Energy saving window films: experiences with blocking UV?

artemis78August 8, 2010

I'm trying to find a solution for the windows in our old house that will block light---or more specifically, UV rays. We *love* our giant windows, and aren't excited about putting window treatments on them (not to mention that shades or blinds would need to be custom, and thus costly). All else being equal, we would be happy to leave the windows uncovered.

But in the three years we've lived in our house, our couch has gone from navy to light gray (and more specifically, light gray on the window side and navy on the front!) We're about to replace it, but can't afford to have the new one fade as quickly. Sofa stores all say even "fade-resistant" fabric won't solve the problem---we need to address the source of the light.

Which brings me to window films, which seem primarily designed for energy efficiency---while this would be a great bonus, we are fundamentally looking for something that would block the damaging light. Some manufacturers say that their films do block UV rays...but not sure if it will really solve our problem. Would love to hear from anyone with firsthand experience on this! If you have window film, do you like it, and does it seem to block the effects of light? Thanks!

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This is an old post, I see. However, I was in a customer's home recently that had had tinted film applied to their windows to block UV, rather than replace their windows. I would just like to share my observations. The windows were double paned, vinyl framed.

The tint has to go on the interior because dusty wind, etc, can scratch it. The tinting, being on the inside of the double pane window, caused heat to build up in between the glass, and causing every seal in every tinted window to "melt" and fail. Instant fogging in the glass units.

They then contacted a well established local glass company who replaced all the double pane glass with Low E/argon units. The glazing process, obviously performed in the field and not in the factory, did not take. All of the new glass units were completely separated from the vinyl frames, even though the vinyl glazing strip was re-installed.

If you have single pane windows, tinting can be a low cost solution to UV. Exterior application of the tinting on double pane? The company will probably refuse to apply that. And this situation is apparently very common with interior tinting, though the customers are never told that it will cause seal failure.

Window replacement is really the best solution for years of worry free comfort.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Thanks for sharing that observation. I am currently monitoring 5 windows in which I have installed a 2nd window on the interior that is low e. Installations are on all sides of my home except the south side and none are shaded by trees. Details are in the thread called "Adding new windows without removing the old."
I am in central NJ and so far I have seen no issues but I am keeping a close eye on it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:47PM
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It was probably wise to not do the south side. If UV can penetrate the old window, but is blocked by the new one, heat will build up in between the windows. Whether this will effect the new window or not, I don't know. It's probably not the best scenario if the temps get too high. I read the other thread. I don't think it was necessary to keep the old window, but hey, you never know. Good luck. Let us know how it works out.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:15AM
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