculations, tables and guidelines for use by any factory-trained dealer installers.  If you as a consumer are ever in doubt, we recommend you request a copy of such guidelines.  Listed in those guidelines are the glass types or conditions where the use of a solar control (not clear safety) type of window film is not recommended without extreme caution.

  • Single pane glass larger than 100 sq ft.
  • Double pane glass larger than 40 sq ft.
  • Clear glass thicker than 3/8 inch.
  • Tinted glass thicker than 1/4 inch.
  • Window framing systems of concrete, solid aluminum, or solid steel.
  • Glass where sealant or glazing compound has hardened.
  • Visibly chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged glass.
  • Reflective, wired, textured, or patterned glass.
  • Triple pane glass.
  • Laminated glass windows.
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How should I clean my windows after window film is applied?

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Windows with film or tint applied are easily cleaned without any damage to their appearance as long as a few common-sense guidelines are followed:

  • We recommend using a soft clean cloth, soft paper towel, or clean synthetic sponge.
  • Use a soft cloth or preferably a squeegee for drying the window.
  • Use any normal glass cleaning solution which contains no abrasive materials. (water with baby shampoo is an easy to get alternative)

With scratch resistant coatings as a standard feature of quality films – this has virtually eliminated the need for any extra special precautions in cleaning your windows with film or tint on them.

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Will window film kill my house plants?

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Many people with green thumbs will come to us concerned about the effect window film can have on the health of their houseplants. If an existing house plant is receiving adequate light currently – the use of window film will not harm it. Sometimes new growth or flowering may slow down for a brief time, and, there are times that for a few days, a plant can go into a temporary state of shock while it adjusts to the light change. If a particular plant will normally wilt by the end of a sunny day, it will actually thrive better with film installed.

There are some obvious guidelines in determining what, if any, effect window film will have on a plant (for instance, you may already know – dark green plants need less light than lighter colored ones). There is a fairly simple test which can be done prior to any film installation: merely move your plant to an area in your home or office with a little less sunlight for a few days to see how it reacts. In addition, most gardening centers, nurseries or local agriculture agencies can advise you on whether a particular plant needs closer to maximal or minimal light in order to grow and thrive. Plants are often more effected by over exposure to direct sunlight than under exposure.

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