Solar Window Film: the Rolls-Royce Solution

So you’ve decided to use solar window film to shield your and your home from the unforgiving heat. Brilliant! But the thought of putting on your old overalls, and a paint-stained bandana left over from you last big move makes you cringe. I understand, and therefore, present you, my posh reader, with the RollsRoyce Solution to installing solar window film.
In my last post, I discussed solar window films, UV window films, as well as decorative and security window film and the 2 ways of installing them.
We ruled out option 1 which was to buy the cheaper PVC film from your local hardware store.
Option 2, buying the film online and installing it yourself has been explored in depth, thanks to Tim from If you missed the post, click here to recap.
The third option, was to hire a full-service firm that will supply and install the film for you.

I have been lucky to get a chance to chat with Scott from The Glass Protector (// – a premier glass film distributor and installer.

How much sunlight/heat/glare can a typical window film block?
Since glare refers to the degree of discomfort due to solar light, films can reduce from 15% up to 80% glare but the darker the film, the more metallic the films may appear from the exterior of the windows. Many films can cut half the heat and glare while still providing excellent fade protection.

A good example of a balance between efficiency and aesthetics is our Optically-Clear Spectrally-Selective Hilite 70, which provides a natural look without changing the windows views appearance, cut 20% glare, reduces heat by half and blocks 99.9% ultra violet light.

What is the lifetime of solar window films?
Most films last 20-25 years but beware there are many knock offs and re-labelers and a slew of films from Asia that are produced without sustainability or longevity in mind. Most films fade at 2-3% per year. Our higher quality films come with lifetime warranty on residential applications and a 16 year warranty for commercial.  Plus something that many manufacturers do not come close to, we offer a 10 year glass breakage and matching manufacturer warranty on seal failure so if something happens to the films in 20 or 30 + years, we and or our manufacturer will back without any charge or deductible if something happens to the film.

Are some window types better than other for installation or results?
Single pane windows will allow for slightly better performance, however, we have installed our films on thousands of windows throughout the Tri-State area without any issues.

How much would a typical 1-bedroom apartment cost in film and installation costs? And what kind of savings can be achieved?
Typical window installations depend on number of windows, their size, total square feet, how high up – so many factors. Cheaper commercial films will run $6.5 to $8, better quality $7-$8, higher quality $8-$10 and the optically clear $12.50 to $15 per square foot. One thing we do is an energy analysis to show the customer how much they can save as well as how long it’ll take for payback, usually 3 to 7 years.

What should consumers look for when choosing this product?
A company that has been in business for at least 4-5 years, has a manufacturer-backed warranty as well as ask to see the warranty before making their decision (also ask is the warranty from the tinting company or from the manufacturer), meet or at least speak to the company sales or owner since so many companies embellish and exaggerate and as dealing with any contractor ask for references.

Ask how the process goes and compare what each company tells you, for example do they use drop clothes, wear booties on their work shoes, do they clean the windows and how many times before they install the film since preparation is the most important aspect of window film installations. Do they safeguard against water bubbles, do they have insurance including general liability, auto and workers compensation.
When comparing spec sample pages realize some manufacturers and re-labelers give specifications on single pane glass and most windows are dual pane for energy efficiency and noise reduction. is a leading distributor and installer of window films in the Tri-State area. Their projects include government, security, commercial, and residential applications. They work with some of the most respected brands in the industry such as: Panorama, SolarGard, and ArmorCoat.

For more information or to get a free estimate, click here or contact Scott Burne

(866) 683-0033
Office: (914) 804-3042
Fax: 480-275-3615

Kate Shifman is a New Yorker, sustainability professional, photographer, and publisher of Solar In The City, a solar and energy efficiency guide for the city dweller

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