Home > Air Conditioning, Cleaning, Green Home Tips, Heating & Fireplaces, Home Improvement, Insulation, Windows > How To Install Window Film and Save Energy - DIY Central

How To Install Window Film and Save Energy

Saving energy is more important than ever now. There are many different ways to help cut down on the cost of energy for heating and cooling. One effective method is to install window film on all the single pane windows in the heated areas of your home. Window film helps to retain heat when your windows are the old style single pane type. The film reflects up to 40% of heat back into the room in winter and deflects heat back outside in the summer. There are two main types of window film available today. One type simply provides a shaded window surface much like tinted windows on a car. This type does not do much to reflect heat. The second type has a reflective coating that does indeed reflect heat back into the room. This is the type to install for added heat retention.

Installing window film is relatively easy, requiring little in the way of tools or expertise.


  1. First, lay towels or rags on the window sill and the floor beneath the window. Installing window film requires a good bit of water.
  2. Next, clean the glass surface. Now is a good time to clean the glass inside and out.
  3. Use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe the glass dry with crumpled newspaper for a streak-free job.
  4. Make certain that there are no small bumps or projections left on the glass, like paint drips or pieces of dirt or wet newsprint.
  5. Allow the glass to dry.


  1. Cut the film from the correct side. The film will be properly marked for this. You can use either a razor knife or a sharp pair of scissors. Cut the film about ¼” smaller than the inside dimension of the window glass.
  2. Wet the window thoroughly with either the solution that you purchased with the window film or plain water.
  3. Place the window film on the glass and maneuver it so that there is equal distance on all sides between the edge of the film and the window frame. Make sure that you have the correct side facing the room.
  4. Spray water over the surface of the window film soaking it well.
  5. Using the squeegee that came with the window film, start in the center of the window and squeegee toward the window frame, working all the air bubbles out toward the edge of the film.
  6. After you have squeegeed the film thoroughly, wipe up any excess water and allow the film and window to dry at least 24 hours at room temperature.


Even after the film has dried, there still may be a few small bubbles left in the film surface and these will disappear over time.

If you are not satisfied with the installation, you can peel the film off and trim it or rewet the glass surface and try again.

To make the film installation permanent, after the window has dried for a few days apply a bead of caulk between the edge of the film and the window frame. Make sure you use a good latex acrylic caulk with no silicone.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Discuss this and other Home Improvement Topics in our How To Forum