We get quite a bit of heat and light coming through the windows in the Arizona sun. Has anyone experienced using one of the tinted window films to reduce the effects of the sun? How difficult is it to apply these films yourself?
I applied tinted film to some windows in our previous house in CA. It really worked well, but one caveat - assuming you apply it to the inside of the window, it will reflect heat back to the window and, in our case, caused a dual pane window to fail. I replaced it with tinted glass.
As Tom mentioned, you have to be careful when tinting dual-pane windows. There is a special film for them and you can't use just regular auto tint film. Flat windows should be no problem for the do-it-yourself types, but curved surfaces are an entirely different breed of dog. A professional installer had to do the driver and passenger windows on my car 3 times before the job was done correctly. And yes, they do help quite a bit in reducing heat load. Those little pocket razor knives where you break off the end when it gets dull, are the best for final trim cutting - that's what the pro's use.
If the windows are flat it's fairly easy... First clean with soap and water, Then use a top grade glass cleaner (Stoner INVISI-GLASS is the one my installer used... Strangely enough I already had a can of that in the van [very highly recommended])
Clean BOTH sides (inside and outside) of the window
now, slap some soapy water on the OUTSIDE and apply the film... Use a HAIR DRYER or hot air gun to heat-shrink to fit (That's the trick the instructions don't tell you) use it carefully, but the stuff will "heat shrink.
Trim as needed, soap up the inside, transfer the film to the inside and squeege out all the air bubbles
Clean and dry, move on to the next window, same procedure
Sounds easy... Trust me. It is, if you do it a dozen times a day, every day, for a year or more
It's not so easy for folks like me (DIY) I tried, failed, paid for a pro
Good advice, but you missed a couple points - I'm sure it was just an oversight:
The film has an adhesive side, and a non-adhesive side. When you place it on the outside of the window for fit and trim, place the non-adhesive side onto the glass and don't get it wet. Use a minimal amount of water or solution (Fantastic spray works great); just enough to hold the film in place when you're working it. By placing the film adhesive side out, when you transfer it to the inside, the right side will be on the right and the left side will be on the left. Windows are not always symmetrical.
When using the hair dryer, work your way from the center of the glass/film to the outside edges. Do about 90% of the center area first, then work on the edges - only one area at a time.