Does window film really work to lower energy cost?
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    Default Does window film really work to lower energy cost?

    I keep seeing the same ad over and over again from a local energy company that goes on and on about window film. Hopefully I am calling it the right thing, but it's the stuff that you put against a window and use a blow dryer to make a "seal".

    I am curious if this stuff actually works. The company says it will help reduce our use of the air conditioner during the summer, and walmart currently has it on clearance ... so I figured I would give it a try. Also, can you still open the windows when using this type of product?

    I hope I made sense! TIA!

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    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    We have all of our South facing windows covered with the film....we have the kind that you put on with water....

    It cut our electricity bill by about $15-18 per month the first year we put it on....We love it! I also have a South facing bedroom window and bathroom window...it's on there too. I wouldn't ever have another south window that didn't have it.

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    it sure keeps out drafts! before we got new windows, we used it on plenty of our windows in the house.

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    I bought some for the first time this year. I credit it with helping our gas bill drop about $65 dollars. It helped with the chill in my oldest boys room, our bathroom and our homeschool room.

    No, you cannot open windows with the film on. You may want to consider blackout curtains for those windows.

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    We've used the reflective film that you apply with water and a squeegee in a former home and it REALLY made a difference - especially those west windows. It DOES need replacing after a number of years as the reflectivity diminishes over time. You will notice it on car windows that have had it applied to the windows. It will fade from dark to light overtime and no longer give the heat protection it once did. I'd also suggest using distilled water for application. There are minerals in tap water that can etch the window.

    The kind of plastic sheeting you apply with a hair dryer is generally used to cover a window in the winter to keep cold drafts out. It's held in place with double-stick tape and when you apply heat from the hair dryer, the plastic shrinks to fit tightly over the window/window frame.

    Other options:

    In our present home we've replaced all the 1/2-screens (they only covered the lower portion of the window that would be open) with full screens with a type of screen that filters 80% of the UV rays (we only have windows on the east and west sides of our home).

    Permanent or temporary awnings, shutters, or shades are also an option, as well as screening windows with plant materials (we had a large trellis in front of a west bedroom window - 24-inches away from the house - and grew sweet autumn clematis on it).

    Even though we have a relatively new home (3-years old) with energy-efficient windows and energy-efficient Levolor blinds covering all the windows, we cover the windows in the winter with bubblewrap for additional R-Value. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...bubblewrap.htm

    It sounds crazy, but the comfort level in all the rooms is greatly improved when we added bubble wrap. We usually wait to cover our dining room windows until the really cold weather sets in (we have a great view out those windows), but you can really tell the difference when you sit at the table for a meal with, and without, the bubble wrap on the windows. We leave the bubble wrap in many of the windows year round. Especially in bedrooms that are rarely used and the blinds are nearly always drawn. It adds benefits year-round.
    Last edited by Grainlady; 04-05-2009 at 01:06 PM.

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    Registered User jacqueline's Avatar
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    grainlady - love the bubblewrap idea. have never heard of it before. i use the plastic you blowdry. this year i don't think i did as well putting it up as i did last year. cutting is a pain in the butt to me with this. and living alone there was only two hands when i could have used another one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacqueline View Post
    grainlady - love the bubblewrap idea. have never heard of it before. i use the plastic you blowdry. this year i don't think i did as well putting it up as i did last year. cutting is a pain in the butt to me with this. and living alone there was only two hands when i could have used another one.
    We did the plastic you heat with the hair dryer one fall and it WAS a pain somewhere lower than the neck (LOL) - even with two of us! Then it turned warm and you couldn't open the windows and all that double-stick tape to contend with..... The next year I made window-quilts for all the windows - what a lot of work, but they worked very well. Luckily it was a townhouse and it didn't have very many windows.

    The bubble wrap is soooooooo simple. Helpful Hint - cut the bubble wrap just a tiny bit smaller than the window pane. It doesn't stick as well if you are "generous" and cut it larger than the pane. I check ours every couple weeks to see if it's still sticking to the windows. If a corner has come loose, you just pull the bubble wrap back and give the window a spritz of water and pat the bubble wrap back down.

    Check with furniture stores. They may have some bubble wrap in large sheets you can get cheap or free.

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    Default window film does save money on energy

    I recently had a company called Trek Glass Tinting tint my home as well as my 2 cars. It is amazing just how much it blocks the sun and heat. they told me that it would take approx. 5 years to pay itself off in energy costs and so far it almost has. I did it at first for my furnishings, they were fading from the sun. It also solved that problem. there website has a lot of information you may want to check it out it's trektint.com. good luck to you

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    We use the window kits on just about every window every year. We have good wallside windows and still see a comfort and dollar difference using them. I buy them all summer from garage sales and charity shops for .50-3.99 depending. We need about a dozen patio size per year. They run about $12.99plus so I save substantially w/ resale. I save the tape every year too because they give you more than you need. I figure any way I can help our 30 year old 60% efficient furnance chug along til we can replace it, all the better. You can feel an immediate stillness difference too. I have started using quilts in addition because it gets so cold here. I think I may try to make them into quilted curtains instead for letting more daylight in too. You can get quilts for $10. at Salvation Army, maybe less if their the 1/2 off color. Maybe try a couple? Make sure you have an air vapor barrior don't put them directly on the window.It looks better but defeats the purpose. Winter will be over soon. (She sobbed as she looked at the 8" of snow that fell last night). You cant open the windows, I have ceiling fans and air purifiers to offset our pets.
    Last edited by frugalwarrior; 04-06-2009 at 03:06 PM.

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    Thanks for all the answers! I didn't even realize there were more options ... lol.

    The only time we really open the windows during the summer is if there is a hurricane ... so I don't think the film would be a good option. We all know that the moment I put the film on my windows, our area will get hit by a hurricane and I'll be without power ... lol.

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