How to Choose Window Film for Your Home, Inside and Out

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Exterior window film can be a great way to insulate your home from hot summertime sun, while also offering a bit of privacy from nearby neighbours. Interior window film can also add privacy to different glass surfaces, and can be used to create a unique look in many rooms of your home. Note a few tips for choosing window film, both for exterior windows and for interior glass surfaces.

Know your needs for exterior film

If you're looking for film for exterior windows, start with your needs in particular. Do you need to block hot, direct sunlight? Then choose solar control film, which bounces sunlight off its surface. If rooms get stuffy and warm even when the sun isn't out, you want window film with a low emissivity rating; this film will block heat, but not necessarily light. If rooms get a glare, such as on the TV or computer screens, you want reflective film, which provides some shade inside the room and reduces that glare.

Decorating with interior film

Interior window film is just decorative, and won't provide any added insulation or light blockage. This film can be used to create privacy; as an example, if you want an office area in the home but don't want to add actual walls, you might have glass partitions installed in a corner of one room, and then have frosted film put over that glass for privacy. Consider patterns and gradient designs for this type of film; horizontal or vertical stripes of frosted film can add privacy and style, without making a space seem closed in. Textured film can also add some style and depth to the glass surfaces, so that the film doesn't look dull and drab.

Professional versus DIY

Some window film can be purchased at a hardware store and applied yourself.  While this might save you some money, be very cautious about this; improperly installed window film can easily bubble and peel away. It can also be much more difficult to hang film properly and evenly than you realize, so that you wind up with gaps between the film and the window frame. A contractor can also help you decide on the right film to buy; he or she can evaluate your exterior windows and the amount of heat and sunlight you need to block, and can also ensure the right film is applied to an interior surface so that it withstands potential fingerprints, mould growth in the bathroom, and the like.