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Window Insulation Film

Filed Under: Experts, Eric Stromer

Want to protect your home from harmful ultraviolet rays, reduce glare and improve the overall energy efficiency of your home? Window insulation film is the way to go. Here's how to bring it home.

  • Barynja

    Double or triple glazing is indeed more expensive but also more effective and made for eternity. Insulation film looks ugly, often blistered, does not last long and does not really save much energy costs. Only advantage: it is cheap!

  • Dennis

    I don't agree - I bought the best Gila window film I could find a few years ago to replace my old window film, on single pane aluminum windows on my 2nd story condo. The appearance is not perfect, but overall the windows look better than before - the window film enhances the colors a bit outside.

    I feel it keeps the rooms much for comfortable, and what I have read "wears out" in the window films is the UV protection - so eventually your fade protection will disappear over the years, and the window film will need to be reapplied. The energy saving bit does not "wear out" it will continue to reject the hot summer sun, and to help insulate.

    Other steps I have taken is to hold the top and bottoms of the sliding windows tight with thumbscrew type locks - as my windows are not all "true" anymore, this also stops any rattling during high winds.

  • don

    PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!! if you have newer double or triple pane windows...... DO NOT PUT WINDOW FILM ON THEM.... it can cause your windows to crack and void your warranty. The heat can build up between your window film and the other layers of glass resulting in a very high heat temperature between the panes and may cause them to crack

  • Frank

    Don, you are absolutley correct in your warning. I've been in the glass business my whole life. Window film is great for single pane glass but can be harmful to insulated glass and DOES void the warentee. It can cause heat related stress cracks and seal failure. The film companies know this but rarely warn consumers. Some of them offer thier own warentee for an addtional charge if you ask about it.

  • CB Tint

    While it's true you can have seal failure and thermal breakage from SOME solar reflective films, this isn't the case for most films. Manufacturer warranties cover these issues if the product meets the film to glass chart which a professional installer should have access to and use on a regular basis. And while the whole "window film voids manufacturer warranty" on the windows is true, the same applies for Blinds, alarm stickers, and anything else within 4 inches of the glass. Window companies are intent on voiding the warranty ASAP so to say window film is the reason for this would be an unfair assumption.

  • RHanners

    Absolutely correct. I had double paned windows on my new home and was talked into having film installed about 6 months later. The look of the film was fine on my home, but about a year later, one window cracked. Was chagrined to find the warranty had been voided. Six months after, another window cracked (both faced SW). Have not had any others crack in the four years since, but it really pisses me off that the film installers had to be aware of this effect and the warranty void. I'm sure knowledgeable homeowners (which I was not) had mentioned this to them many times during their attempted sales pitches.

  • Guillermina

    there is no way come hell or high water that i would insulate my windows. When people do this, it looks like a bunch of puerto ricans live there.

  • tj

    Guillermina or Patsy,

    I am so sad that you are a shut in ignorant woman. This is nothing more than another racist bigoted statement of which you are so capable. I will think of you and those like you who are so afraid of the world they bury their heads in the sand. Obesity is not unhealthy, window treatment look "Puerto Rican", Obama is not an American, teaching your children to disrespect out of fear. How utterly depressing your life must be.

  • Tony

    Don't forget Mexicans!

  • Jerry

    Just be aware that at times the film will cause windows to crack. Sometimes that is due to thermal issues with it, sometimes it is due to the fact the film shrinks a bit and a little tension spread across the surface of the glass can cause it to fracture. Look at the information you get with the film or discuss this with the installer if you have someone install it. I have casement style windows, those that tilt outwards from the side which has a sliding hinge. I have just finished a two year project to sand and refinish them and renew the 24 year old weatherstripping. The windows are nice in that they use an 1/8" grove all the way around the perimeter of the sash (the part on the house). We live in a cold climate, South Dakota. It can be 40 degrees out all night and the furnace never comes on, house rarely goes below 65 degrees. We have a furnace that takes in outside air so the tightness does not seem to pose any problems. Utility consumption is half. Most homes leak enough air to have two or more complete volume changes per hour and this is a major source of energy loss, ususally more than the insulation or something like radiation loss through windows. Windows represent a very small portion of the overall surface area of any home so radiation in and out contributes a very small amount to heat gain and loss. Sorry for being so rambling.

  • Lynne

    Better listen to Don!! He's exactly correct. For double or triple glazing, adding film will void your warranty and, worse yet, could ruin your windows. I could not believe a person at a well known home improvment place talked my daughter and SIL into doing just that on a mega bucks house. The house faced the afternoon sun but I have to wonder what the outcome was in a few years when they moved out of state and sold the house.

  • Libby

    I can't believe this. Doing each pane does no good. You do better if you film the entire window. The cold air comes aroung the frame not the pane. Neither look very good, but what the heck, if you stay warm.

  • York

    I've had a feeling I should wash the wndows next week . . . . . .maybe if I sit here long enough, the feeling will pass.

  • bobparks

    This takes forever, looks like crap, and does NOT insulate windows.

  • Janeway

    Evidently you don't know what your doing. I have done my windows for years and know one can tell. I guess it just depends on who's doing it. And why bring ethnicity into it? Doesn't matter who you are.

  • Misty Lenz

    Forget the film, use BUBBLE WRAP - the larger the bubble the better. Easy to apply also - simply squirt the window area with water, apply the bubble wrap with the smooth side OUT. Done. Want to take it off, just pull and off it comes, then you can wash the window and REUSE.

    Also, it allows light into the room and you can see (yes, a little distortion) through it..

    Simply, very cheap and it has cut my a/c and heat bills in half. Been using it for years.

  • willie

    This is a stupid idea and cant make one iota of difference in the energy savings of a house. Moronic.

  • Jean

    I bought some premium window tint to insulate and reduce glare. However, the film did bubble and blister over time and when I went to remove it, it would not come off....It was, like, permanently attached, and has ugly big brown splotches. It will not even come off with a razor. It is baked on, and looks like the only solution is to replace the window itself...never again.......

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