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Quest 12-06-11 11:10 AM

Gila window films, anyone tried this before?
With winter chills (our biggest windows (living room/dining room, side living room, etc.) are all situated on East /West facing, all double-glazed vinyls that were put in as part of the house (house is only 7yrs old). While West facing ones typically get the chills (you can feel the cold descending from the inside glass down, due to poor insulation (non-gas filled, non low-e glass, cheepest run you can get locally as far as double-glazed window's concerned), my front (East facing) living room large glass windows are the worst when it comes to insulating from the winter chills.

After doing much research on-line, I decided to give Gila window film Energy Saving Platinum (LES361) a try, it sez that it can block 50% incoming heat from the outside, while the low-e coating helps in winter heat retention from the inside.

Anyone has experience with Gila films, particularly the Platinum versions (with low-e coating).

I'm going to put this film on the inside of the window, will try first by installing it on the East-facing windows and the 2 little side windows on each side of the main entrance door.

Will see what happens (currently on-route to my mailbox).


AC_Hacker 12-06-11 12:01 PM

better than my friendly Lowe's representative...

Originally Posted by Quest (Post 18114)
Anyone has experience with Gila films, particularly the Platinum versions (with low-e coating)

I did use some window film on a problem window.

It's been too long for me to remember the brand, but it is metalized and also transparent. As I recall it came in grades of 20% and 40%, 60%, etc.

I bought it as a solution to excessive heat gain during the summer, and it works quite well, and also gives me a measure of privacy.

I hadn't thought of using it as a heat-loss preventer.

I would think that you would want to apply it to the inside of the glass.

I did purchase a double low-E, argon-filled window for my bathroom, against all warnings from my friendly Lowe's representative.

It works very well, much better than my friendly Lowe's representative.


strider3700 12-06-11 01:35 PM

along these lines does anyone know of a frosted, security film that will help with heat loss?

I've got a bunch of 6" off the ground basement windows on the north side of the house that I wanted to put some sort of frosted plastic on to add privacy. Since I was looking at putting a film on them I figured security film would be better looking then burglar bars and If I'm going this route lets gets some heat savings as well.

Quest 12-28-11 10:22 AM


Successfully installed Gila Platinum (LES361) on my living room's double-glazed window: wasted 30% due to creases formation (boy! those films sure is staticky!!!) but was able to complete a 8ft by 6ft area within a reasonable amount of time:

conditions during installations:

-ext. temperature (7C, abnormally warm winter)
-int. temp (approx. 20C)
-relative humidity (approx 45%)

took a better part of 5 ~ 6hrs to complete due to numerous issues (kids constantly budding-in for attention, etc.)

Need wifey's help in handling/peeling off the sheets while squirting the film with Johnson baby wash diluted with water, etc.

The biggest time consuming part was using a card scraper with lint-free sheets to scrape the moisture and air bubbles off of the sheets, which I ended up spending approx. 40% of the time (out of that 5~6hrs) to do....carefully not to scratch the film.

Apparently, Gila Platinum film does have the low-e coating from the inside, which makes the inside (looking outward) seems extra shiny. The reflective coating does what it said RE: reflecting heat from the inside from leaking through the window panes...I was literally sweating from the inside while performing the scraping with the card, and as my body generates heat, the reflection from the low-e coating of the film warms me up substantially (causing me to sweat more)....

the darkening effect works out great (from the outside-->inside, approx. 20% dimming).

In the end: I'm very impressed with this product and I'm going to buy some more as my project progresses... hopefully by doing so will I be able to improve heat retention during winter months to cut down on heating costs and makes my house more efficient both winter and summer time..

(my house is east-west facing so summer heat can be an issue also).

lastly: these films are some serious stuff! I read through their site's FAQ and studied closely, and they did mentioned that cutting blades dull fairly quickly (replace every 10 ft of cutting?!) and it is indeed true! I ruined approx 20% of the film due to dull blade and I learned my lesson very quickly: clip the blade with fresh new point before doing a cut...otherwise, it will rip the film very, very easily (and ruin the whole project).

Good stuff I must say! way recommended for folks who is contemplating in doing something similar to mine (to upgrade no argon-filled, non low-e double-glazed windows with Gila films to improve thermal efficiency)..


AC_Hacker 12-28-11 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by Quest (Post 18630)
...peeling off the sheets while squirting the film with Johnson baby wash diluted with water, etc...

I'd like to see a bit more detail on how you applied this stuff, including the baby wash thing...

I did one small window by myself, and it was very tricky, to say the least.

I was not able to get a wrinkle-free application working solo.

That being said, it does work well and had the thermal reflective properties I had hoped it would.


Quest 12-28-11 12:26 PM


The steps I took is pretty much (90%) what the online video steps I followed on Gila site:

Window Film Installation Videos and Application Tips | Gila Residential Window Films

After reading numerous of feedbacks on (where I bought those films) and the cautions from others, I finally worked out the steps that it takes to do it right..


-(1) really, be careful when you peel off the film from backing: I managed to wrinkle/introduced creases on the film when I first did solo (w/o the aid of my wifey)...and wasted some film as a result. peel it slowly and don't hesitate to tape the other corner so as to aid with the peeling process...

-(2): I use maybe 1/6 to 1/8 of a cap of baby shampoo per quart of water (squirt bottle size)

-(3): spray the film and the window glass really, really wet before applying the film. Failure to do so (not the end of the world just yet), you can still partially peel off the corner of the film and re-wet the surfaces before trying to squeege the liquid off.

-(3a): I use an OXO squeege I bought from Amazon and that works out well (needs to constantly wet the film surface every time I try to work my squeege across the film surface)

-(4): 2 hrs after the initial squeeging the film to rid of excess liquid and bubbles.....I started to see some small "buldging" from the film due to liquid trapped in between the film and the glass...

for that I basically took the extra effort (with a hard card and lint-free papers) to scrape those bubbles flat..

According to the FAQ section on Gila: the liquid trapped between the film and the glass will dry off in a few days time as the film "cures".

I shall report back with a status update in a few day's time.


Quest 03-26-12 12:37 PM


After spending a good 3 mnths of rather warm winter (fluctuating, but never below -5C, which is rather unusual) with our front lower living room window tinted with Gila Platinum, I must say that I'm quite impressed with the outcome so far: managed to reflect the heat back into the house (a bathroom infrared lamp test will show you how well it reflects heat back into the house!), yet the solar glare and heat coming in from the outside has been reduced....

Due to kid's spring break last week: I managed to finish 3 more panes: 1 immediately above from the lower story living room (the upper one is our "computer" room for both myself and my wifey, telecommute), a front facing upper window where typically between sunrise and approx. 10:30am, the sun will shine in through there; and then throughout most of the afternoon: reflection from my next door neighbour's window pane into ours which is on the side of this said morning window, heat introduced through this frosted window was immense).

So, we'll see if we get any improvements (or not) over the next few weeks, esp.when sunny spring arrives (weather forecast not so good: overcast over the next 5 days or so).

Lastly: discovered while travelling during spring break that Freddys (meyers) actually carries Gila platinum films also.


lucerne96 05-07-12 10:06 AM

Why not just make a window quilt?

AC_Hacker 05-07-12 07:25 PM

A window film update...

I have had the Gilla window film on a south facing window for about 2 years, the film has provided relief from intense summer sun and radiated heat.

But recently, I have noticed that it is becoming a bit 'milky'... I'm not sure if it is the glue or the film itself.

For the price they charge for the stuff, I would think it would last longer.

I am now looking for another solution.


lucerne96 05-07-12 08:02 PM

Best solution to reduce heat gain:

Install a louvered shutter or put a roll down blind on the OUTSIDE of the window. Once the light has passed the insulation envelope, its too late, you have heat inside the house. You must think about stopping the heat BEFORE it passes thru the insulation envelope.

You could also use a pergola or plant a deciduous tree!

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