Reduce temperature indoors with solar window film
Most houses are built in a north-facing direction to ensure that rooms receiving the maximum amount of natural light. But natural light also mean a lot of heat. There are several ways to cool down a home interior; from ceiling insulation, painting a roof with Plascon Nuroof Cool to applying solar window film to north-facing windows.
Having already installed ceiling insulation, I decided to apply solar window film to north-facing rooms to cool down rooms even more. There aren't any air conditioners in my home and I rely on greener options to keep us cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months.
I found Easy Tint DIY solar window film at my local Builders Warehouse in the curtains/blinds section. Priced at around R1400 for a large roll, this is enough to cover a 2 metre wide window like the one above.
The solar window film comes in kit form and includes simple installation instructions.
- Clean the window surface thoroughly. Avoid using spirits, turpentine or any decreasing detergents
- Remove paint or varnish on the glass with scraper blade.
- Fill up spray bottle; use the FILM ON SOLUTION (supplied in toolkit) - five bottle caps per 250ml of tap water.
- Should you run out of film on solution, baby shampoo can be used
- Wipe dry the glass and ensure the glass/window is clean
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROCEDURE, THE GLASS MUST BE VERY CLEAN
- Re spray the glass/window generously, Beads of water must run down the glass
- Peel away the red tape, this will separate the backing sheet from film
- Handle the film carefully at the corners to avoid wrinkles or creases, which cannot be removed
- PLACE THE FILM ON THE WET WINDOW
- For small windows, reverse roll method can be used.
- Apply the adhesive top part of the film on the wet glass/window surface; peel the backing sheet away in a downward motion until all the liner is removed from the film - move film into place
- Move film into place
When applying solar window film to large windows or sliding doors, have a friend help you do the installation.
- Two people working together, one person removing the backing sheet – the other person spraying the adhesive side of the film.
- Helpful Hint - We recommend pre trimming the film to final size for French panes, glass skylights, and arched windows
Step 3 & 4
- Spray the side of the film facing you and ensure it is wet - push the squeegee down the centre of the film, this helps that the film does not move
- Push the squeegee at a 45 degree angle not 90 degree upright and do not pull the squeegee over the film, could damage the film
- Starting with the top of the film, squeegee across the centre to one side but not to the edge - do not squeegee the last 25mm of film near the edge
- Use firm, but not heavy pressure - if unsure use light pressure and increase gradually
- If your are bowing the glass then you are using too much pressure
- Do this 2 or 3 times across one side then repeat for other side of window - CENTRE to SIDE
- If you find there is some dirt, putty or stuff under the film, you will need to carefully peel back the film onto itself and remove this
- When the film has dried and there was dirt at the corners it will stay like this
- Helpful Hint - You can remove any large bubbles by pushing them with the squeegee to the nearest film edge. Small bubbles should disappear in a few days
- Trim / Cut edges of film
- Use sharp cutting knife (supplied). Snap off blades as they become blunt – dull blade will tear the film
- Place the knife up against glass frame and slowly start cutting against the frame. You could also us the straight edge of the squeegee for a line
That's it! You've just successfully tinted a window!
Take note that the window must not be washed for 4 weeks after installation and then only with water or windowlene and a soft cloth.