Window Film

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Old 07-11-05, 05:38 PM
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Window Film

Location: Chicago
My house faces East and i have 6 sets of Double Pane windows and a Sliding door on the West side of the house. Full Sun House (new, large lot). I planted shade trees but they will take years to grow into position.
My question is: Are the window films like Gila worth the effort/cost? I figure for the windows on the west side of the house it would cost about 150 bucks give or take. My biggest problem is heat gain in the summer months but I dont want to lose that heat gain on those nice sunny winter days. Was looking at Gila 70/50 window film.
FWI, I pay about 11 cents per KWH for A/C

Thanks In Advance!
Chuck
 
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Old 08-21-05, 12:45 PM
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I live in SW. I used solar screens. They can remove 70 to 90% of the direct sunlight. They work great. The house is not as lit, but it's not a dark hole either. The best part is I can take them off in the winter and allow the sun to warm my house. I found the parts to make my own online.
 
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Old 09-01-05, 09:13 AM
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Window film may be good idea

Orientation of the home and its window placement is so important that I'm surprised the DOE does not mandate proper placement.
I moved into a 1 1/2 year old home 5 months ago. It is designed to face front toward the south but was built with front faced west. This bakes the home in summer and adds very little heat in winter. I had no idea what I was getting into. The home builder/contractor and the speculator cut all trees and did not replace trees or plant shrubs that could have helped. Research has got me scrambling to fix my situtation. Adding shrubs to block the sun from direct radiation upon the walls will help but our very hot summer only cooked the plants no matter how much water they got.
I installed fake bamboo shades hung from the eves on my east and west faces. Then discovered that heat trapped between the shades and walls under the 8 feet of overhanging eves did not escape and will require another special venting feature. But the house was noticeable cooler.
Although the cost of the film may be high it may make a difference in comfort and energy costs. Heat will still get in during summer but winter heating may tend to stay in the home.
I used film on the insulated garage's large west double pane window but it still got very hot in there. I had one small octogonal window on the west side of house at the foyer that I appilied film to and I could feel the difference. Then I applied over it another window plastic covering that looks like stained glass. That also decreased the solar gain.
Good luck.
 
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Old 09-01-05, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I applied the film on my sliding glass door (biggest offender of heat gain) and a few other windows.
Big difference in the kitchen where the sliding glass door resides.
Im not real sure how much energy im going to save but i really can tell that the heat gain is much less.
Installing the FIlm is a real P.I.T.A and despite what the directions say its almost impossible to install even a small window with only one person.
Once you get the hang of it its not so bad.
All in all i would say right now its worth it. Only time will tell.
 
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Old 10-16-05, 06:20 PM
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Chicago...

we did the sun/heat blocker stuff from gila on our french doors that take 4hrs of the hot va summer sun...on an uninsulated family room that was originally designed as the garage -- raised floor etc. -- holy HOT batman...this room was like a sauna; this summer was sooooooo much better -- my bills were still high (it was a wicked hot summer) but the family room where we spend 75% of our time was sooo much more comfortable -- and we only did the doors, not the glass side panels; I noticed that if you stood on the carpet that was blocked by the gila film, no significant warmth...stand on the carpet not blocked by the film (sun coming thru the side panel windows) and you could feel a distinct difference...we'll see how it does in the winter months, but it definitely made for a cooler summer in here...hope you see similar! (ps, no way one person could do it; but it certainly wasn't difficult with two...)
 
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Old 07-16-07, 06:32 AM
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Question Film is warm/hot to touch in Summer. Why?

> we did the sun/heat blocker stuff from gila on our french doors
> that take 4hrs of the hot va summer sun...on an uninsulated family room
> that was originally designed as the garage -- raised floor etc. -- holy HOT
> batman...this room was like a sauna; this summer was sooooooo much
> better -- my bills were still high (it was a wicked hot summer) but the
> family room where we spend 75% of our time was sooo much more
> comfortable -- and we only did the doors, not the glass side panels; I
> noticed that if you stood on the carpet that was blocked by the gila film,
> no significant warmth...stand on the carpet not blocked by the film (sun
> coming thru the side panel windows) and you could feel a distinct
> difference...

My wife and I installed the gray platinum heat control (Gila) film on Saturday (inside of bay window and patio door) and am surprised that the surface temperature of the film on Saturday (90F outside on East Coast USA) was warm to hot. Before installing film, the glass surface temperature was approximately equal to room temperature. And, untreated windows on the same side as the treated bay window and patio door continue to close to room temperature during the same time of day.

Something strange is going on here. According to Gila's online FAQ, they claim the heat being felt on window is due to the fact that so much is being blocked. Presumably, untreated windows block little heat energy (so no resistance - no "heat friction") so the glass does not get hot.

Nevertheless, glass that is hot on the inside means heat is flowing from that surface to the cooler inside air. Or maybe they are suggesting that the untreated windows disspitate the entering heat so quickly that the window remains cool as the heat enters the room directly. This would be plausible except the ambient temperature around the untreated windows are less uncomfortable than the ambient temperature around the treated windows.

Also, something I read online from a University of Minnesota article states: "Typical clear glass windows do not absorb enough solar radiation to cause a significant difference in surface temperature. With tinted glass, surface temperature increases can be significant. While poorly insulated tinted glass may actually feel quite comfortable on a cold sunny day, this practice is not recommended-the comfort consequences on hot summer days can be disastrous. During warm periods, the interior surface temperatures of poorly insulated tinted glass and clear glass with tinted film can get hot, as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. These surfaces radiate heat to building occupants and can also create uncomfortable convection currents of warm air." (http://www.commercialwindows.umn.edu/issues_hf4.php).
 
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