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Old 05-18-2008, 06:35 PM   #1
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Window Films v. Solar Shades?


I'm curious to know if anyone has any numbers comparing those window films (like Gila Heat Control Platinum) to the sun shades that go on the outside of your windows.

Obviously, we would make our own shades from the kits at Home Depot or Lowes...but there's still a substantial cost difference.

With 9 windows on the west side of the house (living room and bed room), that are 84" tall and 43" wide...we're thinking doing SOMETHING to cut down on the radiant heat through the windows is going to be critical here in Texas.

Anyone have any comparisons? Any horror stories with the films? Any first hand experience or comments?

Something other than the Gila for the films?

Anything?

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Old 06-15-2008, 12:49 AM   #2
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Window Films v. Solar Shades?


I live in southern AZ, and experimented with this myself.

The best solution are sun screens that fit on the outside of your windows. The reason is that they block the heat before it hits your windows. This is the critical difference.

You see, with the tints that are installed on the inside, the heat and light have already penetrated the inner and outer panes of glass. Because of this, its effectiveness is limited. I put the 'mirrored' film on the inside of one of a bank of 2 windows that got direct afternoon sun. I could not feel a difference in the temperature of the glass between the tinted and the untinted sides. Of course, once you realize what is happening this makes perfect sense.

The larger benefit of the solar screens is that they will very likely make your windows last longer. Probably the seals inbetween the panes of glass are black (i.e. they are very good at absorbing heat). The heat will cook the seals, and ruin your windows. With the solar screens, they will cut down on this and should extend the life of your windows.

I just had a company come out and install mine. I am an avid DIYer, but they ended up costing me only about $50 each installed. By the time you figure out exactly what to do, where to get the supplies, etc. you'll burn up a lot of time.

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:23 AM   #3
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Window Films v. Solar Shades?


We just had a company come out yesterday actually.

To do our back windows ourselves, we were looking at $400.

They quoted us $650....and that includes a warranty, wind damage, and one pet incident a year.

The issue you mentioned with the film makes sense. We thought about it only after I posted this...lol

For $250, I think we'll pay them to do it and have a full warranty.

Luckally we do have white seals though!
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