Frequently Asked Questions

Why such a difference in price?

What about night-time privacy?

Window film and UV protection?

What is the width size of film rolls?

What if I don't want any visible seams?

What about tinting dual pane windows?

What if we still want the daytime heat?

Re: storm windows / interior windows?

Is there a temporary window film?

A chemical solution to remove film?

Heat Reflected vs. Heat Rejected?

The Solarfilmco Mailbag

Interesting Links

Please explain why such a difference in price between
your films and the film that I can get at hardware stores?

Home Improvement Stores and Do-It-Yourself sites are selling consumer films, we have commercial films. The differences are many but mainly consumer films are not coated with scratch resistant coatings so that wiping them with paper towels will create swirls. Our commercial films are made to last using only top quality materials. Our films are all guaranteed against cracking, peeling, discoloration and de-lamination. Consumer films are not like commercial films. New imported products may have scratch protective coatings but they are generally not high quality products that we would consider commercial grade by our standards. Our films are all the highest quality top grade professional window tinting films available.

Some competitors sell their film for less than we pay wholesale! How do you think they do that? We're approached at least every month by the new Asian window film manufacturers from Korea, Singapore and Taiwan to name a few. We have found that there are enough problems in life and that we don't need to create any more by taking chances with quality, so we sell only the best quality that we can find. We are not interested in using our customers as quinea pigs for new manufacturers. We sell the same high quality films to you that we ourselves use for professional installations. We're tired of the novelty of inexpensive foreign products that last only three months and then fail and need to be replaced.

Is there a product available that will work as a privacy film at night if the room is lit but it is dark outside. I have a considerable amount of glass on one end of my house and I am looking for an alternative to having to cover with blinds and still maintain evening privacy.

The way to do it is with landscape lighting to create a reflection on the windows at night. A bright light outside could give you enough light to also use as the interior room lighting from the window. The interior lighting must remain low for good privacy. Bright spotlights outside around some landscaping features so outsiders see a nice landscaping reflection on the window. Two layers of film will also enhance the effect with a second layer of grey film on the interior glass acting as a backing to the outside mirror and also reducing interior reflection. Daytime will be darker but with plenty of glass there will still be plenty of light. The whole process will involve some experimentation.

What about window tint and UV ray protection?

All our films have the UV inhibitors in the adhesive, so all of our films have the same UV reduction properties. As the adhesive layering may vary slightly from master batch to batch, there might be variations in UV filter amount, but only unnoticeable gradations. We can safely claim that all of our films keep out 95%+ of the UV rays. Most films actually keep out approx. 98% of the UV when combined with the properties of the glass, as regular glass keeps out a small percentage by itself. We are talking about UVA and UVB radiation, there is a third kind, UVC, but the Earths atmosphere blocks that out so it never reaches us.

We had one customer whose mother is allergic to UV. They applied a clear 2mil safety film to her windows and she was quite happy with that.

If someone wants to achieve total UV reduction, then we suggest that they apply 2 layers of any combination of 2 films and that will block approx 99.9975% of the UV.

What is the width size of film rolls?

The standard roll widths are 20", 24", 30", 36", 40", 48", 60" and 72". The manufactured width is 60" but not all films are available in all widths. Silver and Nichrome films are available in 72".

I have 2 windows that are 7'x 9' and I don't want visible seams. Do you have any recommendations?

Make a butt seam with two factory edges of the film, either above eye-level or across the bottom of the window, or horizontally behind the side where the blinds stack up. The idea is not to seam at eye level, because it would only be noticable at eye level, and only from a distance of only one or two feet away. Only the installer and the window washer would know the seam is there, most viewers are looking through the film, only we look at the film.

What about tinting dual pane windows?

There is a way to tint dual panes and it's in the instructions that we give you free. Bottom line, if the windows are made right and were installed correctly then you can do it, but if the windows are low quality or if they were installed too tight in the frame or if there is a defect on the edge of the glass, then extra heat may trigger a crack. It's like a stress test of the glass if that happens although it's only revealing an existing problem.

When we go to estimate a job these are the things that we look for but for an unexperienced person to decide this all that you can do is evaluate the condition of the house. Have you ever noticed anything that may indicate that the framers were hasty and do you know the quality of your window units. National name-brands are usually a good bet. Have other homeowners in your development had any window problems? The difficulty that arises is that if you ask your developer or contractor these questions they will usually respond biased and in many cases they will not be approving of your plans to tint. If you tint and a crack occurs it would expose an existing flaw that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. Builders and contractors will sometimes try to say that it was the film's fault, which may be partly true, but in reality if it was the film's fault wouldn't it have cracked ALL the windows?

So it would not be entirely the films fault but the film probably triggered the failure. This can get difficult when arguing with experts but it's a situation that must be discussed. This natural conflict by developers and contractors may be the number one reason why the tinting of dual pane windows has not gained its deserved acceptance. If tinting dual-pane windows didn't work we would have gone out of business a long time ago. The fact is that our company gets busier each year. We are pioneering this modern concept and we are here to help you and answer your individually unique questions.

Having tinted hundreds of new homes, we have found that less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all the dual-pane windows we tinted had failed and of those over half were in a housing development that eventually sued the glass contractor for installing sub-standard windows.

Many homeowners have taken this risk with the attitude that even if one does happen to crack, replacing it is still worth the money, because of the remarkable difference in living comfort and energy savings!

What if we still want the daytime heat?

Q: I am looking at UV film for our windows because we just bought new furniture and want to protect it against the sun. We live in San Francisco and we do like the sunlight warming up our living room. What flim lets in all/most visible light and heat.

A: That's probably our most asked question. It seems like everyone now wants to get the maximum light from their windows and NC35 seems to do the trick. Even though the NC35 blocks 65% of the visible light it really doesn't seem to darken the room but it does make the sky look bluer, which suggests that 2/3 of the outside daylight is just glare. Regarding allowing the daytime heat in, these films also help retain interior heat, so you will not need as much indoor heating and the 24/7 year-round energy savings usually outweighs the approx 40% loss of daytime heat gain. Get our color samples and hold one up to your eye and look through it while closing the other eye and you will see how bright your room will look in that type of film. The NC50 allows some glare and it is 20% less insulation but we recommend that for situations like display windows, where the high visibility of merchandise is a more important factor.

Apply film to the storm window or the interior window?

The storm windows would be much easier to tint, but some people don't want the tint in the wintertime because they think they will get better solar heat gain without it ( see story above ). Tinting the interior windows will give your home year round insulation advantages.

Some of our customers in Minnesota were studying the wintertime usefulness of the metalized tint. They discovered that the savings of 35%-50% of indoor radiant heat loss, around the clock, more than offset their 35%-50% loss of occasional daytime solar heat gain.

Is there a temporary window film?

Our experience has shown us that the removable vinyl films available at some discount stores are a waste of money. We have roll down shades made of high quality pigmented mylar. They are custom made for us by a factory that supplies airport control towers. They are beautifully made and are popular in homes and commercial establishments. They can be made with a bead and chain control like vertical blinds. If you would like an estimate and samples we will be glad to help you, just send us an email or call us.

Is there a chemical solution to quickly remove these films?

When we encounter old tint it can be hard and brittle and difficult to deal with. There are solutions available for sale at some auto parts stores, but the old fashioned remedy is household ammonia. Be aware of observing all the safety precautions when handling ammonia. Protect your skin and eyes and protect any furnishings near the work area. Use full strength household ammonia in a durable sprayer bottle and be sure to spray the window aggressively with the ammonia. Then you will need to apply full length strips of saran wrap or any brand of clear sandwich wrap over the ammonia and glass to seal the ammonia on the glass and let it soak. It will soften the film up eventually, you may however need to lift the strips and respray the glass/tint once or twice. You will see when it's working as the tint will begin to wrinkle, it may take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then you will remove one strip of saran wrap at a time and scrape the softened tint with a single edge razor blade in a good scraper handle, available from paint or hardware stores. Its a messy, tricky job and requires some concentration and timing. Change the blades often, let the blades do the work! After removing the tint re-scrape the entire window and wash the windows as you would normally wash them.

What's the difference between heat reflected and heat rejected?

Reflected refers to how much heat is reflected
Rejected refers to how much total heat is blocked
Some heat is absorbed into the glass (absorbed + reflected = rejected)

Solarfilmco Mailbag

Dear Solarfilmco,

At last I have completed my project and it turned out well! It took me a while to understand that the best way for trimming is to hold a straight edge. I used a small triangle at right angles to the glass and tight against the frame, sliding it and the cutter together. Whenever possible I used a factory-cut edge.

David D.
Boon Dock, IA

Dear Solarfilmco,

Thanks for your time and information about the window film industry. I've spoken to nine tint dealers representing the 4 major manufacturers. Few spent more than 5 minutes with me. You spent time on several occasions educating me about your products and film technology in general. I did my own comparison and I thought that you might be interested in my findings and why I decided on your film.

GOAL: To purchase a do-it-yourself high quality home film with good energy saving properties at an affordable price.

STUDY: Obtained samples of films from 9 dealers, peeled the backing and adhered them to window for comparisons (see photo) Not all of the other dealers were willing to mail us a selection of samples.

FINDINGS: The film takes on a new look once it's applied.

1) COLOR: We requested samples from each of the vendors. Each film brand seemed to have a slightly different color shade. Some looked blue, but the Solarfilmco NC35 was a clean neutral color.

2) CLARITY: We squeegeed the soapy water solution from application then waited a couple days for the adhesive to dry and for the clarity to return. Your films were clear, but others retained a hazy, filmy look.

3) SOLAR ENERGY REDUCTION: We were looking for medium heat reduction film that would still admit lots of light. When I put my hand behind the samples I felt the difference.

4) COST: Installed film prices ranged from $5.50-$10.00 per sq ft. Some dealers claimed they weren't allowed to sell to do-it-yourselfers. Most were pushing me to buy the complete installation package, claiming two main reasons, 1) the difficulty of installation, ( which is not a factor with the new style adhesives ) and 2) the 1-5 year warranties against damaged seals which may occur because of additional heat stresses on the glass ( also not a factor with new semi-reflective films, which were designed for dual-pane glass ) Besides, for the $1000-$3000 dollars saved on installation I was willing to replace some window panes if I ever actually had to.

5) EASE OF APPLICATION: Some brands were difficult to squeegee without distorting the film, but your film handled well.

CONCLUSION: We chose the Solarfilmco NC35 product based on quality, neutral color, minimal glare, ease of application and the excellent clarity. We are very happy with your product and the personal service. Thanks so much for all your help. As for installation, I got the hang of it very quickly. As you suggested, I started with the smaller and more obscure windows first, then worked out to the more prominent ones. The job went real smooth!

Please post this on your website for others to read. We really believe that tint is a lifelong home investment and we are very satisfied with our choice. Thanks again!

Dave K.
Dallas, Texas

2004 Florida Hurricane Update

Email received from a 4mil Security Film customer

Hello from SW Florida!

I can now tell you a little about how safety film works in a hurricane. I live in Bokeelia, on Pine Island, and the eye of Charley went over my house, so I got two doses of hurricane winds!

First there was no breakage simply from the wind, even though my windows are not hurricane code windows. One window opening onto my screened porch was broken when the wind flung the blades of the ceiling fan into it, since it was under roof I had not put film on it. The glass was flung over 20' into the house.

Another breakage was due to my satellite dish taking flight, I think it stayed attached to the wires for a little bit and swung around because the broken window was just around the corner. This window does have the film on it and did not go into pieces. It is cracked all the way across but is still in place. I was pretty impressed, at the very least it was not a dangerous mess to clean up.

I plan to get some more and do the rest of my windows! This year has been an education, Charley, Frances, and now today we are in the remnants of Ivan!

Just thought you'd like to know, your safety film tested well!

Kathi E.
Bokeelia, FL


CLICK HERE A real-time telescopic view of the Sun!

http://fourmilab.ch Real-time satellite view of Earth

http://who.int World Health Organization about UV

http://www.xps.org UV Health Issues Organization

http://tintdude.com Many Window Tinting Forums!

http://www.solarelectricpower.org Power Brokers!

http://solarcooking.wikia.com Solar Cookers World

contactingthecongress.org Contact the Congress!

http://epusa.com Entre Prises rock climbing walls

operationmigration.org Ultra-light led bird migration

http://batcon.org Bat conservation and bat houses

http://www.arcosanti.org Paolo Soleri's Community

http://reasons.org An interesting Cal-Tech website

Psalm 1 : New International Version

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit and the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.