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547 of 556 found the following review helpful:
Follow instructions to the letter!Jun 15, 2006
By L. Ward
My wife and I have now installed this film on several windows and two patio doors in our home. In the process, we have messed up a couple of times, but managed to figure out why (see helpful hints below).
I don't know how effective the heat control film is at keeping out the heat. Only time will tell.
But here are three recommendations for "frustration free" installation:
1) ALWAYS have someone helping you. Don't even think about instalilng this without at least two people.
2) Before peeling the film (very sticky) from the liner, spray both sides generously. This helps cut down on the static electricity, which causes the film to curl and stick to itself--often resulting in ruined film and frustrated installers.
3) Gila does not suggest this, but it worked like a charm with us (after we had messed up, unfortunately). Before you peel the liner from the film, have your helper clip two clothespins to the bottom two corners while you hold the top corners (this will prevent the corners from curling and sticking). As your partner begins to peel the liner from the film (slowly!), have him/her spray the sticky side generously. When there is about an inch of liner left to peel, go ahead and apply the film to the window. Before squeegeeing to the window, remove the clothespins and the last inch or two of liner. If you follow this important step, you should not have problems with the film curling. I don't know why Gila does not suggest this. Maybe they have not thought of it yet.
BTW: I just sprayed regular water on the non-sticky side when squeegeeing the film to the window. I also did this when spraying both sides to ward off static electricity. I did use the Gila stuff, however, on the sticky side of the film and on the window.
219 of 228 found the following review helpful:
This stuff Rocks BUT...May 25, 2011
By Amazon Customer
This is not a project for people who will not read and follow directions exactly and lack patience. If this is you do not buy. You'll waste your money, waste your time, be mad, and write a crummy review about a wonderful product.
First, the installation kit is junk. Fortunately for me I got a good look at one locally before I purchased. Get a spray bottle, add a cap of baby shampoo and fill with water. Get a good quality utility knife with a new blade. Plastic 4" wall knife. Long handled squeegee. Squeegee was 2.50 @ sam waltons house of discounts, wall knife was 98 cents at the hardware store, if you lack a utility knife one up to the job is 3 bucks including a few blades. Enough baby shampoo can be had to make gallons and gallons and gallons and gallons of solution can be had at the dollar store for, you guessed it, a buck. You should also have a few single edged blades for scraping the window. You could use the excess blades in your new utility knife but I would recommend a decent quality scraper handle and the associated blades which is a couple of bucks. If you have to purchase everything on my list the bill will be less than 15 dollars and you will have a MUCH better time with your installation.
One spray bottle
Old cotton diaper
Read the directions. Go to Gila's website and watch the how to video. It has tricks that you will be very grateful for.
CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.
I used windex first and then followed up with solution. Your new squeegee will be very handy. Then I sprayed with solution again and meticulously scraped every inch of window with a single edged blade. You want this to be the cleanest window you have ever cleaned in your life. Buff the streaks out with cotton diaper. Soak your squeegee when done to remove all traces of windex if you opted for this step (recommended). You will also want to remove any bubbled out sealants/caulk on the edges of all panes and PARTICULARLY in the corners if present.
MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE
Use the old carpenter's adage "Measure Twice, Cut Once". You'll want a nice smooth table to lay out on. You absolutely want a helper for this step as the film is tough to manage alone. I used a 9 year old and it worked very well. You REALLY want a perfectly straight cut to avoid wasting material and to make your life easier when you go to install. You'll want a half an inch extra on all cut edges assuming you make nice, straight cuts. Make your mark, check it twice, and use a yard stick for a straight edge guide.
SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY
Hose the window down, then spray it again. Trust me. Use the tape trick outlined in the directions. Trust me. Hose the film down as you remove the backing then spray it again. Trust me. While you might be able to manage this alone your 9 yr old will come in very handy here too. Film will virtually leap on to the window but, because you have hosed down both surfaces, you can play with it for 30 mins if you need to to get it lined up the way you like it. I worked L to R and aligned the factory edge accordingly. If you dont like what you see, peel it back, hose it down, and do it again. I had a gnat get trapped in the middle of one of mine and I removed the entire sheet and reapplied without the first problem. Work all the big bubbles out and then move on to your next window. Come back in about 30 mins and trim all your edges. Hose window down again and then work it with your wall knife repeatedly until you can make a pass without seeing any bubbles being pushed ahead of the knife. Keep the window wet as you do this to avoid scratching your film.
This is not a slap it up project. The first window will take about an hour, each succeeding one progressively less. Once I hit my fourth one it was taking about 20 mins as I'm now pretty good via practice.
READ THE DIRECTIONS. WATCH THE VIDEO. DONT SHORTCUT. USE LOTS OF SOLUTION.
Be patient, use lots of solution just like the video instructs and you can have PERFECT results. I will admit the first window I tackled was not perfectly trimmed (but it was virtually unnoticeable) but even that window had not the first bubble or crease. This is when I discovered the let it stand for 30 mins trick. If you do make a slight screwup the next day come back with some scrap pieces if you are as anal as I am and the only person who ever know your trimming was less than perfect will be you. My other panes were virtually flawless.
I bought this for a kitchen nook that faced the rising sun. Real nice @ 6:00 am, hot as hades by 10 and the HVAC was struggling to keep up. First day the results were simply remarkable and I'm logging on to buy a 100 ft roll to do a bunch more of my windows as the specs claim year round savings and I now believe them.
I'd give this stuff 6 stars if I could...
READ THE DIRECTIONS. WATCH THE VIDEO. DONT SHORTCUT. USE LOTS OF SOLUTION.
259 of 273 found the following review helpful:
Yes, it can be done by one person alone!Jul 21, 2006
By R. Oliver
I'm sure it could very well be easier with a couple of people, but I can also see how two people could mess up just as easily, if not moreso :) I only messed up the first piece before coming up with this method, and then everything onward was flawless.
So here's what I did. I took each of my rolls and rolled them in the opposite direction on some wrapping paper tubes while I cleaned the windows. This is suggested in the instructions and seemed to work well. I put the re-rolled film outside in the heat while I did the prep work of cleaning windows, and that seemed to help. If it is Winter I guess you can just leave them inside for longer, just re-roll them ahead of time. As I was ready to use the film, I just layed it out flat on the floor to measure and cut to size.
Cut a piece to size as recommended by the instructions. Lay the cut film on a large table clear side up. A long folding table that you can adhere tape to works well. Also, you might have to pull a corner of the film apart to figure out which side of the film is in fact the clear side. Get four (or more) pieces of tape ready (Scotch tape works) each up to about an inch long. I didn't bother spraying the film with solution before this point, because that can intefere with the adhesion of the tape about to be applied. Plus it is Summer and humid here. I'm not sure if you can get away with not spraying in the Winter.
Now that you have the film on the table (clear side up!)and tape at the ready, start pulling the clear side off and down from one corner. Yes, getting the corner started can be difficult. All I can say is be patient and persistent. Once you have a couple of inches of the adhesive surface exposed, tape the exposed corner down to the table. Keep pulling to expose the remainder of one side, applying tape as you go until you have it tacked down to the table all the way across.
Now you can very easily (and most importantly, by yourself!) pull both corners of the clear sheet down towards the opposite side of the film. You do not have to have anyone there to help you and you do not have to spray the adhesive side as you pull the clear film off as they say in the instructions. Be careful as you approach the end not to curl the the film. Once you have the clear part pulled off, it will try to cling to you from the static--just toss it aside. If you re-rolled the film earlier, it should lay relatively flat.
Now liberally spray the adhesive side of the (still taped down) film, spray the window, and then spray everything all over again. The instructions are right--wetter is better. Grab two corners of the film and pick it up, gently releasing the tape from the table (don't worry about the tape still being attached to the film, you just trim it off later). Get the film in the general area of where it needs to be and watch the adhesive side get magically sucked down onto the glass! It will move around easily, so move it as necessary to align the one side with the factory edge of the film.
I found that trimming the edges to a little less than an inch of the final trim seems to help with the final trim job. Once the film is on the glass, the rest is cake. Just follow the instructions to squeegee it down and trim. Wetting down the film prior to squeegeeing and also prior to trimming is critical.
Run out of solution? Add a few drops of baby shampoo (or even a drop or two of dish washing liquid) to some water and refill the spray bottle. Avoid ammonia products. It isn't as viscous as their product, but it's cheap and you don't feel guilty about being liberal :)
And now for my soapbox rant :) This will help reduce your carbon footprint! Reduce our need for more coal and additional nuclear power plants! There, I said it, and I feel better :)
118 of 127 found the following review helpful:
5 STARS (and well earned)Dec 02, 2007
I live in Salt Lake City--5,000 feet (MUCH more UV and solar heat than sea level) and up to 110 degrees--in a 10th floor apartment with over 100 square feet of west-facing window. The west side gets direct sun from about 1:00 to sunset and can get over 120 degrees without A/C. Over the years I relied on blasting the window A/C and circulating the air with 3 floor fans and a ceiling fan, and still couldn't stand being near the west side during the day for more than a little while. Oh, the electric bills!!
I was doubtful about window film, but I couldn't be more delighted. It actually reduced the solar gain by 3/4; I was able to keep the NW corner well below 80 in mid-afternoon with only one floor fan, a ceiling fan, and the window unit set at 75, and only had to do all this until late afteroon instead of all night. And in 10% humidity 70-80 degrees is completely comfortable. For the first time in years I ate dinner right in the NW corner in complete comfort and could cook in mid-day in my west-facing kitchen. If solar film helps this much in my place, it will work even better at sea level.
My spectacular daytime view of the mountains and Great Salt Lake was a little grey but still spectacular. At night the film reflected a lot of indoor light inward, blocking most of the view. But this is completely insignificant in light of the ability to use my whole apartment.the advantages render these things completely insignificant.
Removing the film for the winter (which will let me keep the heat off most of the day took a little elbow grease, but I'm did it alone with no trouble. With the tips on this site it'll take half the time and hassle when I put new film on next April.
Here are my dry-climate tips:
* Make least 3 times the wetting solution than what they suggest. A small amount of dish detergent in a good spray bottle worked great. Next year I won't bother buying it, as it worked no better than my home-made solution.
* Dry climate & big windows like my 24 squ. ft. west-facing ones will require three people. One or two can do regular-sized windows, but applying large pieces of film was tricky. Next year, using the tips others have offered, I expect to do the small windows by myself and have friends over for brunch to do the 2 large ones.
* For big windows, use two people to hold the 4 corners taut while the third person sprays the film and window constantly to keep it from sticking right away and wrinkling. We also constantly sprayed the edges so we could shift the film a little if necessary.
* Again, for big windows I simply cleaned the kitchen floor really well. It was much easier than my table.
* We never did figure out how to use the plastic razor holder they supplied; we used a thin plastic cutting board and an exacto knife to trim the edges neatly.
Bottom line: if you want to save money, energy, and/or the environment, buy this stuff.
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Absolutely Amazing!Jun 11, 2012
By Alan Cleland
This product has to be one of the best purchases that I have ever made through Amazon. Application of this product is a breeze. My wife and I find it hard to believe that anyone could possibly have a problem with this product. Several really key suggestions here......1) use lots and lots, and lots of application solution. 2) trim the film to 1 inch wider and 1 ince higher than the glass to which you are applying before trying to apply it. 3) Turn off all fans, ceiling and wall or floor, before starting work with this product. 4) Do not attempt to apply this product unless you have 2 people so as to not have unavoidable accidents from the product rolling or kerping. 5) Use a razor blade to relieve the corners before trying to get the edges to stick. This step makes trimming the excess and squeegieing the water out extremely easy. 6) Use a lint-free cloth to sop the water as you press it from behind the film. I have not seen anyone anywhere mention this, but it is a step that makes final assembly far less difficult.
One other thing.........you do not need to buy any application solution. A simple spray bottle, washed and cleaned well will suffice. For the solution, use 1 teaspoon of No-More-Tears shampoo to 1 quart of distilled water. This works better than the paid for solution that you get in the kit. Any hard plastic bondo squeegie works perfectly, and a sharp razor knife is all that you need for trimming. Yes, the application kit has all of these items, but the spray bottle is very small, only containing enough solution for one very tiny window. As I said earlier........use lots and lots, and lots of solution. You will not be disappointed.
The heat reduction created by the use of this product is simply amazing. We installed this product on one side of a 6 foot sliding door one evening, and before we installed it on the other side the next evening, we measured the temperature on the floor where the sun was shing in, and the difference was 12 degrees ferenheit at a distance of 6 inches inside of the door. I have ordered another box to do the other windows on my home that face the same direction as the sliding door. The energy savings will probably pay for the product in just one summer. Do not be scared of this product, it is a very easy way to help reduce your energy costs, and even provides a modicum of privacy as a bonus. Allow for about an hour and a half per window, and do not apply to any windows when the sun is shining brightly upon them. Evening time worked best for us.
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