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In Texas, bigger is always better — and the windows in our homes and businesses are no exception. While all that extra sunlight can be a big bonus, it can also lead to excessive indoor heat gain in the summer and loss in the winter.

While many after-market window films do a better job at blocking light than they do heat, some high-performance window films can easily and effectively do both. The result? More natural light is let in, while more unwanted infrared light (the biggest cause of heat from the sun) is blocked. Here’s what to look for.

Selecting a Film That Blocks Solar Gain

If you’re looking to keep a room light and comfortable, you’ll need to identify which window films can do both. But how? The Florida Solar Energy Center offers some great suggestions for getting started.

For each window film you’re considering, you’ll want to find the visible transmittance (VT) value of the film and divide that by the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). The result is the light to solar gain (LSG) ratio. If your ratio is greater than 1, the film will transmit more light than heat. And the higher the ratio, the better that film will be for hot-climate areas, like Houston. While you might not be able to achieve a ratio above 1.2, that’s still enough to help keep the indoors from getting too hot from sunlight. Part of the trick of getting a good ratio and good solar heat rejection is by finding a film with a low SHGC value — usually below 0.3 to 0.5.

Many LSG films are made of metallic or reflective materials that reflect heat away from the window. In contrast, many non-LSG films work by instead absorbing and then dissipating the heat. Unfortunately, when non-LSG films are installed on the inside of a window, sometimes the heat is instead redirected to the interior of a home or business. And that defeats the purpose of the film. So why not get started right by seeking the advice of a professional you can trust.

Finding a Trusted Installer

With so many window film options to choose from, it’s hard to know how to pick the best window film for your home or business — or the best glass tinting service to install that film. That’s why your first call should be to locally owned and operated Fine Line Glass Tinting for a free consultation. With 30-plus years of industry experience and countless repeat clients, Fine Line Glass Tinting has the experience you can count on and the reputation you can trust. One of our highly trained staff members will be happy to schedule a complimentary in-person evaluation and discuss which of our high-quality products  — like 3M, Veloce Innovation, Huper Optik, and Solyx — has the right LSG ratio to meet your needs.