Is it Worth Investing in Window Films

There are various reasons a homeowner may opt to have window films installed, some of those include: daytime privacy, reduction of the sun’s heat, anti-glare capabilities, home safety/security and energy efficiency. We talk to UK Window Films on the subject and pose the question: is it worth investing in window films?

What Are Window Films?

Window film consists of thin layers of high quality polyester that are laminate with target metals such as gold, silver, copper, aluminium or ceramics, adhesives and scratch protection coatings using sputter technology.  Polyester is used due to its clarity, tensile strength, dimensional stability; and ability to accept a variety of surface-applied or embedded treatments.

The manufacturing process involves unwinding a  roll of high quality polyester in a closed sterile environment , warmed it gently and then passed over the target metals and ceramics particles such as silver, aluminium, stainless steel, gold and titanium. Through ion bombardment, the atoms of are deposited on to the polyester film. Special contact adhesives and scratch protections coatings are added to the treated polyester to ensure a long lasting colour and performance for many years. This treatment makes films suitable for most exterior and interior glass applications for vehicles, boats, homes and commercial buildings.

How is a window film installed? Am I able to install it myself?

There are wide ranges of professional window films suitable DIY application, making them an attribute to your home that is certainly worth investing in. The process is very simple.

  1. Cut the window film approximately 25mm larger than the windowpane.
  2. Spray and clean the window pane with a mild soapy water solution, making sure any adhesives and debris is removed. Dry the window pane with a soft rubber squeegee and the edges with a lint free cloth.
  3. Wet the glass with your soapy water. Remove the clear liner from the film and spray the adhesive side with you soapy water. The water makes it easier to position the film and helps hold it on the window.
  4. Use a small squeegee to burnish the film onto the window, pushing the water bubbles to the edges , working from the middle.
  5. When the film is firm, flat and free of bubbles, trim the edges with a sharp utility knife.

All DIY window films are usually supplied with instructions.

Do I need to carry out any preparatory work before the film is installed?

To help minimise disruptions and streamline the installation of your new window film. We would advise you remove all items such as plants, pictures and miscellaneous objects from the windowsills. It is also wise to reposition window blinds and curtains. It is not always necessary to remove them completely.

Remove and/or re-arrange any furniture that may hinder the installer’s access to the windows. If it is necessary to move large or heavy objects and agree with your installer which party is responsible for this. To minimise airborne contaminants from getting trapped between the film and the glass, during the installation, close all windows, air-conditioning and heating vents in the vicinity of the installation area. It is also wise to clean floors and vacuum carpeting a day before the film installation begins. Remove all pets from the area before and during installation.

What are the best ways to maintain window films? Are there any particular products I should be using to keep them at their best?

Window films are virtually maintenance free ,which is yet another reason it is worth investing in window films. Most glass cleaners will work well, although a good cleaning solution for window film is 25 ml of a mild detergent added to one litre of fresh water. Always use fresh clean, soft materials to wash and dry your window film surfaces.  A clean soft cloth, an e-cloth or synthetic sponge is recommended for washing the window film followed by another clean soft cloth or soft rubber squeegee for drying.

See also: The Dos and Don’ts of Renovation 

Exactly what are U and G values and how do window films affect them?

The U-Value is the measurement of heat transfer through a film due to outdoor/indoor temperature differences. The lower the U-value, the less heat transfer through the glazing.

The G-value also known as the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, is the ratio of the total solar heat passing through a given window product relative to the solar heat incident on the projected window surface at normal solar incident (i.e. perpendicular to the glazing surface). The lower the coefficient number for a window film or glass system, the better it is to reduce the solar heat.

Are there types of window film that will protect my glass from breaking?

Glass can be a fragile and potentially a dangerous material, with the possibility of serious damage or injury if broken

Window film will not stop your glass from breaking. If the glass does break whether accidentally or intentionally, applying a safety window film will ensure the glass doesn’t scatter or cause injury. If untreated or standard glazing breaks, the shards fall away from the frame creating an immediate and dangerous hazard. Safety film holds the broken glass in place, preventing it from detaching and causing an issue. An application of safety film will upgrade glass to a safety glass standard, meaning there is no need to undertake an expensive glass replacement.  Safety film will also help improve your home security, by making entry through glass more difficult, slowing an intruder down.

I’m interested in anti-glare films but am worried that it will make my room too dark, is this the case?

The sun’s glare can be a problem all year round, with the levels of bright light transmitted through windows causing potential visibility and comfort issues. An application of anti-glare window film can instantly make your home more comfortable therefore if your home suffers from excessive eat it is certainly worth investing in window films to resolve this issue.

Anti-glare window film will cut out a large proportion of the unwanted glare from the sun, whilst still allowing natural light to pass through the glazing as well as maintaining your view out through the glazing. Anti-glare window film is available in a wide range appearance and performances. The dark films may reduce the light levels very slightly, but is not a dark when closing blinds or curtains and also they block your view looking out. 

See also: Choosing the Best Replacement Windows 

What are carbon negative window films and are these a more recommended option?

Certified Carbon Negative window film means that the environmental impact required to manufacture, distribute, install and dispose of at the end of the films life cycle, is less than the carbon reduction achieved because of the window films installation. Building managers and owners can now invest in applied window film with the knowledge that they are using industry leading Carbon Negative products and have the opportunity to increase the capacity to generate greater revenue savings. Using Carbon Negative window film reducer’s the carbon footprint of a building more effectively and for less money than replacement windows.

Carbon Negative window films not only have an impressive industry leading Carbon Negative rating, they also offer one of the fastest payback periods in any retro fit building product on the market. With a payback period normally within 3 years, Carbon Negative window film will improve your carbon footprint and your green initiatives. This presents another argument for why it is worth investing in window films. Look for the Carbon Negative symbol for environmentally friendly window films.  

UK Window Films Ltd is an established family owned window film company with over 20 years experience in the window film and window graphic industry. Providing high performance professional window films, bespoke window graphics, wall graphics and manifestations for thousands of customers. To find out ore about their services and products, visit their website: windowfilmsuk.com

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