anti-heat window film

A friend's house faces west and it gets so hot in the afternoon that his rather new and just recharged central AC can't keep up with it. Much hotter than other places. Cathedral ceiling.
All I can think of is anti-heat window film. Does this work? Can he do it himself? He's afraid it will look tacky after he does it.
Or he won't be able to see out the window. Does it look as dark as tinted windows on cars do, or are they dark on purpose and the anti-heat part isn't so dark?
Any recommendations for a good brand or where to get it?
Thanks a lot.
Oh, should he stop using his ceiling fan in the summer?
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Depends on what he has for windows. If he has newer low E double windows, film isn't likely to do anything. It may be poor or lack of insulation in the walls facing West. I'm told insulation can easily be added to walls. Check Google.
With a window film kit, all you need is a hair dryer and a steady hand.

www.doitbest.com
Depends. He could try it and see if the light breeze cools him off as well as AC.
He should also check his registers. They might be closed, or the air otherwise blocked by a kinked duct.
He should consider planting a couple trees in front of his house. That will save him money on AC bills, make his home look nicer, and give him a good place to hang a hammock.
Pagan
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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 10 Jul 2005 19:15:27 -0700 "Pagan"

Probably not. The house was built in the 70's or 60's. He has an almost bay window with lots of 12" panes.

He has a little window to the side of his front door and says he can really feel the heat in front of it when the summer sun is shining. Made a curtain for that one, but wants to look out the bay windwo.

Good idea. I relayed all this to him.
Hadn't found it yet when I posteed but also found these. Both sell retail.
http://www.gordonglassusa.com/listing.htm?cd41 This looks good and certainly affordable, and they ship. (I use "shipping" as a search word.) No samples, at least of what he wants.
http://www.concordwindowfilms.com/ also this. You can also buy a sample pack for 10 dollars that includes a ten dollar coupon for any other package of film.
The price seems to be between 33 and 80 dollars for the film, plus shipping. Not a lot if it is pleasing.

Thanks again.
I'm happy to have heard your ideas, and I'm still very interested if someone knows anything bad about this idea.

He'll see this.

They planted a magnolia tree this year, but in front of the bedroom for some reason. :) There's more room on that side and I guess he thought charging the AC would solve the problem.

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windows,
The low E windows, which is what I had installed a couple years ago, are damn impressive. You get all the light, and almost none of the heat. It makes a HUGE difference, especially with large windows.

in
If I recall correctly, www.doitbest.com, which is the Do It Center's retail web site (they have several stores in L.A.) has them significantly cheaper. Whether they're any better, I don't know.

Me too. Other than having plastic over your windows, I really don't see anything too bad. If done with care, it's unlikely they'll be very noticable.

well
will
I just had a brand new central air system installed in my house, and I still planted trees in front, as well has installed ceiling fans, a whole house fan, new windows, storm doors, and I'm not done yet. Next will be insulation under the house, in the walls, and when the new roof goes in within a couple years, new attic insulation, soffit vents, and solar roof vents.
I don't believe cranking up the AC is the answer to anything, and my goal is to use it as little as possible. These things cost a bloody fortune to run, not to mention the wear and tear of pushing it to cool a virtual greenhouse, or the reduced humidity which can irritate the lungs, eyes, and skin, and dry out any fancy wood in the home. (of course, not all of this stuff was done just for energy reasons, but also ascetetic and functional reasons...house is over 60 years old)
Another tree or two would be the cheapest way to help his hot house, after the window film. Heck, even some tall bushes would help.
I'm only harping on this because I'm assuming, with his window film idea, that he's not made of money. I hate to see a guy spend hundreds of dollars feeding an AC unit when he doesn't have to.
Pagan

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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 10 Jul 2005 21:16:13 -0700 "Pagan"

My house is newer, 1979. Most years, I haven't used the AC at all. The summer I moved in, I slept in the basement when it was hot, and didn't go upstairs until the morning, to get fresh clothes.
Then I put in a roof fan. It lowered the temp of the second floor at least 10^F. Turns on by itself, off by itself. Although I do have an override and I turn it off in the fall and spring to use the heat of the day to heat my house for the night.
Strange though. The first motor lasted 5 years. The second, which I ordered from the manufacturer of the fan, about 1. The third, from a local motor store, about 5; the fourth about 2: the current one about 5 so far. Plus another 4 years I can't account for, but I know some lasted 5 or 6 or 7 and others 1 or 2.
Rain hits the roof and bounces through the coarse screen that surrounds the fan, or hits the screen directly. And mist lands on the attic floor, and I guess on the fan motor too. Haven't figured out how to protect the motor without making it overheat while running. But still it's strange how long some last and how little others.
At least the fan motor is replaceable from the inside, and every time I do it faster than before.
That friend has a cathedral ceiling and there isn't much space in his attic (24 inches?)

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meirman wrote:

If I may make a comment or two.
First, the best solution to heat coming in the window from the sun is low-e glass.
Films do work, but not nearly as well. They also have two drawbacks. Even if properly installed they may have problems pealing off, cracking and may be difficult to remove. They also have been known to crack some windows due to the heat stress on the windows.
I am not saying not to use them, but be sure to recognize the potential problems. There are times they are the only economically feasible solution. At the worst they may convince you to replace what you have with low-e after if the existing windows are damaged. :-)
--
Joseph Meehan

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If the rest of the house cools OK, he has an air balance problem. Go to the Natonal Comfort Institute web site. Ask if there is a member in your area who can do air balancing. www.nationalinstitute.com. Putting Freon in is not always the answer.
Stretch
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We are putting film on our west side and north side windows this week, the Gila film is supposed to block 99% of the UV and 70% of the heat while also helping to retain the inside heat during the winter. We have already done two of the four windows in a bay window in our office, the glare reduction is very impressive. I am looking forward to having them all done.
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meirman wrote:

You might consider screens made with 80%-sunblocking black shadecloth. Greenhouse suppliers sell it in wide rolls for about 20 cents/ft^2.
Nick
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In alt.home.repair on Mon, 11 Jul 2005 11:03:08 GMT "Joseph Meehan"

You may, and thanks to you and everyone.

I didn't think to say that these windows are all 12" by 9" panes, I think it is. Together they are big, but no single one is. Could there be enough heat stress to crack a window?

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response, queried:

My understanding is that double/triple paned windows are the ones, and film installers will not to install on "thermopane" windows
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posted:

if its double or triple pane windows, check your window warrenty. Window film will void most multipane window warrenties. My experience has been that films make a marginal difference. and that ceiling fans and a properly balanced cooling system help the most. Best: Don't let the heat in in first place. Awnings, solar screens, trees all work better than the films. Curtains help some, but because they are on the inside still end up heating the room.
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Jmagerl wrote:

Hi, Films do make a difference. But it can crack the glass when done wrong. I have films applied to my West, South facing windows, made difference. My house has lots of windows. Designed like solarioum. Except North side, walls are mostly windows. 3M films applied 10 years ago are still holding. No peeling no fading...... Tony Tony
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