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Window Film 101

Window Film 101

Window films offer a host of benefits, from increasing privacy to reducing energy consumption. Here is a brief crash-course in what window films are, how they work, and what the main benefits are.

What are Window Films?
A window film is a sheet of specially treated polyester laminate designed to enhance the performance of regular windows. One side of the sheet has an adhesive that bonds to existing windows, and the other has a scratch-resistant coating. Professional films are installed by a certified technician, and DIY films can be purchased at many centres for home improvement. It only takes a professional about half an hour per window to install window films, and is a mess-free process. This article focuses on professionally installed window films.

There are a huge variety of window films on the market, so it is important to consider your specific needs to ensure you end up with the product that is right for you.

What are the Benefits?
About 15% of an average home’s exterior is composed of glass, which is a notoriously poor insulator. Even a closed window can leak heat, resulting in expensive utility bills for the homeowner. The installation of a thin window film can help homeowners save up to 50% on energy costs by improving heat retention and rejection. In addition to keeping energy costs down, window films can prevent glare, protect you from UV rays, and increase the safety of windows by protecting people from glass shards.

Which is Right for Me?
There are a huge variety of window films on the market, so it is important to consider your specific needs to ensure you end up with the product that is right for you. Before talking to a professional installer, consider the following questions:

1. What benefit are you seeking? Are you looking for energy savings, heat reduction, privacy, glare reduction, etc.?
2. How do you want the film to look from the outside and inside of your house? Films can be clear, opaque, patterned, coloured, and reflective.
3. Which rooms in your home need window films?
4. What is your budget?

What are Some of My Options?

Neutral: These films are designed to provide moderate heat rejection, and a neutral appearance. Consider neutral films for showrooms and high-visibility windows.

Spectrally Selective: These films are nearly invisible. Spectrally selective films block undesired heat and UV rays, while allowing daylight to pass through. These films are particularly appropriate if you want minimal light control and maximum heat protection.

Dual-Reflective: These films are reflective on the outside to reject solar heat and reduce glare, while maintaining exterior views and reducing nighttime interior reflection of artificial light.

Safety/Security: These films are invisible, but hold shattered glass together. These films improve safety for residents from harm caused by broken glass (particularly useful in areas that experience severe weather) and can help deter break-ins by making it more difficult for would-be thieves to enter your building.

If you are interested in any of the benefits provided by professional window films, give us a call or send us a message so we can help you find the right product for you, or check out our Residential Services Page to get acquainted with what we have to offer.