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Film application and maintenance
Cars: automotive window film is always applied to the inside of the automotive glass. Installers simply use the outside of the window to cut and heat shrink the window film for a proper fit. Buildings: Inside application is the traditional method for solar window film, and most common. External installation is recommended when an internal application is challenging. There are films on the market designed for outside use. Safety films are applied to the side where the protection is required, i.e., typically on the inside of the building.
Installation of window film is always recommended by a certified professional to ensure the best visual quality and make sure that the film will achieve the performance levels mentioned in the manufacturers documentations. Besides the installation itself, the selection of the window film should be done following professional advice, to ensure the desired results in terms of quality, visual aspects and long-term performance are achieved. Another important aspect to take into account is that only profesional installation is covered by warranty.
While not quite as hard as glass, window film is scratch-resistant and may be cleaned with common household cleaners, non-abrasive paper towels, sponges, or cotton cleaning cloths. It is recomended though not to use brushes or abrasives which will harm the surface. Caution should be exercised to prevent extreme gouging by hard, sharp, metallic objects.
Indeed some window film can be installed both in cars and buildings. However, the selection of the window film should always be done following professional advice, to avoid undesired results and even, in the worst case scenario, that there is glass breakage.
The cost of window film will vary depending on the required function (solar, safety, aesthetics or a combination of different functions), the performance, size of the window, and the market location. Please contact a local dealer. He will be able to provide you with an estimate at no charge.
How can I be sure that the solar properties of the film I buy are correct and reflecting real properties of the product?
It is important to rely on a professional for both the selection of the right window film and the installation. A professional will only recomend you film with the necessary certificates and subject to quality control like ISO 9001. Alike IWFA (International Window Film Association), all members of EWFA have agreed to use the NFRC (National Fenestration Registration Council, which is an US based independent control organisation for windows and glazing) as external body for identifying the properties of their window film.
Warranty is given by the manufacturer of the window film on the integrity and the visual aspects of the window film provided that the window film is installed in a professional way and based on professional advice. Warranty coverage can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so please always check this before ordering the installation.
Simple paybacks will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film, the type of glass, cost of fuel, cost of application, and other variables. However, paybacks often range from 2-5 years, although some reported have been less than 6 months.
Window film can be removed from the glass whenever needed, however quality products with necessary maintenance can stay on the glass for decades.
Film solar features
The ultra violet (UV) protection used in window film adhesives is not indefinite, but it is designed to maintain high UV protection throughout their lifetime.
What would the SPF (sun protection factor) be for window film, using the same scale used by the sun screen manufacturers?
Since an SPF 15 allows you to stay in the sun without burning fifteen times longer than you could if you didn't use any sunscreen, the calculation of the SPF for window film is fairly easy. If the film product allows less than 1% UV transmission, the SPF would be about 100 or more. With 1.5% UV transmission, the SPF is 66.66. With a UV transmission of 2%, the SPF would be 50, etc. Simply divide 100 by the percentage of UV transmission. Make sure that your UV transmission number covers the whole range of UVA and UVB radiation. NOTICE: While this computation is easy to perform, it must be said that most dermatologists don't think numbers larger than about 20 are meaningful. Moreover, these SPF numbers are officially determined by actual skin testing according to an established experimental protocol. It is not allowed recommended to make such claims about actual SPF numbers without having these skin tests performed by a qualified laboratory.
The darkness of a window film is a comonly used indicator, but it does not give the complete information when it comes to the solar heat reduction in a given situation. In order to get the best result for a particular case, it is therefore essential that advice is gained from professionals and that the installation is done by professional installers.
If you reduce a high percentage of solar gain what happens to the wintertime warming effect of the sun?
The winter warming effect will be also lowered, but in case of air-conditioned buildings, much more energy can be saved by lowering summer heat gain than what you have to spend in addition for extra heating during the winter.
In case of choosing darker film you might need to use the lighting more, however in case of air conditioned buildings, much more energy can be saved by lowering summer heat gain than what you have to spend on extra lighting. In addition, in office buildings the lights are always on during the day which means there will be no difference in lighting use.
Window film serves many purposes, besides heat control. If lowering the heat is not what you need, then you can look at window film to tackle other issues such as protection against UVA and UVB rays, security, fading, anti-graffiti, etc. Please check this section of our website for more information.
The mirror effect changes during night time. Reflective film always works as a mirror to the lighter area or side, although there are tricks to decrease this effect.
Film security and other features
No. Security film does an excellent job at holding broken glass together but it cannot prevent the window from breaking if it comes in contact with a severe force (e.g. hurricane, baseball bat blow).
Special scratch resistant coatings (SR or ER for external) stand up well to normal every day abrasion, wear and tear, and make cleaning and maintenance trouble free. However when someone deliberately causes damage with sharp objects, it will no doubt result in scratches.
A safety window film will not turn glass into bullet proof glass. A safety window film will keep the shattered glass together. The better the base glass is, the better the combined result with a safety window film will be.
The building will have a uniform appearance, often completely invisible depending on the film edge gap, any tints will obviously change the shading or colour of the windows.
It depends on the plant and the film used. Some plants require high levels of UV light, others natural light. If you are concerned, do not use film with a VLT lower than 29%!
When film is installed in a professional way and based on professional advice, there is very low likelihood of breakage. There are cases that the glazing was initially not well installed and that for instance the glass is chipped behind the frame; these chipped areas may become a stress point after film is installed, subsequently causing a break. Therefore it is important to have a professional helping in determining which is the best film and doing the installation.