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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.

Step 1

  • 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

Step 2

  • 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

Step 5

  • 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.

 

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