Up to 48% of your energy expenditure goes towards internal climate control. It makes window film not just a great investment in privacy and UV protection, but also a boon for your bank balance. With prices varying across the industry, how do you know the cost is worth the lifetime of your film?
How often you should replace your film depends on many factors. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help narrow down the timeframe.
What is the Film Made Of?
The quality of the window film will obviously influence its lifetime. How do you know if you’re getting the best quality for your dollar?
Films for windows are generally made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family. PET has the requisite clarity, tensile strength, and stability that makes it ideal for constructing tinted film. It also readily accepts a variety of surface-applied or embedded treatments.
If the films are intended for UV and sun protection, the higher-end films will contain ceramics or metals. They usually cost 10-15 percent more than regular films but provide better UV protection overall. Metallic and ceramic films also last longer than cheaper ones.
It’s a good idea to ask what the film is made of before you buy. Top manufacturers, such as 3M, will use the most durable and widely recommended materials.
What Is Its Primary Use?
Films intended for privacy will often last longer than films used for UV or sun protection. It is because UV film’s shielding will degrade over time. It’s recommended you replace UV film every five years, as its shielding will drop from 99% to 70%.
Films are generally applied to the inside of the window to extend the lifetime of the film. However, some use-specific films, such as graffiti films, are applied to the outside of the window. These films are exposed to more wear and so tend to need replacing quicker than internal films.
How Do You Take Care of It?
Depending on the materials your window film is made of, certain chemicals used in household cleaners can damage or more quickly degrade your film. It’s a good idea to steer clear of cleaners that have ammonia in them. Ammonia can degrade the film, causing discoloration or bubbling.
Proper care of your film can extend its lifetime by up to 5 years.
What Sort of Climate Is It Installed In?
The climate has a high impact on the lifetime of your window film. Extreme hot and cold climates force the film to work harder to regulate temperature. Intense, direct sunlight can also degrade film faster than if windows are in a more shaded area.
If you live in an even climate all year long, you can get up to 15 years out of your film with the proper care. More extreme areas usually last the time of your film’s warranty.
Time to Replace Your Window Film?
If you find your film bubbling or starting to discolor, these are obvious signs it’s time for a replacement. It’s important to stay aware of UV film wear, as your protection from dangerous UV rays will decrease as the film ages.
Need replacement film with a competitive warranty? Get in touch today to schedule your free consultation.
NU-VUE Window Films is a professional window tinting contractor providing home window tinting, commercial window tinting, window tinting and decorative window films for retail store windows, glass scratch removal service, and more throughout Southern California.