Frequently Asked Questions



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1. Will my energy costs decrease?

Definitely! The amount of money saved depends upon the type of film chosen and certain property-specific variables (location, climate, existing energy costs, HVAC system, etc...). After obtaining some basic energy unit costs for a given building, we can conduct a 3M Energy Audit to estimate the annual dollars saved by different film types.

2. What is the procedure to install 3M™ window film?

The individual installation steps, assuming a typical interior application, would be as follows:

  • Prepare window area by protecting flooring, window coverings and furnishings with drop cloths and plastic. Move any nearby furniture
  • Thoroughly clean interior side of glass pane and gaskets with a mild cleaning solution and water to remove dirt and other residue
  • Wet glass with a mild soap solution
  • Place film against glass
  • Squeegee out excess solution between glass and film trim film to window
  • Thoroughly press film edges to ensure film lies flat
  • Inspect and wipe film to ensure clean finished product
  • Remove drop cloths and plastic, replace furniture to original positions


3. Is 3M™ window film installed on the inside or outside of a building?

Window film is typically installed on the interior side of a window. As it is a finished product, it is best installed after all other nearby construction is complete. If access to the interior side of the window is difficult to obtain, an exterior application can be performed with some films.

4. Can you apply 3M™ window film to tinted or Low-E glass?

Definitely! You will notice enhanced energy performance from your tinted or Low-E glass windows after installation.

5. Does 3M™ window film stop my furnishings from fading?

Nothing completely stops fading. 3M™ window films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading (ultra violet light, visible light, and solar heat), thus prolonging the life of your furnishings, perhaps as much as two to five times.

Keep in mind the article(s) to be protected; if they have a typical life of ten (10) years then they may last twenty (20) years or even much, much longer depending on the performance of the film selected.

As a general rule of thumb, ultra violet (UV) is approximately 40% of the cause, visible light is about 25%, and heat about 25%. The remaining 10% can be attributed to humidity, pollutants, interior lights, dye stability, and more.

6. Does the UV protection lose its effectiveness over time?

No, the UV protection in our proprietary adhesive system is indefinite. It does not lose its effectiveness over time. In fact, we tested an actual glass sample from a 10 year old application. The UV transmission still measures less than 1%

7. Does 3M™ window film cause seal failure?

Definitely not, 3M window films have never been proven to cause seal failure. Window seals fail (foggy windows) at the same rate whether they have window film or not.

8. Does 3M™ window film cause windows to crack?

It does on rare occasions. Thermal fractures (cracks) occur because the window has an existing crack underneath frame. We guarantee against thermal fractures for five years after the installation date. Most cracking occurs in the first year, which is covered with your 3M manufacturer warranty.

9. How do I care for and clean my newly tinted windows?

Window films may be washed with common washing solutions (including ammonia-based products) thirty days after installation. Abrasive cleaning agents and bristle brushes which would scratch the film should not be used, rather synthetic sponges, squeegees, or soft cloths are recommended.

10. What is the typical energy payback for 3M™ window films?

Simple paybacks vary with the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film and glass, the cost of fuel and application, and other factors. However, paybacks often range 2-5 years, some reportedly less than 6 months.

11. How do 3M Scotchshield™ Ultra Safety and Security window films work?

These films make glass shatter-resistant by holding pieces together when broken. Thicker than the traditional films, they also feature a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive and a special micro-layered polyester technology that increases tear-resistance significantly. Pound for pound, 3M Scotchshield™ Ultra films outperform others of similar thickness.

12. Are 3M Scotchshield™ Ultra films burglar-proof?

3M Scotchshield™ Ultra films offer security against "smash and grab" crimes. The tough, shatter-resistant film can hold glass together even if a brick (or similar object) were actually to pass through the window. The thief must now make a choice: continue to attack this window, try another, or move on. Time is short, and often they move on. However, if a thief is really determined to gain entry, he may eventually get in.

15. Will 3M Scotchshield™ Ultra film keep my glass from breaking?

Possibly. Window glass varies in strength from piece to piece. A failure to break could be due to the glass, the film, or both. However, when glass breaks, 3M Scotchshield™ Ultra film really performs by holding the glass together.

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