Most window films are applied to the inside glass surface of a window. As the sunlight hits the glass surface, four basic things occur:
- Sunlight hits the window and a part of its energy is reflected away from the window.
- The glass absorbs some of the sun’s energy.
- A portion of the sun’s solar energy is transmitted through the window film into the room.
- The window film absorbs part of the sun’s energy and part is re-radiated in and out of the room.
- Reduces fading of carpets, upholstery, and interior furnishings
- Rejects from 98-99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays
- Reduces your energy bill thereby helping to keep warmer in winter and cooler in summer
- Increases your comfort by helping to eliminate “hot spots”
- Rejects up to 80% of the sun’s solar energy
- Reduces the sun’s glare
- Increases your level of privacy
- Enhances the appearance of a building by creating a uniform appearance
- Provides improved safety when glass is broken
Below are a few definitions to help you understand how to choose the best window film for you:
- Total Solar Transmittance: The percent of incident solar radiation to be directly passed through a window system
- Total Solar Reflectance: The percent of incident solar radiation to be reflected by a window system
- Total Solar Absorption: The percent of incident solar radiation to be absorbed by a window system
- Visible Light Transmittance: The percent of total visible light to be passed through a window system
- Visible Light Reflectance: The percent of total visible light to be reflected by a window system that can be seen visually
- Percent Ultraviolet Transmittance: Percent of total ultraviolet light to be passed through a window system
- Percent of Total Solar Energy Rejected: The percent of incident solar energy rejected by a window system, equals solar reflectance plus the part of solar absorption which is reradiated outward
In the winter, window film helps to reflect radiant heat back inside your home. By reducing your heat loss, you will stay warmer as well as save money both day and night all winter long
The life of your window film will vary due to a variety of factors including:
Generally speaking, the application of window film will not have an effect on the growth of most indoor plants.
Near growth and flowering may be retarded in the initial days after your window film is applied as the plant adjusts. In some cases where plants are in constant, direct light for long periods of time (causing wilting), the plant may actually thrive after the window film is installed.
Where there is concern about possible plant growth being affected, it is recommended that owners move the plant, as a test, to another part of the room to stimulate a less lighted area before the window film is applied. This move will help to judge what the potential affects might be. In addition, it may be wise to consult a local nursery for advice, which is also recommended in the case of exotic plants.
Window film should generally be installed in new or renovated buildings only when all other work has been completed. There are many reasons for waiting until the end of construction.
There is little sense in applying window film to windows that have frames that may need to be stained or painted. This could lead to stain or paint splatters on the film itself, which would need to be cleaned off. Some cleaning agents would damage the film requiring the film to be replaced.
Other reasons could be the potential for damage to the film due to the high amount of activity in a construction environment. Also, in many cases, there is a high level of dust and particles, such as wood dust or carpet fibers, in a construction area that could become trapped between the glass and the window film.
The best, most convenient time to install the window film is just before your furniture is placed in front of your windows.
Tinted glass is a major absorber of heat, and leads to a great deal of stress within the glass. Window film itself absorbs a certain amount of heat. If the combined absorption of the window film and tinted glass is very high, this can result in the glass cracking, due to thermal stress.
Thermal stress may also occur if the sheet of glass has not been installed with the appropriate amount of care. An example of this would be if the edge of the glass is either chipped or damaged.
In cases where tinted glass is tempered or strengthened, the application of window film is unlikely to result in the glass cracking or fracturing.
If you have tinted glass or are unsure if your glass is tinted, ask your window tinting professional which films are safe to install. Though the selection of films is limited, there should be a film available to solve your solar control needs.
Window film manufacturers have developed and utilized a variety of patented adhesive formulas to apply their films to the glass surfaces. These formulas are known as mounting adhesives.
Films, utilizing all types of adhesives, are installed in similar fashion. Most films are installed by using soapy water, sprayed on both the glass surface and the film adhesive surface after the protective liner has been removed. The film is then positioned on the glass, cut to size, and squeezed to remove excess water.
Generally speaking-No. While the glass industry has yet to make a product that will prevent glass from breaking, both solar control window films and safety films provide protection against the effects of glass breakage. Window films help to prevent glass that has been shattered from flying dangerously through the air, resulting in personal injury or property damage.
Flying and broken glass can be a result of a variety of acts ranging from natural disasters, playing catch with your son or family pet, to vandalism or theft. Standard window film will hold broken glass in place to some extent.
If safety of your glass is a concern, talk to your window tinting professional about their line of safety and security in mind. Most residential films are 2 milliliter thick. Safety and security films can range from a 4 milliliter to up to 14 milliliter thickness.
Fading is a complex issue. Each and every material will fade at different rates from exposure to ultraviolet radiation as well as other contributing factors. An example of this is the different color dyes in fabrics. Red and green colors tend to fade faster than other colors.
It is generally accepted that UV radiation can be responsible for roughly 40% of all fading. In addition to ultraviolet radiation, other factors that cause fading include:
The application of window film to the outside surface of some windows may also be considered.
Most window film manufacturers make a few products for exterior applications. As these films are subjected to an extreme amount of weathering and may easily be abused because of their location, or as a result of careless window cleaning, they have a somewhat limited life. These products generally have limited warranties for shorter periods of time.
Weather conditions need to be considered in the installation of exterior window films. When an exterior application is needed, high winds, cold temperatures (outside air temperature lower than 40 F), rain and snow can prevent installations from being scheduled. Please remember your window film professional is at the mercy of ‘Mother Nature’.
Solar control window film should not be applied to the interior surface of the wired glass, which receives any direct sunlight. The wire contained within the glass absorbs heat and if the film is installed on the interior surface the heat reflected out of the film greatly increases the heat absorption of the wire, leading to a high rate of expansion. The wire expands to a point that the glass can no longer withstand, resulting in glass breakage.
For the above reason, we strongly recommend that wired glass windows not be tinted.
If your wired glass window received no direct sunlight or it is an interior window and has a smooth surface, this window may be considered for tinting.
Patterned or textured surfaces will not allow window film adhesive to form an adequate strong bond to the uneven glass surface. Obviously, the type and degree of pattern or texture will influence this bonding.
Most solar control window films are the result of a sophisticated manufacturing process using only the finest raw materials and manufacturing technologies that are available. Under very careful monitoring, a number of transparent layers of quality polyester are laminated together. These layers are then coated using special adhesives, ultraviolet inhibitors, and finally covered with a special, protective, scratch-resistant coating.
Next, a concentration of metal particles is ‘sputter coated’ onto laminated sheets of polyester. This ‘sputter coating’ allows for the varying degrees of color as well as the degree of solar energy rejection.
Most window films have a scratch resistant coating on the outside surface of the film. This scratch resistant coating is used to protect the film from normal wear and tear. However, care and caution must still be used in cleaning the surface of the glass on which film has been applied to reduce possible damage:
- Use any normal household glass cleaning solutions or plain soapy water.
- Do not use any solution that contains abrasive material, such as baking soda. Comet, Soft scrub, etc. Also, do not use anything sharp such as razor blades or scrubbing pads.
- Use soft clean lint-free towels or synthetic sponges to apply cleaning solutions.
- Use a soft cloth or soft rubber squeegee for drying the glass. Care must be taken when using a squeegee for drying the glass. Care must be taken when using a squeegee, as not to gouge in the film any sharp metal edges.
While most window film companies use scratch-resistant films, you should ask to make sure. If a company has an extra charge for a scratch-resistant film, you may wish to contact a few more companies for quotes. With today’s technology, scratch-resistant films are considered standard.
Yes, window film will definitely help improve the comfort of your home or business.
The biggest problem in controlling comfort in homes and businesses is dealing with the radiant heat from the sun. The energy generated by the sun literally pours through the windows and is absorbed by all it touches. The greater the glass area of a home or building, the more potential for excessive radiant heat gain.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of solar control window film is its ability to regulate or control the amount of solar energy that passes through the glass.
Your window tinting professional should be able to assist you in choosing the right window film to help with you comfort needs.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world are injured, maimed or killed by lethal shards of flying or falling glass. Many events can cause glass to break unexpectedly resulting in potentially thousands of dagger-like projectiles.
Unfortunately, many glass breakage events are not predictable, such as a child falling into a patio door while playing. In these cases, existing homes or buildings may have no form of glass protection causing a high-risk potential of injury to the property and/or occupants.
There are many potential users of safety film. It may be a homeowner who lives next to a golf course, a storeowner with high priced merchandise in a display window, or anyone who wants to protect him or herself from injury due to broken glass. Flying or falling glass shards can result from acts of terrorism, vandalism, smash-and-grab burglaries and natural disasters.
The manufacturers of window films utilize numerous types of scratch resistant coatings during the manufacturing process. Humans apply this scratch resistant coating to the exterior surface of the window film to protect the film from normal wear and tear and abuse by the natural environment.
While most quality films are scratch resistant, no window film is entirely scratch proof. With a small amount of care and precaution, window film can provide you with years of service and protection.
Glass breakage can occur as the result of many different factors. Some of the most common causes of glass breakage are:
- Twisting stress from building movements
- Tensile stress from the weight of the glass itself
- Mechanical flexing stress, i.e. from the wind or pressure
- Impact stress from flying objects
- Thermal stress from absorption of solar radiation