Window Film - Has anyone used it? Pros & Cons?
shakerjaebs
June 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My home was built in 1925 and still has the original metal casement windows. I love how they look without curtains and blinds. However, especially in the dining room, we're having an issue with sunlight and heat during dinner. I'm toying with the idea of having a film put on them. It would either be clear or slightly tinted - nothing frosted or decorative. Has anyone tried these? Would they harm my old windows?
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msmliss
I chose the medium grade of grey tinted film for my east and west facing windows, on old dual-paned metal-framed windows. It's applied with water, so I don't believe the film would harm glass, although I've not removed mine. My "panes" are sandwiched in between, so the film was one whole piece, and I had a little bit of trouble with air bubbles in the first one. I discovered, as I went, that the problem was not using enough water. Really must make the glass wet, wet! Finally, if the problem is heat from sunlight you still might not be satisfied with a film. While the medium helps, I feel the dark would be too dark at other times of the day. Have you thought of natural (bamboo/rattan) Roman or roll-up shades? Good Luck
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:34AM
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joannakuhn
I have used window film on an ugly but functional sliding door. Results are good There are a variety of designs to choose anything from frosted glass to bamboo to retro
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:38AM
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bprimas
Hi yes I have window film and I love it. The first year in my home my sofa changed to two shades lighter. I would never put window treatments on my window. But in another room I have hunter Douglas duets which when closed protects the furniture and when open they disappear and you have the look of no treatments. My window films are 3 m which keeps the room cool and no more furniture fading. Good luck your windows are beautiful reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright, they are a gem.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:43AM
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missjkat
I have film on all my windows except the north side which doesn't get direct sunlight. I live in Houston and I have a good quality tint on my windows and it makes a difference in your electric bill also. Don't buy the mirrored look thats more for commercial use, there are nice colors to choose from.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Linda Stacey
Yes, it helped in our Scottsdale AZ home with floor to ceiling windows , southern exposure. I think 3M is the best and had it professionally installed.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:52AM
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decoenthusiaste
UV blocking films are quite sophisticated now - now your grandma's window film anymore.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:53AM
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Barbee James
I use often as by design firm is in Colorado. They work well and our historic courthouse building even put on their windows
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 7:54AM
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jpdelutis
be aware though that some films can affect the use of cell phones
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:00AM
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chrisblouke
We had south facing windows, floor to cathedral ceiling with nothing blocking the big view. The carpet we replaced was very sun faded as was the previous owners furniture, so I had 3M film installed. Five years later when we moved the carpet and my furniture were as new, no fading at all. I was cautious when washing, using a wooly gadget that fit over a T shaped bar which in turn fit on an extension pole along with a squeegee. No nicks in the film. The film we used was photo-negative, it did not change the colors in the room. I highly recommend it, but I don't recommend DIY for a window larger than 3x3. Life is too short for that war!
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:01AM
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richlin912
We had the 3M film put on our windows 7 years ago. The installer did a wonderful job. Our neighbor had them put on his also. We were both very pleased. It cut down on the AC constantly running in the afternoons in the South Carolina summer heat. Go with 3M for the best results with a professional installer.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:05AM
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judianna20
I had it in a previous home. I can't comment on what would have happened to the floors and upholstery if there was no film, but I can tell you that it did not prevent fading. So, my experience was more of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" concept. Either way, it was a fade by degree.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:05AM
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bluegrassmama
I used the static cling type, installed it myself, on my south facing windows in bedroom and kitchen..... has made a huge difference in the summer, can remove for the winter, and back on in the summer... reusable!! love it!!!
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Teresa Nystrom
I had the film professionally installed because it seemed like it took 3 hands to accomplish. I have been pleased with the results. It has been two years and the windows still look as good as day 1. I also had a shade installed in a sky light. I have the light, but not the heat. Both have saved a lot of money and have probably paid for themselves.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 8:40AM
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curlycook
I have 3M films on a wall of west facing windows. No fading and the heat is substantially less in the summer. The downside is the change in the color of the light (it's more brown) on cloudy days and it is still too bright from 3-7 PM on sunny days. I am looking into another light blocking solution to make the room usable in the evenings. Overall, I would install them again for the obvious benefits.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 9:05AM
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noclue915
I also had film professionally installed 10 yrs ago and still looks new. Had 1 Bay and 3 Picture windows done because my furniture, area rugs and wood floor were ruined from Southern exposure! How I wish I had done it when I first moved in. It is very reasonable and worth every cent. Must not use Ammonia window cleaner...they will explain. Just do it!
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 9:19AM
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cocoanlace
I am in the process of installing Gila Titanium Energy Control Peel and Cling. My windows, like yours, have small squares. Although that's a lot of cutting, it's way easier to handle a small piece that is not sticky on one side. You spray the window wet and then apply, squeegying out the bubbles. If you screw up, you pull it off and try again. The tint is slightly blue and after about a week, the blur changes to clear (water evaporates). This product is considered metallic so there is a reflection when looking in from the outside and there is a reflection in the evening when looking out. I can already tell the heat is reduced, which is primarily why I am installing it. It's pricey. $40 for a 3 ft by 6.5 foot roll. But less expensive options are available, especially if you don't need to keep out the heat.
1 Like   June 6, 2013 at 9:28AM
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shakerjaebs
Wow! Thanks for all the replies! I was thinking about the 3M with a professional installation as the historical nature of our home might not look right with any sort of reflection.
0 Likes   June 6, 2013 at 10:03AM
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shakerjaebs
I hadn't heard anything about cell phone reception. I'll have to check in to that!!
0 Likes   June 6, 2013 at 10:04AM
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curlycook
All cell phones work in our home! I haven't heard of that as a potential problem.
0 Likes   June 6, 2013 at 11:47AM
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PRO
SOLARIS
With older single pane windows, www.enerlogicfilm.com will give you the best year-round energy efficiency. We have used this product on a historic home built in 1825 with the original glass. The most important factor with old windows is the installation as there is typically more old dirt, dust, paint, etc. trapped along the edges.

As far as cell phone reception, certain window films can degrade the signal strength through the glass. Cell phones are very sensitive and this is usually not a problem unless all of the windows in a home are done with a metallized film. Cellular and wifi signals can still pass through your roof, walls, etc. Satellite radio is more of a problem.
0 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 8:06AM
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