How to Choose the Right Window Film for Your Home

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Adding window film can be an easy way to insulate your home from drafts and filter out sunlight. It can also add security because it keeps glass from easily shattering, such as in the event of a break-in. Not all window film is alike, and it may be a mistake to assume that your home will be insulated and safe if you choose just one particular type of film versus another. Note a few factors to consider so you ensure that you find the best window film for your home's needs.

1. Thickness of film

When shopping for window security film, you may see a variety of thicknesses, usually ranging from 4 mils to 14 mils. The thicker the film, the stronger it will be against a window shattering. It will also be stronger against punctures, rips and tears at the point of insulation, so if you have pets or children who may cause damage to the window film, you want to invest in a stronger, thicker film. If you're adding the film where you need the most security, such as to windows in a back room or garage, the thickest film is the best choice.

Note that film that is very thin, between 4 and 8 mils, is usually only used for decorative purposes. If you simply want to offer some shade to a sunroom or add a decorative touch to a window and are not worried about enhanced security features, you might use a 4 to 8 mil thickness rather than investing in something stronger than what you need.

2. Installation

If you just want to add a small touch of security to your home or use the window film for tinting and sun protection, you may choose a type that you simply cut to size and then peel and stick. This can also be a good choice if you add window film during certain months for insulation or sun protection but want to remove it during milder weather. 

However, for true security, consider the choices you have for installation. An anchored method of installing film adds the film over the glass, but rather than cutting it along the edge of the glass, it uses metal brackets or strips or another similar method. This keeps a thicker window film in place and offers protection even beyond the edge of the glass itself. A wet method involves applying the window film with a type of sealant that creates a permanent bond. These methods may be best left to a contractor, but they can offer the most protection and security for your windows.