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Q: I have low emissivity (Low E) windows. Is film necessary?
A: If you have Low E squared, or some other Low E glass made for summer heat control, rather than for winter heat-loss control (which most Low E is manufactured to do), then the answer may be no. For standard Low E glass, though, in most cases the answer is yes. By definition, the term "Low E" deals more with heat retention in the winter than it does heat rejection in the summer. Remember, glare and fading problems are not normally solved by this type of glass.
Q: When is window film necessary for a residence?
A: Every home can realize some benefit from window film. Obviously, window film provides tremendous benefit for any building exposures that are subject to brutal desert sun. However, if you are also concerned about utility costs, fading of furnishings and artwork, or glare reduction (not to mention personal comfort), there are films available that can solve each of these issues.
Q: I've heard that window films can break or crack window glass. Is this true?
A: Window films themselves do not cause glass to break. However, a combination of circumstances can contribute to a crack or a break. If the exterior pane in a window unit has any flaw or weakness in it, that, coupled with the added heat between the two panes created by the reflectivity in the window film, may cause breakage to occur. Keep in mind that window film is perfectly safe for all types of glass, and breakage occurs less than 0.1 percent of the time. Most window film brands have warranties that give you a more superior glass warranty than what you may already have.
Q: Does the application of window film void a glass warranty?
A: By definition, window film is an "aftermarket" product. Any add-on product, including some blinds and shades, usually void a glass warranty. Most window film manufacturers' warranties are as good as or better than what you currently have. If a home is more than five years old, or if you are not the original owner, you probably have no original builder glass warranty.
Q: Will window film bubble or discolor?
A: The advancements in window film technology in recent years have been outstanding. Most of the films specified today in residential applications will last 20 or 30 years without any type of failure. Most window film companies will provide a lifetime warranty on the window film, which includes labor on the reapplication.
Q: Which is better, window film or an exterior sunscreen?
A: Although screens do a good job of rejecting heat, glare, and ultraviolet rays, most people don't want the room- darkening effect of screens, nor the loss of aesthetics on the exterior of the home. A clear view from the interior and no maintenance for window film make it a superior product and wiser financial investment. Either way, however, you would be buying one of the few products that will pay for itself over time.
Q: I really don't like that mirrored look that can be seen on some homes, and I'd never want to diminish my view or darken my interior. Are there films that are clear or neutral, yet help to keep a home cool and reduce fading?
A: The latest technology in window films answers just those concerns. There are films available now that are lighter or even virtually undetectable on glass that also reject a large percentage of heat and ultraviolet light. Some of these films have less shine or "mirror" to them than the glass itself.