While the popularity of window film is increasing, many consumers still aren’t sure if it is the right choice for them. Window film has been around since the 1970s, and while there have been noteworthy innovations in the industry, many people may have some inaccurate window film myths stuck in their minds.
To give consumers a clearer perspective, let’s take a closer look at eight of the most common misconceptions about window film.
1. Window Film Is Expensive
It’s safe to say this myth is not true. One of the advantages of window film is that it’s much more affordable than installing new windows and offers many of the same benefits. Professionally installed solar control films can also significantly reduce cooling costs for homes and commercial buildings. Determining actual energy savings can be challenging because many factors contribute to energy use, such as the fluctuating cost of fuel, amount of direct sun exposure, type of film installed, etc. However, typical payback in energy savings is usually two to five years, sometimes less.
2. Window Films Turn Purple
This outdated belief is no longer true, thanks to better pigmentation and dyeing technology. You may remember seeing car windows with a purple hue in the early 1980s, due to the discoloration of tint. The technology behind today’s automotive films is more advanced and includes developments in metal deposition methods, color-extruded base materials and specialty coatings. With proper installation of quality films, that type of discoloration is very rare.
3. Window Film Is Too Dark
Window tint can be as dark or as light as you desire. Window films come in various light transmissions, allowing buyers to customize the amount of light they want. Even the lightest films still block up to 99% of harmful UV rays. With today’s technology, many window films can block a significant amount of heat while still allowing in 60 to 70% of the visible light. With a professional dealer’s help, you can decide which shade will offer the look and protection you wish to achieve.
4. Window Film Is Not Long-Lasting
High-quality window film manufacturers make their products with longevity in mind. Many window film providers offer a warranty of up to 15 years for commercial installations, and some residential and automotive applications come with a guarantee that lasts as long as you own the house or car. Here at Madico®, Inc., we offer a manufacturer’s warranty on all North American installations.
5. Window Film Causes Glass to Break
This phenomenon happens only in rare cases and is usually the result of incorrect application. While adding solar control film to glass increases the glass temperature, properly chosen film installed correctly will not cause the glass to break. However, some factors can contribute to the rare case of glass breakage, including the amount of external and internal shading, glass size and shape and previous glass breakage history. Experienced dealers can make the appropriate film-to-glass recommendations, minimizing the risk of glass breakage. Many also offer limited warranty protection for properly applied installations.
6. Windows Already Have Built-In UV Protection
Like many tall tales, this myth originates from a grain of truth. First, it’s crucial to understand that ultraviolet light contains UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays, which have a longer wavelength, are responsible for premature skin aging and account for 95% of the UV radiation that reaches Earth’s surface. Meanwhile, UVB rays are shorter and can cause sunburns. Both can contribute to the risk of skin cancer over time, so it’s critical to manage both.
Untreated glass can consistently block UVB rays. Because of this, many people believe staying indoors protects them from sunburns. However, studies show that glass still allows 74.3% of UVA radiation to pass through. To protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays, you need broad-spectrum UV protection, which you cannot get from untreated glass alone. UV-protective window film can block 99% of UVA and UVB rays, giving you ultimate protection while driving or sitting by a window.
7. You Cannot Clean Window Film
Many people have heard that they cannot clean their windows after having film installed. The myth stems from the recommendation to avoid cleaning the film for the first 30 days after installation. That’s how long it can take the film’s adhesive to cure. Scrubbing the glaze during this period may affect its fit or appearance. The good news is, a professional installer should leave your windows and the film spotless and fingerprint-free.
Once that initial time frame expires, you’re free to clean your windows on the film and non-film sides. As long as you follow a few fundamental care tips, your window film will work with your regular window cleaning routine. Remember to:
- Avoid abrasives or excessive scrubbing and stick with soft cloths, paper towels or sponges.
- Clean using soap and water, an off-the-shelf glass cleaner or a specifically made window film cleaner.
- Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals with ammonia.
- Use a soft cloth or a squeegee to dry the window film.
- Gently clean off tape residue by dabbing it with a cotton cloth dipped in acetone.
8. Film for Windows Hurts Indoor Plants
We’ve covered this misconception in-depth before. When installing window film for the first time, it changes the lighting conditions slightly. Most houseplants take a few days to adjust, which may impact new growth and flowering at first. However, if your plant received the correct amount of light before, it should quickly learn to thrive in the new lighting conditions.
Some plants may even fare better. Plants with dark-colored leaves prefer shade or partial shade, which means they’ll thrive after you get your new window film installed. Flowering plants that usually wilt quickly in the hot sun may also last longer.
Some people also worry that blocking 99% of UV light with window film may deprive plants of vital nutrients. The good news is, plants mainly rely on red and blue light wavelengths, which are outside the UV spectrum. Blocking UV light does not affect plant growth.
Trust Madico for High-Performance Window Film and Professional Installation
A lot of the window film myths you’ve heard before stem from the fact that some window film manufacturers cut corners. When correctly made and installed by a trained professional, a window glazing system is a long-lasting, high-quality product with many benefits. It reduces heat gain, saves energy, protects against UV radiation, improves privacy and aesthetics, holds shattered glass in place and slows fading of interiors.
Madico is a trusted manufacturer with more than 100 years of experience, and we use only the highest-quality dyes, additives, laminates and adhesives. We back our window films with a manufacturer’s North American warranty and hold a Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Browse our product selection for automotive window tinting films or residential solar control window films to find a product you love. Then, contact your local Madico dealer for more information or to schedule your installation.