What’s better on a weekend afternoon than throwing the shades open and letting natural sunlight flow through your house?
Maybe letting too much sun in?
An overabundance of sunlight pouring in can make any home uncomfortable and in some cases even unusable.
One sure way to fix this issue is through glare reducing window film, which can both help reduce your energy bill and even give your home a little extra creative flair.
Today, we’re going to look into different types of films, their uses, and talk a little bit about the application.
What is a Glare Reducing Window Film?
Glare reducing window film is usually a very thin piece of laminate material made up of either polyester or vinyl.
It can be applied to the interior or exterior of virtually any type of glass. It’s what people use on their cars for window tinting, but it’s also used in residential homes and commercial buildings.
These are generally considered a retrofit upgrade to windows that have accumulated problems due to window glazing.
Some common issues with windows that an obscure window film can solve include:
- Glare and heat
- Lack of privacy
- Lack of security
- Fading of furniture and flooring
This is, by no means, a complete list, but these are some of the more pressing problems that a lot of homeowners are trying to solve.
We’re going to look at each of these a little closer.
Glare and Heat Reduction
If you have a lot of large windows in your home or a particular room, you may be wondering how to tint house windows.
This may be especially true if you have a conservatory, a lazy sunroom, or a room that happens to have a lot of large windows. East-facing windows are a big problem as well, as they tend to receive the biggest hit of daylight during the hottest hours.
Many people want to get as much natural light in their house as they can. It’s warm, cozy, and can make any room look like a brand new showroom!
That being said, some rooms have a tendency to get too hot or have too much glare.
Some warm light is great, but no one wants to be sweating in their house. And if you’re right in the middle of a heatwave, you might as well be lounging in a sauna.
This can be both uncomfortable and expensive. Without proper heat reflective window film, the rising temperatures can cause your a/c to work overtime leading to high energy bills.
Glare is another troublesome issue. If you use a lot of electronics with screens–smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.–then you might find yourself raising the brightness all the way to max. Even then, you might find yourself playing the head-tilt game trying to find that perfect angle that doesn’t have a glare.
No one wants to be trying to watch a little daytime TV and see nothing but the reflection of their brand new patio or the blazing sun.
It’s even worse if you live near a busy street or in a metro area. The constant stream of cars will reflect off their windshields into your rooms making it a miserable and blinding day.
Luckily, some well-placed solar films for home windows can make just about any room feel temperate and free of obnoxious glares and reflections.
If you happen to live in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you might be worried about privacy.
Maybe you’re not even worried about someone purposefully peeking in your home. But if you’ve ever gone for a walk you probably noticed how easy it is to even accidentally look inside someone’s house and see what people are up to.
If the front of your house also has large floor-to-ceiling windows it’s like a giant invitation for dog walkers and joggers to see what the family’s watching tonight!
A lot of people value their privacy, especially when in their own home, and that’s another way that glare reducing window film can help you out. A lot of these films provide tint or reflection that make it a lot more difficult to see inside.
Films are usually metalized in order to properly reflect heat and UV rays. This makes for a more reflective surface with one-way viewing. There are even two-way privacy films for those that really don’t want to see or be seen.
Frosted window films are another great option making your windows appear like a frosted windshield in the middle of winter. This can add a nice cooling effect to your house as it filters out most of the ultraviolet rays.
Sure, someone can take a look through any cut-outs you may have in the frosted film, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult and obvious.
Window films can also provide additional safety if you’re worried about inclement weather, young children, or pets.
Perhaps you don’t live in the Winchester Mansion or have $1,500 Tiffany windows, but surely you still care about the safety of your windows and window treatment.
In addition to heat and UV reflection or added privacy, you can make your windows safer. Safety window films add an additional layer of protection that can make your windows even meet the safety standards of commercial buildings.
Safety film can vary in thickness and appearance, but they can be made clear so that they work in conjunction with another glare-reducing window film.
While not necessarily unbreakable, a way that safety film can protect your house is by holding broken glass together even if it does break.
This can protect you, your family, your pets, and all household furniture from any imminent danger.
Of course, if you’re facing something like a hurricane, boarding your house may still be a smart idea, but safety film gives you that extra peace of mind.
Ask anyone with a sunroom. If you have cloth furniture, padding, etc., then fading is a real issue.
Some people may not even mind this. Perhaps they’re aiming for that vintage faded look. But if you’d rather keep your furniture, clothing, covers, and flooring with their full, original color and shade, you want glare reducing window film.
Heat, bright lights, and UV rays all contribute to fading. Not only does it all make a room hot and uncomfortable, but it can potentially ruin the finish on your furniture and floors.
Not everything about obscure window film needs to be practical, though.
Sure, you want to manage your energy bill, keep your rooms nice and cool, and add an extra layer of protection and privacy, but what about having some fun?
Frosted window films can offer heat, UV ray, and glare reduction as well as a little creative flair.
Maybe you have a modern and minimalist look to your kitchen and want to add some geometric patterns to your windows.
If we’re talking a sunroom or windows that look out to your garden, perhaps you’d like to add some foliage cutouts to your frosted window films.
Another clever way that people get creative, as well as practical, is by cutting out the house number on the window film that faces the front.
This makes it both easy for friends and family to find your house and keeps it a little interesting rather than having to look for the mailbox.
Applying Window Films
If you’re short on time or energy, there are a lot of companies that will help you with installing your glare reducing window film, such as Amersol.
Still, if you’re interested in getting it done yourself, here’s a look at some of the steps you can follow:
- Make sure you purchase the film larger than the window itself to allow for excess waste
- Clean your windows (interior or exterior, depending on where you’re applying)
- Use a soapy solution for both the window and the film as well
- Apply the film to the window and trim around the edges
- Use a sturdy, flat surface to remove any bubbles that may have developed with the film was applied
- Let the film dry and set
There are a couple tips you should keep in mind, though.
You should leave a small amount of space between the film and the window frame itself. This will allow for some fluctuating in the glass that can happen during temperature changes between seasons.
Also, try to do this either earlier or later in the day–whenever it is coolest in your area. Excessive amounts of heat will cause the film to dry faster than you want.
Protect Your Home and Reduce Glare and Heat
Most human beings enjoy the sunlight. Most human beings don’t like sweating bullets in their living room, though.
If you’re trying to save money on your energy bill, reflect harmful UV rays, reduce glare, or increase privacy, glare reducing window film may be for you.
Not only can they help in practical ways by keeping harmful rays from flooding your house, but they give you an opportunity to be creative.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve your home, check out some of our interior design blog posts!