Three Types of Window Film and How to Solve Common Window Problems

March 29, 2010

There are three basic types of window film: decorative, privacy, and heat and glare control. Read about each type of window film and get some ideas of how to solve common window problems with them.

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1. Decorative Window Film

Whether you prefer geometric, floral, or all-over designs, or even pictures or murals, you can find a design for every décor. You can find decorative window film in bright or serene colors, or in simulation frosted, etched, or textured glass looks. Decorative window films range from clear to opaque. Decorative window film can turn an awkwardly placed window into a clever accent, or a boring window into a focal point. Decorative window film is also an excellent solution for dressing arched or transom windows where fabric or blinds would be impractical. Another use for it is to block unlovely views.

2. Privacy Window Film

Available in black, bronze and mirrored finishes, privacy window film can reduce or restrict the view into your home. Typical applications include garage and bathroom windows, below-street-level windows, windows that border busy sidewalks or beaches, and those that are exactly aligned with ones in close proximity.

3. Heat and Glare Control Window Film

If you have hot spots in your home or office and are looking for a less expensive option than replacement windows, heat and glare control film is your answer. Although not Energy STAR rated, heat and glare control window film can block up to 99 percent of the UV rays and up to 75 percent of solar gain coming in through your glass. It also helps prevent warm air from escaping to the outside on cold days. Heat and glare control window film is available in several tints, opacities, and widths. Some films are appropriate for application on the outside of dual pane windows. See manufacturers' labels or call their customer support for complete information. Although heat and glare control window film is more expensive than decorative and privacy film, it is less expensive than replacing windows. It is a quick solution to prevent damage to furniture, fabrics, and electronics while helping reduce your energy bills.

What Else to Know about Window Film

Window films are applied without adhesives, making them easy to apply and remove. They come in standard widths, from one to four feet, and are easy to cut to fit non-standard sized and shaped windows. You will need a tape measure, utility knife, squeegee, sponge or cloths, and application solution to install window film which is available at most hardware and home improvement stores.

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