Ask A Home Window Tinting ProWe get questions all the time. Here are few of the ones that help our clients feel more comfortable in their SMART decision to tint their windows. Don’t see your question? Or have a another one? Contact us and we’ll get right back to you.

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curtain fade damageWood floors, Carpet, Draperies, Window Treatments, Wood Shutters, Furniture, Fabrics, Upholstery, Floral Arrangements, Candles, Clothing, Human Skin, Photos, Artwork, Paintings, Tapestries, Antiques, Collectables, etc… are all being damaged by the sun coming through my windows every day.

The 3 main factors causing Sun Damage and Fading are Ultraviolet Light (UV), Heat, and Visible Light. UV is responsible for 40% of fading and Heat and Visible Light contribute 25% each, with the remaining 10% generally being factors beyond our control. The bright and open look you love about your rooms is the invisible culprit ruining your home’s interior.

There are 3 ways to control fading factors entering your home or building. Those are by reducing the amount of UV, Light, and Heat pouring in through the windows and doors. Window film is the BEST solution for controlling fading because it squarely addresses the main culprit of UV rays. All window films stop up to 99% of UV radiation from passing through treated window glass, while top brands filter 99.9%. Window films also block varying amounts of heat and light depending on the material make up of the film itself. Films that block high degrees of Heat and Glare offer the greatest protection against sun damage and fading. Replacement Glass and Windows that contain the latest technology of LOE coated glass and Argon gas fill help to control fading to a degree because these advanced technologies reduce heat and visible light passing through the window glass. Solar Screens also help to control fading and sun damage in a similar way to replacement glass and new window technology. Solar Screens also block Heat and Visible Light from passing through window glass. So Window Glass and Solar Screens do help to control fading and sun damage, but window film is the ultimate solution. Window Film is the only product that focuses on the main culprit of fading, the UV rays. Replacement Glass and New Windows do not block 99% of the UV rays like window films do.

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sun glare through windowsMy home heats up during the day making my rooms too hot for comfortable living. The AC runs all day but cannot keep up with the heat. It is only long after the sun goes down that the rooms start to cool down. During the summer months, this happens day after day.

The typical 3 x 6 home window with Clear Insulated Glass (double pane IG) transmits approximately 250 BTU’s per sq. ft, per hour, into your home during sun exposure in Texas. To help understand what this means consider this: The approximate energy released from burning 1 wooden matchstick equals 1 BTU. What does this mean? The sun pouring through this 3 x 6 window glass is equivalent to lighting 4500 matchsticks during every hour of sun exposure… every day… inside your house! How many windows does your home have that are exposed to the sun each day? Now you can understand how the windows heat up rooms and your home.

Window Film and Solar Screens are two of the most cost effective products that will decrease the amount of heat pouring through typical window glass. By rejecting from up to 85% of the radiant heat traveling through the glass into the rooms, the heat entering the building can be decreased from 250 BTU’s (per sq ft per hour) down to a meager 38 BTU’s! This reduction in heat entering through window glass is the best way to manage comfort and keep rooms with windows cool.

Replacement window glass and replacement windows with LOE coatings also reject heat. Though these options may be more costly than window film and solar screens, new glass and new windows are often what is needed for upgrades, remodeling, or personal preference. New technology window glass and replacement windows can reject up to 80% of the heat compared to a typical clear double pane window glass in older windows.

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Each and every month do you dread getting your electric bill. It seems to cost more and more each month. Do you adjust your thermostat and keep the lights turned off. It feels like you are living in the dark because all the blinds and drapes are always closed. How come your energy bills are so high? Your house is still too hot! What can you do?

Energy Eye-Opener: As much as half the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. According to the Department of Energy, as much as half of heating and cooling costs are a result of heat gain and heat loss through windows and glass. A major portion of cooling and heating cost are directly attributable to windows. By not making improvements to your windows, you are destined to pay more and more for energy. Energy prices are increasing by at least 2.5% every year.

Window film, solar screens, LOE replacement glass, and new technology vinyl replacement windows are all great ways to lower high electric bills and make your home (or building) much more comfortable. All of these window improvements are capable of decreasing heat gain through windows by up to 80%. All of these options are also capable of reducing heat loss in the winter months by up to 40%. The year round increase in window performance afforded by these improvements will absolutely lower the operating cost of heating and cooling you home, office, or building. The byproduct of saving money on energy costs will be the increased comfort you will experience.

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Issues we hear quite a bit include:

  • I have rooms with brightly sunlit windows that are almost impossible to use at certain times of the day.
  • The sun pours through my bedroom windows first thing in the morning and wakes me up at sunrise.
  • The sun entering the family room windows really irritates my husband when he is trying to watch golf or football on TV.
  • My kitchen window faces west and it makes it difficult to prepare the evening meals for my family.
  • What can be done to fix this?

The issue here is unwanted glare. Glare is unfiltered visible light caused by the sun facing the windows of that exposure. When the sun pours in through window glass, it is virtually impossible for the human eye to function properly without the aid of sunglasses. Who wants to wear sunglasses when inside their home, office, or business? Are you tired of being at the mercy of the sun at certain times of the day? Do you enjoy running from room to room adjusting blinds and window treatments just to make the room useable for you and your family?

Window Film and Solar Screens are two great ways to control eye squinting glare. These products can be used independently of any other window treatments to achieve glare free windows. Light to medium shades of window film can often be adequate to diffuse moderate levels of glare while still allowing a sufficient amount of visible light to illuminate the rooms. The effects of glare are sometimes not even readily apparent. Headaches and irritability are often a product of glare and unfiltered light, and most don’t realize why they aren’t performing at 100% when they are working or living in these uncomfortable circumstances. Glare can easily be reduced by 50% without sacrificing the open bright atmosphere most of us enjoy in our indoor environments. 90-95% glare reduction is also easily accomplished for those areas and rooms where light control is critical. Whatever your glare control needs, there are cost effective and attractive solutions proven to work.

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There are many instances where arched, half circles, eyebrows, and triangle shaped windows are not practical to cover with a window treatment. If it is even possible to install a custom made window treatment on these odd shaped windows, the cost to do so is usually out of this world. Or, the treatment does not cover the entire window in the case of arches and eyebrows. There are also windows that are really high off the floor. The problem with really high transom windows is operating the controls that open and close traditional window blinds and treatments. There are electric and remote control options, but once again, the cost of these expensive treatments can often rule out these solutions.

The most effective solution for hard to access, or hard to treat windows is window film. Because window film can be cut to any shape, and because window film has no controls to operate, it is an excellent answer for special shaped and high transom windows. With the vast array of choices of shades and solar protection levels, there is a film available for every need and design preference.

If UV control is the main concern, or if glare and heat are the villains, there are clear film options and darker glare and heat control films available to fit the need.

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Yes, a qualified window film dealer has been trained and provided testing data on appropriate films for specific glass types.

There are films specifically rated for Single pane, dual pane and low-e window types that are safe for application.

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Most window films can be cleaned with standard window cleaners bought in the grocery store. While most films have a scratch resistant coating it is recommended a soft cloth or paper towel used when cleaning.

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Many homeowners elect to have film installed on their low-e glass. Typically  their objective is to increase the heat rejection, introduce a fade protection or reduce glare.

A typical builder grade low-e window will provide for 20-25% heat rejection performance while most films will start at 50% heat rejection.

Additionally low-e windows do not provide UV ray protection which is 40% of the causes of fading.

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Yes window film is safe for dual pane glass. Today’s films are specifically designed for dual pane or Insulated glass units.

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Window films are available in a variety of visible light transmission levels. The amount of visible light transmitted through films will impact the “darkness” of a room.

There are films available that will allow for up to 70% of visible light transmission that when compared to existing windows is virtually clear.

A good dealer/film installer will evaluate the exposure, amount of glass and a homeowner’s desire for light and recommend a film with the appropriate light transmission to accommodate your objectives.

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Most manufacturers will provide for a lifetime warranty for a residential application of window film.

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visiblelightThere are three light spectrums attributed to solar heat through glass: Visible light and Infrared light make up 97% and only 4% is attributed to UV.

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The cost of window film can vary based on the film type and manufacturer selected.

The cost for a typical window can range from $90-$150.00 and may be impacted higher or lower based on actual window sizes and volume of windows to be filmed.

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Yes, most glass manufacturers will void warranties when window/glass is altered in anyway. Most window film manufacturers will provide warranties to replace active glass manufacturer warranties.

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All dual pane insulated glass has a life cycle. Typical builder grades have an average 10-15 years before the seal between the two pieces of glass will breakdown and cause moisture to appear between the two panes.

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A new insulated glass unit can be manufactured for a foggy window. A qualified Glass technician can measure and replicate the existing glass, shape and muttin bar configuration of an existing window.

The fix for a foggy window does not require the replacement of the existing window frame and would only involve the specific pane of glass needing repair.

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Solar Screens are applied on the outside of your windows. Window film is applied on the inside.

Window films provide for lifetime warranty from film manufacturers, while screens may be susceptible to damage over time in that subject to the outside elements.

Window Films can provide more heat rejection than solar screens- see below question.
Additional Features not found with Solar Screens

Fade Protection- Films have the ability to eliminate 99.9% of UV Rays- the majority cause of fading.

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Thermal crack or fracture is caused by the excessive heat generated between the panes of dual pane insulated glass. The occurs when a glass unit heats up under excessive heat and causes a thermal fracture on the inside pane.
Most insulated glass is manufactured to withstand the heat loads experienced in the D/FW area.
On occasion a thermal crack can occur after the installation of window tint. A qualified Window Film dealer will have the expertise to install the correct window film that will not cause a thermal crack.
The only occurrence of a thermal crack that could occur after the installation of the appropriately rated window film is if there is already an imperfection on the edge of the glass. In this case this will show itself within first year. Most window films provide for a 5 year thermal crack warranty for this reason.

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The short answer is NO!

Solar screens work by filtering out visible light- generally 80 to 90% of the light.
Window Film works by reducing the visible light and Infrared light and as a result will outperform solar screens while providing more light- up to 30% filtering.-Virtually clear.

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Solar control window films are designed to reduce heat and fading can provide a level of daytime privacy. This is achieved by reducing the visible light transmission through your glass- typically at the 35% or lower Visible light transmission level.

Decorative or privacy films are designed to provide daytime and nighttime privacy by introducing an opaque film that will eliminate or buffer visibility. However, unlike solar control films you will lose visibility from the outside as well as inside looking out.

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All IG units have a life cycle attached in which over time the Seal will breakdown causing moisture to develop between the two panes. Generally builder grade glass manufacturers will provide for a 10 year warranty for seal failure.

Window Films can cause glass breakage. Certain film types can absorb too much heat and cause a thermal crack on the interior pane of glass. Most films are tested and approved for IG Units however in some cases if there is a slight crack or imperfection in the glass some may cause thermal cracking.

Most film manufacturers will provide for a 5 year warranty against thermal breakage which is typically the time an imperfection if present will show itself.

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Yes. This is achieved by razor scraping the film and the adhesive off the glass. A qualified film technician will be to accomplish without damaging the glass. On some tempered glass scratching can occur if the side the film is installed on is the heat treated tempered side.

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Yes, window films are a proven solution to reduce the solar heat gain thru windows in homes, office buildings and retail store fronts.

Typically for heat rejection films are applied on the East/West and Southside exposures where levels of direct sun exposure are the greatest.

For homeowners up to 33% of heat coming into your home is through the glass. This may vary based on the % windows to wall ratio on aforementioned exposures.

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Today’s window film options include films that provide maximum visible light transmission- typically up to 70% that will provide a virtually clear appearance on the glass while providing similar heat rejection and fade protection properties as the traditional darker window films.

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Yes, most films provide 99-99.9% rejection of UV rays. As referenced in causes of fading question this represents 40% of the cause of sun related fading. The other 50% that can cause fading is attributed to Visible light and Heat.
Dependent upon the level of heat rejection and Light transmission of a film you can expect to pro-long the life of your furnishings and flooring up to 2.5 to 3.5 times when applying film.

Note nothing short of sheetrock will stop fading completely.

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Generally speaking there are no ill effects on house plants. Once your window film is installed, until your plants become acclimated to the new lighting environment there may be some slower growth and flowering. Fruit bearing trees may also slowdown in producing fruit as well, until they acclimate to the new conditions.
Some of your plants might appreciate the extra help. Plants, like people who sunburn, are at risk of damage caused by UV radiation.

The majority of all plants will do wonderful, and typically even thrive after a short time in the more favorable climate.

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Film is applied on the inside of your home. Most films utilize water activated adhesive that, after applied will adhere the film to the glass as the water dries.

A qualified installer will razor scrape clean the glass prior to install to minimize dirt particles being trapped between the film and glass.

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fading40% of fading from the sun’s rays is caused by UV Rays. The other 50% of fading  caused by the sun is equally split between Visible Light and Heat. The 10% represented is the fading caused by factors not related to the sun’s rays…composition of material, etc.


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Window film is a self-adhesive polyester based film that is applied to the interior surface of flat glass. It is generally designed to reduce heat energy particularly to upgrade control of solar heat energy, reject UV radiation, as well as giving a building a certain type of aesthetic image. There are two types of window film – non-reflective or dyed films that primarily absorb solar energy, and reflective or metallized films that absorb as well as reflect solar energy.

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Insulated glass unit that has a low-e coating on the #2 surface designed to provide some heat rejection in the summer and heat retention in the winter. While a good investment and now required in all residential construction since 2003, the typical builder grade low-e glass provides for approximately ½ of typical heat rejection of solar control window films and does not address UV or glare reduction.

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Same as window film – the tint refers to how much visible light is being transmitted- the darker the “tint” the lower the light transmission.

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Screens applied to the exterior of windows. Designed to filter the visible light to reduce heat.

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Reference to the replacement of the entire frame and glass.

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Reference to the replacement of the glass portion only of existing window

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Refers to attempting to repair and broken seal in a insulated glass unit without replacing the glass- very mixed results only work in certain situations.

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AKA – the overall heat transfer co-efficient. The measurement of heat loss through a material, such as a floor or roof or even a wall.  The lower the U-value number, the slower the rate of heat loss, which reflects a better insulating quality.

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The amount of solar radiation absorbed into a home through a window/skylight. SHGC rating is used to quantify the energy efficiency of windows.

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The VLT is the total visible light which passes through a window/window film. It is measured by percentage.  The film gets darker the lower the percentage. (i.e. 90% VLT window film is virtually clear, while a 10% VTL is quite dark.) Depending on the manufacturer, the darker the film, the more heat is rejected. All solar window film blocks 99% UV rays.

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The amount of sunshine that is visibly reflected by a window; the more the reflective or mirrored appearance, the higher the value.

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The amount of ultraviolet radiation blocked from passing through your window. These wavelengths are the primary reasons behind skin damage, fading, and discoloration. Solar window film block 99% of UV rays, which will protect your family from damaging UV rays, fading furniture and flooring.

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The amount of solar infrared radiation, (IR)  that is blocked from passing through the window film. IR is most commonly known as “heat radiation”. IR light from the sun accounts for 49% of the energy that heats the earth.

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