Q. I need to block the sun’s heat and fading rays coming in my windows. They are just single-pane, but are in good condition. Is it hard to install a heat-control window film and does it work?
A. often recommend double- or triple-pane, low-emissivity replacement windows. The fact that your windows are in good shape, applying permanent film is a much lower cost option. The new year-round, energy-control window films are not difficult to install and they do work.
These films have a microscopically thin low-emissivity layer of metal to block heat gain during summer and heat loss during winter. They are not darkly tinted or extremely reflective like the mirrored office building windows. Most people will not even notice the film on the glass.
The colour and amount of tint of the film also impacts how much heat and glare come through the window glass. For hot climates, a darkly tinted film with a low-emissivity coating blocks the most heat and glare. It also blocks heat during winter, so it is not the best for solar heating.
For most other climates, a lightly tinted, low-emissivity film provides the most year-round energy savings. When looking out from indoors, the tint is barely noticeable. It blocks the intense heat from the sun during summer, yet allows some solar heat in during winter. It also reduces a chilly sensation when sitting near windows at night.
Other benefits of this window film are it blocks nearly all the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) fading rays to protect furniture and carpets. Totally clear film with no tint also reduces fading and minimises the chance of the glass shattering when broken. Extra-thick safety films are also available.
Dark window films block much of the sun’s heat by absorbing it instead of reflecting it. This can be a problem on double-pane glass because it gets hot possibly causing the seals to leak. Nearly clear films do not cause as much heat, but still check before applying film.
This article originally appeared at dulley.com