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Solar Control Window Film & Glass
Selecting The Right Film

This section was created to help you understand the criteria for determining which US Solar Control window film is right for each application and situation. Your US Solar Control dealer wants you to know exactly how window film works and what it can, and cannot do so that you can make the best choice.

As part of the selection process, your independent US Solar Control window film dealer will perform a thorough assessment of your installation environment, whether a home or business.

 Then, together you can select the appropriate US Solar Control window film for your application from the wide range of professional grade US Solar Control products. US Solar Control dealers are committed to installing only the right film for your particular needs to ensure your complete satisfaction. The more you know about window film, the better we both look.

US Solar Control window film dealers are independent
professionals who will help you select the perfect window film to be installed.

Solar Energy & Its Effect On Glass
As solar control window film continues to grow in popularity, it’s more important than ever to understand exactly how  the installation of film impacts flat glass. When the proper window film is installed on undamaged glass, there are seldom any problems. However, under certain circumstances the installation of an improperly selected window film can contribute to thermal stress fracture (TSF) and even lead to insulated glass unit (IGU) seal failure. Circumstances that may promote TSF and/or IGU seal failure include:
• Improper film choice
• Pre-existing flaws or imperfections in the glass
• Tightness of glass framing or fitting
• Rapid temperature changes & shading
• Environmental conditions

Glass Without Window Film
To help you select the correct window film you need to understand what happens when solar energy strikes a pane of glass. In untreated glass, most of the solar energy is transmitted. Only a small amount is reflected and absorbed as shown in illustration #1.

Untreated glass allows most of the
solar energy to transmit causing hot spots and fading of valuable furnishings. Select US Solar Control window films can reject up to 78% of total solar energy and almost 100% of harmful and damaging ultraviolet.

Glass With Window Film - A Dramatic Transformation
Installing window film on a pane of glass can dramatically change how it reflects, transmits and absorbs solar energy. The degree of that change is determined by the construction characteristics of the window film you select. Illustration #2 shows how window film can significantly reduce solar energy transmission by increasing reflection and absorption.

US Solar Control architectural window films
effectively reduce the amount of solar energy transmitted through the glass and many versions are almost undetectable once installed.

Heat Absorption, TSF & IGU Seal Failure
Once installed, almost all window films will cause increased heat absorption in the glass pane treated with film. It is this heating of the glass that results in thermal expansion, which on certain installations, can increase the risk of thermal stress fracture (TSF) and/or insulated glass unit (IGU) seal failure.
When thermal expansion occurs in a single pane, the result can be glass breakage—typically a small crack. When thermal expansion occurs in an insulated glass unit (IGU) the inside pane treated with window film can expand more than the untreated outside pane. This causes a disparity in thermal expansion between the two panes of glass, which may result in thermal stress fracture or IGU seal failure, allowing moisture to get in between the panes.

Many US Solar Control window films are safe for IGU applications—ask your US Solar Control dealer for details.

Window film is installed to the inside pane (glass surface ) of a dual pane IGU. Selecting an improper film for this application can cause the glass pane treated with window film to experience excessive thermal expansion at a higher rate than the untreated outside pane, threatening the IGU seal and/or causing thermal shock fracture.


Selecting The Right Film
A key consideration in the selection of a window film is its solar absorption rating. To address this concern, your independent US Solar Control window film dealer offers a full range of advanced window film products that deliver excellent solar rejection performance without excessive heat absorption. Your dealer will make a thorough assessment of your glass, framing and window types to help you select the right film for your particular application.

To help make your purchase decision, your independent US Solar Control dealer will provide you with
a detailed installation proposal that includes important information about the characteristics
of the job with a film selection recommendation.

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Assessing Installation Characteristics
In an effort to help you select the best possible film for your
application, your dealer will inspect the characteristics of the entire installation noting items such as improper framing as well as preexisting imperfections that can increase the risk of glass breakage or IGU seal failure. Here are some of the problematic items your dealer will look for and note on your installation proposal if applicable.

Flaws & Imperfections In Glass
Sometimes tiny chips or cracks may exist at the edges of the glass pane which are often not easily detectable because they can be hidden by the window frame. In these instances, installing even an approved film can lead to possible problems. That’s why your dealer will inspect every glass pane thoroughly in order to provide you with the best possible installation proposal.

Tightness Of Glass Framing & Damaged Molding
Glass naturally expands when heated and contracts when cooled. If a glass pane is fitted too tightly in its frame there may not be much room for it to expand. When window film is installed, even window film with an approved installation rating, thermal expansion can become problematic. Glass in an overly tight frame or a frame with damaged or dried out molding, has a higher probability of TSF or IGU seal failure.


Rapid Temperature Changes & Shading
Thermal stress can also be caused by uneven heat absorption on the surface of the glass. This can occur when glass is partially shaded by trees or buildings. Often this shading is enough to cause an extreme difference in glass surface temperatures. Another cause of TSF is a dramatic and rapid change in temperature, such as the kind of changes that often occur from night to day in mountainous
areas or in the desert. When glass does not have time to cool or heat slowly, its surface temperature may be uneven, leading to a higher risk of TSF or IGU seal failure.


Environmental Conditions
Even with the best location and proper film selection, it’s possible for glass to suffer TSF or IGU seal failure if the immediate environment around the window does not have appropriate air circulation. Heat can become trapped against the glass if there is not enough space between blinds or other window treatments and the pane. If heat
becomes trapped, it can lead to excessive thermal absorption increasing the risk of glass breakage or IGU seal failure.


Film-To-Glass Installation Guidance
The best way to minimize the probability of TSF and IGU seal failure is to choose a proper film. To accomplish this, your dealer will do a thorough assessment of the glass and related installation characteristics.

Using the film-to-glass installation guidance chart  your dealer will help you select a professional quality
US Solar Control window film that’s right for your application. The chart displays TSF IGU warranty coverage availability based on one of three numerical ratings which are as follows:

Rating #1 = Automatically Approved
Rating #2 = Written Approval Required*
Rating #3 = Not Available*

*The unavailability of TSF IGU warranty coverage does not certify or indicate that TSF and/or IGU seal failure will occur—it only means US Solar Control manufacturer backed TSF IGU warranty coverage is not available.


Glass With Low-E Coating
Insulated glass units with the low-e feature are becoming increasingly popular because they help retain inside room heat. Some film-toglass installations on glass with the low-e feature may produce an increased risk of TSF and IGU seal failure.
There is a separate rating column on the film-to-glass installation guidance chart that applies to glass with low-e. Adhere to this rating when applying US Solar Control window film to glass with the low-e feature.


Installations Larger Than 2,500 Square Feet
Regardless of a film-to-glass installation rating, any job over 2,500 square feet will require a TSF IGU warranty application and written approval to ensure TSF and IGU seal failure warranty coverage.


Product Failure Warranty Coverage
Every professionally installed US Solar Control window film comes with a product warranty that covers replacement film and reasonable reinstallation costs to protect customers from product defects or failure such as poor adhesion or demetallization. The product failure warranty does not cover thermal shock fracture, (TSF) or insulated
glass unit (IGU) seal failure. Product failure warranty terms vary in length and amount of coverage depending on the film type selected.


Film-To-Glass Installation Cautions
Regardless of the installation rating displayed on the film-to-glass installation guidance chart,  TSF IGU warranty coverage is NOT AVAILABLE if any of the following conditions exist:
1) Any building with a history of glass breakage and/or IGU seal failure;
2) Any chipped, cracked, scratched or otherwise damaged glass prior to installation;
3) Any IGU with seal failure prior to installation;
4) Any IGU greater than 40 square feet;
5) Any triple or quadruple pane IGU;
6) Any single glass pane totaling more than 60 square feet;
7) Any single glass pane with glass edge dimension greater than 10 feet;
8) Any single clear glass 3/8 inch or thicker;
9) Any single tinted glass 1/4 inch or thicker;
10) Any glass where the film is not installed edge to edge;
11) Any glass with more than one window film installed on top of another;
12) Any glass experiencing up to 25% outside shading, including more than 25% of the
glass parameter; (*See harmful shading examples below)
13) Any plastic, polycarbonate or non-glass surface;
14) Arched glass is approved, although any laminated, textured, round, bent,
patterned, wired or skylight glass is not;
15) Any glass with paint, lettering and/or vinyl graphics;
16) Any framing system of concrete or solid aluminum or solid steel;
17) Any framing sealants, glazing compound, and/or gaskets that are no longer resilient;
18) Any film-to-glass installation guidance chart rating #2 unless written approval has been
obtained; (See GWF catalog #4060 – TSF IGU Warranty Application Form)
19) Any film-to-glass installation chart rating #3;
20) Any film-to-glass installation over 2,500 square feet in size, unless written approval has
been obtained. (See GWF catalog #4060 – TSF IGU Warranty Application Form)

*Harmful Shading
Examples Specific
To Item #12

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The charts and information listed to the right help to address the many questions about the Solar Spectrum and its effect on Heat and Fading. There are three main sections of the solar spectrum that generate energy coming through your windows or glass. The definitions and breakdown is listed below…


(100-380 nanometers)
Invisible and energetic wavelengths made up of UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. While UV-C rays are filtered by the earth’s atmosphere, most people are concerned with UV-A and UV-B rays. Window Tinting films will block 99%+ of these harmful rays.

Visible Light
(380-780 nanometers)
The only part of the spectrum visible to the naked eye, visible light is the one factor that most people can recognize right away. Visible light represents 44% of the sun’s radiant energy and 25% of the causes of fading.

(780-2400 nanometers)
The final segment is made of rays we can feel but not see. These invisible rays represent the largest source of the radiant energy 54% and also contribute to the causes of fading (25%).

US Solar Control offers various types of window tinting films to control each of these three factors. Consult with your authorized US Solar Control dealer for the best window film that meets your specific needs.

Invisible and indispensable – that’s US Solar Control window film. It provides unsurpassed comfort and protection to make every day life a pleasure for you and your family, yet you’ll never even know it’s there.

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 Atlantis  | Belle Glade | Boca Raton | Boynton Beach | Briny Breezes | Canal Point | Cloud Lake | Clewiston | Delray Beach | Glen Ridge | Greater West Palm Beach | Golf | Greenacres | Gulf Stream | Haverhill | Hobe Sound | Hutchinson Island South | Highland Beach | Hypoluxo | Indiantown | Jensen Beach | Juno Beach | Jupiter | Jupiter Inlet Colony | Jupiter Island | Lake Clarke Shores | Lake Park | Lake Worth | Lantana | Loxahatchee | Manalapan | Mangonia Park | North Palm Beach | Ocean Breeze Park | Ocean Ridge | Pahokee | Palm Beach | Palm Beach Gardens | Palm Beach Shores | Palm Springs | Riviera Beach | Royal Palm Beach | Palm City | Sewall's Point | South Bay | South Palm Beach | The Acreage | Tequesta | Wellington

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*Tuesday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 am-2:30 pm
*Hours may vary
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