Getting a prestige window film estimate from a 3M dealer or Home depot 3M agent can frequently take on a mystical experience similar to a reading from a Fortune Teller:
We met with a client who swayed toward prestige films but was less than enthused about the cost to install it.
This made him skeptical with those cards he was handed!
Plus there was just something about all of this that didn’t jive right!
He sure knew he wasn’t a magician and he sure as hell didn’t want to be the other!
He called Advanced Film Solutions for straight answers!
Here were his questions and my answers:
Question: The 3M rep claimed that their film blocks 97% of the Sun’s heat.
What % does your film block?
I would love to get more technical with you but accept that IR (invisible heat) represents nearly 50% of what we feel as heat.
So even if the prestige film blocked 97% of all that 50% what about the other 50%??
Given their prestige 70 blocks only 30% of the visible light how do they block 97% of the heat?
|Default Glazing Reference||SHGC No Film||SHGC with Film||VT No Film||VT with Film|
|Fixed||3 mm (1/8in.) clear||0.71||0.42||0.74||0.58|
|Fixed||3 mm (1/8in.) clear 3 mm (1/8in.) clear||0.63||0.47||0.67||0.52|
|Window Wall||6 mm (1/4in.) clear||0.75||0.47||0.80||0.63|
|Window Wall||6 mm (1/4in.) grey||0.53||0.39||0.40||0.32|
|Window Wall||6 mm (1/4in.) clear 6 mm (1/4in.) clear||0.65||0.51||0.71||0.56|
|Window Wall||6 mm (1/4in.) grey 6 mm (1/4in.) clear||0.42||0.36||0.36||0.28|
The key objective number used to measure performance is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
So quantified on clear glass 1/8 inch the prestige film blocks an impressive .42 (a far cry from 97% or a .03 SHGC)
Question: The 3M rep showed us a Sun (IR) lamp demo and a BTU test demo that was very impressive.
It sure felt like the film blocked 97% or more of the heat.
Are you saying that this is a magic trick?
No- – I am saying this is misleading deceptive and an illusion.
Or; if you prefer, a LIE!
That IR lamp is blasting IR wavelengths in a very narrow bandwidth matching the films’ best performance. When we say very narrow we mean incredibly narrow.
It’s more of that same nonsense when they show a BTU meter.
Of course this is all the rage when they do a home show by fooling some of the people, some of the time. .
Question: The 3M rep claims prestige works better when the Sun is at it’s hottest.
Is that true? (He told us that only 3M film works that way! )
All films and glass perform better with wide ranges of angular variation. 3M prestige has no advantage and claiming so is very misleading and of course nonsense.
This is like saying a bike is easier to peddle and faster going downhill.
IWFA – IR Ratings of Window Film
The 3M rep advised that many competitors are headed out of business and that 3M is the only company that will honor the warranty in the long term.
He also claimed that only 3M’s hard coat can stand up to Windex!
Concerning the 3M dealer’s acumen on the long term viability of the major window film companies I wouldn’t place much stock (pun intended) in any of his claims.
There is always risk but heck 3M was once selling microfilm and fax machines but doesn’t any more.
They sold copiers and shoplifting systems for retail stores and secure id cards.
But not any more.
But I do guaranty one thing:
That Windex BS is all BS. The prestige film hardly offers a scratch coating and the color can be scratched off. That’s because there are dyes in the composition.
They have absolutely zero advantage in hard coats or scratch protection against Windex.
This is a total fabrication.
No magic, just the facts.
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