1What Is Window Film?
Window film is optical grade polyester sheeting with colored dye and/or metal particles embedded into its surface to reduce the transmission of solar heat, light, and ultraviolet rays through a pane of glass, simultaneously reducing the glare.
2How Is Window Film Applied To Glass?
The film has a powerful adhesive on one side that is kept clean by a protective liner which is removed at time of installation. Professional installers completely clean and prep the glass prior to installation. Using a special mounting solution, squeegee and stainless cutting blades, they prepare, fit and secure the film to the glass.
3To What Extent Can Window Film Reduce Heat?
Heat rejection properties of window films vary from one product to another. Some films can reject as much as 78 percent of total solar energy.
4How Long Does Window Film Last Once Applied To Glass?
The life of window film depends on factors that include the application of the film, orientation of the window and geographic location. When properly installed, it is not uncommon for window film to remain attractive and effective for as long as 30 years or more.
5What About Warranties?
We provide limited lifetime warranty coverage for a number of our automotive commercial and residential films. Other products are backed by varying degrees of warranty coverage, depending on the film and application.
6Can Window Film Stop Fading?
Window film is constructed with ultraviolet-stabilized, dyed polyester which blocks up to 99 percent of the ultraviolet energy that is harmful to humans and damaging to fabrics and furnishings. However, ultraviolet energy is only one of the factors that contribute to fading. It is estimated that ultraviolet is responsible for roughly 40 to 60 percent of fading. Solar heat and light energy also contribute to fading, as do humidity, moisture, abuse and the quality of some dyes used in fabrics. Since these factors vary for different types of films and materials, the fade reduction benefit will also vary depending on the type of film selected, the quality of the products being protected and the environment.
7Can Window Film Save On My Energy Bill?
Once installed, our window film helps reduce the amount of solar heat energy coming through a pane of glass. This makes it easier to cool a room or the interior of a car, resulting in lower energy consumption. The extent of savings will depend on the type of film selected and the geographic location where the film is used.
8Are There Different Types Of Window Films?
Our window film line-up includes product solutions for any privacy, solar control, safety or security need.
9What Do I Need To Know About Maintenance?
After the dry-out process is complete your window film will not need any special care. Cleaning window film can be done safely with mild soapy water and a soft cloth or soft paper towel. Do not use any rough or abrasive materials for cleaning the film side of the glass. Always use cloths that are free of contamination or dirt particles.
10How do 3M™ Low E window films work?
3M™ Low E Films work much in the same way as the sun control films except that they offer an increased performance against cold weather heat loss. The patented construction of these films enables the metal coating to reflect more of the interior room heat back into the room where it is needed. This improves personal comfort by reducing cold spots near windows and can help save on fuel costs, especially in commercial buildings. These low-e films are also protected with 3M's patented abrasion resistant coating for long-term durability and maintained appearance.
11Do 3M™ window films cause seal failure when applied to insulated (double-pane) windows?
No, 3M™ Window Films do not cause seal failure. They've been applying films to insulated windows for many years with several millions of square feet of film applied to date. 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, whereas properly made units are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure. Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from reputable window manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated units.
12Does the Ultra Violet protection lose its effectiveness over time?
The ultra violet (UV) protection that 3M™ uses in their proprietary adhesive system is not indefinite, but they design their window films to maintain high UV protection throughout their lifetime. In fact, they tested an actual glass sample from The Dumbarton House, Washington,DC, and the ultra violet transmission still measures <1% after 10 years!
13How do 3M™ Safety and Security window films work?
3M™ Safety and Security Window Films are designed to make glass shatter-resistant by holding the glass pieces together when broken. Compared to 3M™ Sun Control Window Films, 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films are made with thicker polyester and a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive. 3M™ Ultra Safety & Security Window Films are unique in the industry; they are built using a special micro-layered polyester technology which increases the films' tear resistance significantly. The impact and tear resistance of Ultra films outperform all other films of similar thickness.
14How do 3M™ Sun Control films work?
3M™ Sun Control Films are designed to 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 are not as effective as reflective films for reducing heat. Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals. These metallized films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass. 3M™ reflective films range from moderate to excellent in solar performance (heat gain reduction). All 3M™ Sun Control Films are made to be transparent and optically clear. The ultraviolet protection is built into the adhesive system to provide longevity to the film as well as provide UV protection for your home and office furnishings. Most 3M™ Window Films are protected with our abrasion resistant coating that provides long-term durability and maintained appearance.
15How do I clean my window films?
After thirty (30) days, you may clean the films using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia based products: e.g., Windex, and a soft, lint-free cloth or towel. You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Abrasive products which would scratch or damage the film should not be used.
16How long does it take for window films to dry?
We suggest allowing thirty days for the film to fully dry and cure. During this curing process, it is normal to have small water bubbles and/or a hazy appearance. These will disappear as the film dries; depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as much as 30 (or even 45) days, or as little as a few days. Once dried, the window films will look great and perform for many years to come.
17Why do commercial customers have window film applied to their buildings?
*Lower heating and cooling operating costs *Lower utility demand costs *Utility rebates *Improved tenant comfort *Improved aesthetics, uniform appearance *Improved safety and security *Extended A/C equipment life *Valued alternative to adding more A/C equipment Most often, our commercial customers will purchase 3M™ Window Films for tenant comfort and justify the purchase through energy cost savings.
18What is the typical energy pay back for 3M™ Sun Control window films?
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, we have seen paybacks often range in the 2-5 year period, with some reported to be even less than 6 months.