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Old 12-29-2009, 01:38 PM
 
41 posts, read 212,049 times
Reputation: 60

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Quote:
Window film placed on insulated windows can cause cracking. I suspect due to heat buildup. I would do solar screens.


Rakin, do you have documentation to back that statement? I would suspect not. I have been in the solar control window film business for almost 24 years and have installed or supervised the installation of millions and millions of square feet of window film. I can tell you the cracking issue is far less than 1%. Oh by the way, window manufacturers expect a fail rate higher than 1%.


I can tell you on every occasion that I was involved in replacing cracked glass, I found issues with the glass. I have found nails, screws, even rocks in the framing let alone all of the burred edges of the glass. All of those issues are not seen, they are hidden in the window unit. The window film will not break the glass, it will aggravate a condition in the glass.


Sadhar, interesting comments you have made.


Some facts here, window film and solar screens are retro fit, not removing and replacing the units. Obviously the cost of window film or solar screens will be much lower compared to removing and replacing a window unit.


Personally I do not like solar screens. They are dark, and do not reject as much heat as one would think. They are not rated by the NFRC. They also do not last as long as window film. They change the appearance of the home, harder to take care of and are easily damaged during a storm.

According to the DOE, applying window film to existing windows has a better payback than replacing your windows. In their report, they took a 1500 square foot home and compared window film to window replacement. Window film to single pane glass had a solar heat gain coefficient of .49. Low-e window replacement was .42. They estimated the cost of window film to be $720 and window replacement at $4,440. The return of investment of the window film application was 38% faster than the return of replacing the windows.

These figures quoted are in the Dallas area. Areas such as Tampa, LA, Miami and other southern cities, the return was even higher. Baltimore and other northern states, the window replacement had a higher return of investment. That makes sense, you spend more money staying warm up north than reducing the temperature inside a building down south.

Oh by the way, solar control window films do have a U Value as well.


Our company has been able to stay in touch with many of our customers throughout the years after installation of window film. Our customers are averaging a payback period of less than three years. Most are getting their return within two years.

Making this comment
Quote:
in the long run, you aren't really saving money, you are losing with solar screens and tint”
is a false statement, unless you have documentation to prove me wrong.


One more thing, solar control window films will last longer than the IG units. Most warranties on the glass units are only one to five years. Yes many say up to 20 years, but read the fine print. Those warranties are like battery and tire warranties, you will be spending money to replace them. Window film warranties cover film and labor.


Look, I am not trying to be a jerk here. But handing out false free information, it needs to be addressed
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:16 PM
 
6 posts, read 20,962 times
Reputation: 11
Is there a window film that lets in heat during the winter and rejects it during the summer? At least with solar screens you can take them down for the winter.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:11 AM
 
41 posts, read 212,049 times
Reputation: 60
No, there is nothing like what you mentioned. There are some new low-e films being introduced from Vista and Madico. I have installed the Madico product on a few homes for testing and have gotten great numbers from them. Excellent feedback from the homeowners

The reason I mention these new films is they reflect heat back inside the house during the winter months. This is brand new technlogy with window film
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: living in Arlington
1 posts, read 3,959 times
Reputation: 16
Default Solar Screens in Fort Worth

Hands Down, solar screens will out perform film. The key is blocking as much heat as possible before it strikes the windows. I have written extensively about this on the internet in articles. There is much more to learn at the solarshadescreen.com website. Do not remove the solar screens in the winter to try and gain heat. The heat you lose from sky radiation at night (many more hous of night than day during the winter in the sunbelt) will negate any beneficial heat gain during the day. Think about this: When the sun is shining, the temperatures will typically reach 55 degrees which is a breakover point in the solar heat overheating your space. Most of the time when the temperature is below 55 degrees it is due to cloudy conditions in which you will get no cumulative solar heat to supplement with. Solar Shade Screens are the best option for keeping your windows the most energy efficient they can be.

Last edited by 4purify; 05-09-2010 at 06:22 PM.. Reason: mispelled words
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:44 AM
 
41 posts, read 212,049 times
Reputation: 60
Well that would depend on how solar screens are rated. What angle is the sun with these numbers? I have been told the numbers are calculated at a 45 degree angle, 2:00 in the afternoon. A homeowner experiences more heat gain after that time. Are solar screens rated by a third party entity like window film? Window film is rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council. www.nfrc.org and search for applied films.

Sure you can install a "90 percent" product, but does the homeowner really want to live in a dungeon? You have not mentioned the appearance of solar screens on the exterior of the home. And if you nice views, solar screens will greatly reduce your viewing pleasure.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:05 PM
 
896 posts, read 3,636,753 times
Reputation: 750
Let me summarize the pros and con's of both options (for future readers):

Solar screens

Pros:
- Inexpensive (40-80 dollars a screen or less)
- Efficient for high sun trajectory (i.e. on summer)
- Can be a do-it-yourself project
- Simple to install and remove

Cons:
- looks tacky (if not say ugly) from the outside, the (white) frame often stands out and makes the house look less attaractive
- distorts the outside view, sometimes makes it hard to see outside
- can be torn by the storm/hurricane
- Less efficient for low sun trajectory (i.e. during winter)

Film tint
Pros:
- Good solar rejection tool (TSER as high as 80). The
- Efficient for any sun trajectory (summer, winter, etc.)
- Looks great and practically invisible from the outside
- most quality tints do not fade or turn blue (only rare cases and after 10-15 years)
- they do not distort the view
- they are installed from the inside, and they easily survive any storm hurricane. Additionally films and their adhesive actually make a window stronger and more shatter-proof. (say, 2 times better than the regular single-pane). They are however not as shatter-proof as hurricane windows.

Cons:
- Expensive (100-200 dollars a window, normally $5-12 a sq.ft. depending on a brand. I.e. Huper Optics Ceramic with 85 TSER would be as high as $12-14 per sq.ft. and Suntek would be as low as $4 per sq.ft.)
- can be reflective (like a mirror)
- Most quality films (and not cheap-os sold at the Homedepot) are not sold to individuals, only to distributors or certified installers. Suntek is one only exception I am aware of.
- Quality tint requires lots of experience, and hence can NOT be a do-it-yourself project
- Difficult to install and remove

Conclusions: IMO solar screens are a "poor man's friend". If you don't have an extra 1-2 thousand dollars in your pocket, solar screens is a cheaper solution. If however a look of your house is more important and you have the budget, go for the tint. It may last longer and will look much better on windows.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:11 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,096 times
Reputation: 10
Window film is safe for insulated windows. Manufacturers of window film include warranties that will cover any seal failure or thermal stress fracture that may occur due to the film (this usually doesn't happen). Window film is much more effective than solar screens and looks a lot nicer.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
47 posts, read 165,250 times
Reputation: 32
I have both and they work, but your money is best spent elsewhere. Your best bet is to have really good windows that will insulate and not leak.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:43 AM
 
27,441 posts, read 44,934,740 times
Reputation: 14033
yes--better quality windows are usually the "best solution" but every choice is based on %
how low long will it take to recover the cost of replacing older windowns with new, better quality windows----New windows -- especially a better quality window will take MUCH longer than either of the two suggested solutions---screens and film--before the cost of installation is offset by the energy savings

while you MIGHT see some overall value increase because of replacing windows they are such an expensive replacement and such a long-time payout that most people would consider that as the least viable choice unless you are considering other remodeling as well or are capable of doing them on your own which basically saves half the cost of the window or more...meaning you get faster return on money invested...

from what I have read about ways to cut energy costs window replacement is hit or miss since each house has to be evaluated on its own merits--location in its specific geo area, orientation to sun, any shade available, overall design of home, energy costs for electric and gas---and lots of other factors...
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:49 PM
 
896 posts, read 3,636,753 times
Reputation: 750
OK, guys. This was my comment 5 years ago. Let me add a few things based on 6 year experience with both.

Solar screens - tend to block more light and are more a better choice for heat protection, because they have space between the screen and the window, so the convection (ability to extract heat) is better. They do not get heated as much. However, they need 4 or more screws to secure them, and even this may not protect them from damage during a hurricane. They are easy to destroy, but inexpensive to replace.
Hint: Wash your windows before installing the screens!



Film tint - is great to block the room view from outside. But they get warmed up easily and transfer this heat inside. So the heat blocking efficiency is lower than the screens. But they will not get damaged during the hurricane.

Another problem with tints, if they have a reflective mirror surface is that they attract birds. Male birds see their reflection thinking this is another male. So they start beating to the window. THIS IS SO ANNOYING. And I feel sorry for these birds. This happends to us pretty often. So be aware of this problem before deciding to go with the mirror tint.



If you still go with a mirror tint, tape a silver foil Christmas garland/decorations (i.e. silver rain, snow flakes) to scare the birds away. They do not like shiny stuff that moves.



Quote:
Originally Posted by behtypa View Post
Let me summarize the pros and con's of both options (for future readers):

Solar screens

Pros:
- Inexpensive (40-80 dollars a screen or less)
- Efficient for high sun trajectory (i.e. on summer)
- Can be a do-it-yourself project
- Simple to install and remove

Cons:
- looks tacky (if not say ugly) from the outside, the (white) frame often stands out and makes the house look less attaractive
- distorts the outside view, sometimes makes it hard to see outside
- can be torn by the storm/hurricane
- Less efficient for low sun trajectory (i.e. during winter)

Film tint
Pros:
- Good solar rejection tool (TSER as high as 80). The
- Efficient for any sun trajectory (summer, winter, etc.)
- Looks great and practically invisible from the outside
- most quality tints do not fade or turn blue (only rare cases and after 10-15 years)
- they do not distort the view
- they are installed from the inside, and they easily survive any storm hurricane. Additionally films and their adhesive actually make a window stronger and more shatter-proof. (say, 2 times better than the regular single-pane). They are however not as shatter-proof as hurricane windows.

Cons:
- Expensive (100-200 dollars a window, normally $5-12 a sq.ft. depending on a brand. I.e. Huper Optics Ceramic with 85 TSER would be as high as $12-14 per sq.ft. and Suntek would be as low as $4 per sq.ft.)
- can be reflective (like a mirror)
- Most quality films (and not cheap-os sold at the Homedepot) are not sold to individuals, only to distributors or certified installers. Suntek is one only exception I am aware of.
- Quality tint requires lots of experience, and hence can NOT be a do-it-yourself project
- Difficult to install and remove

Conclusions: IMO solar screens are a "poor man's friend". If you don't have an extra 1-2 thousand dollars in your pocket, solar screens is a cheaper solution. If however a look of your house is more important and you have the budget, go for the tint. It may last longer and will look much better on windows.
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