How do Window Films work?

Sun Control Window Films reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through window glass by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible reflection) and solar absorption through the glass.

Typical colored or dyed films work primarily through increased absorption. The color absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the room. These films offer only marginal performance when compared to reflective films.

Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals. These metalized films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass and some of the absorption. Sun Control Window Film reflective films range from moderate to excellent in solar performance (heat gain reduction).

All 3M™ Sun Control Window Films are made to be transparent and optically clear. The ultraviolet protection in the adhesive system is there to protect the adhesive, the metals, the polyester film, and the abrasion resistant coating from UV degradation.
This UV protection will also help protect what is behind the film (home and office furnishings), too.
All Sun Control Window Films are protected with a scratch resistant coating for long term durability.

Why have Sun Control Window Film applied to my commercial building?

Sun control window films deliver many benefits to commercial buildings. These include:

  • Improved tenant comfort
  • Lower heating and cooling operating costs
  • Lower utility demand costs
  • Utility rebates
  • Improved aesthetics, uniform appearance
  • Improved safety and security
  • Extended A/C equipment life
  • Sustainable alternative to adding more A/C equipment

Oftentimes property managers and building owners apply window films for tenant comfort and justify the purchase on energy cost savings.

How are window films applied?

Our Sun Control Window Films are professionally applied by skilled, well-trained authorized 3M Dealer personnel. Almost all our films are designed to be applied to the inside of your glass. The first step is to prepare the window area for the application, placing drop cloths on the floor protecting and/or moving furniture where necessary.

Next, the window glass is cleaned using simple cleaning solutions (often water and ammonia) and razor blade scrapers. Then the film is sprayed with a slip solution (detergent and water) for proper positioning and applied to the window glass. Using a professional grade squeegee and following proper techniques, the application is completed by removing excess water, trimming the edges, and a final squeegee technique to dry the edges.

What is the typical energy payback for Sun Control Window Films?

Simple paybacks will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, film type, glass type, utility costs, installation cost, and other variables. However, window film typically pays back the investment in 2-5-years, with some reported paybacks even less than 6 months.

How long does it take for Window Films to dry?

We suggest allowing at least thirty days for the film to fully dry and cure. During this curing process, it is natural to have small water bubbles and/or a hazing milky appearance. These will disappear as the film dries; depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take longer than 30 days – especially for thicker security films, or as little as a few days. Once dried, 3M Window Films will look great and perform well.

Can I install Window Film myself?

Certainly. There are DIY films available at Home Depot, Lowes and online. Professional windows films, however, must be installed by certified, trained and authorized installers. Authorized Window Film Dealer/Applicators are thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high-quality work. In this way, our customers will enjoy the benefits of professional Window Films and have the comfort that goes with a manufacturer’s warranty.

How do I clean my Window Film?

After thirty (30) days, you may clean Window Films using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia-based products like Windex®, and a soft, lint-free cloth or towel. You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Abrasive products will scratch or damage the film and should never be used.

How long does 3M Window Film last?

All Window Films offered by Metro Tint Texas are durable and made to last for many years. Just how long a particular film will last depend upon the type of film applied, type of glass it is applied to and the climate in which it is applied. Most films will last upwards of 15 years and several applications are still performing after 20 years. Most window films come with a 10-15-year commercial warranty and lifetime residential warranty for as long as the original purchaser owns the home.

Will Window Film break my glass?

3M Window Films will increase the temperature of your sunlit glass, which will in turn; increase the stress on the glass edges. The quality of the glass edge and several other factors (external shading, interior shading, glass history, type of film, size/shape of glass, indoor/outdoor temperature) all contribute to the risk of glass breakage.

Metro Tint Texas’ years of experience with applying window films to different types of glass enables us to make proper film/glass recommendations and reduce the potential for glass breakage. In addition, every film we offer comes with a minimum five-year glass breakage warranty against thermal shock fracture. Should the glass break within five years of application, the manufacturer will replace the glass (maximum $500.00 per window), and we will replace the film.

Do window films cause seal failure when applied to insulated (double-pane, Thermopane™) windows?

No, window films do not cause seal failure. When recommended films are applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. However, even a 20 F degree increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure. Properly made windows are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure.

Risk of seal failure is determined largely by the quality of the window itself. All Insulated Glass Units will fail eventually. Cheaper, less well-constructed units will fail sooner than quality units. Your best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made windows from reputable manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated windows.

Will 3M Window Film stop my furnishings from fading?

Nothing stops fading, but window films can significantly reduce sun damage and fading of furniture, fabrics, and artwork. Window Films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading (ultraviolet light, visible light, and solar heat), thus helping to prolong life and appearance of your furnishings. As a rule of thumb, ultraviolet (UV) contributes about 40% of the cause of furniture fading, visible light about 25%, and heat about 25%. The remaining 10% can be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye anchorage, and other causes.

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