• FAQs

    Why should I choose 3M Window Film products over other manufacturers?

    No one has more experience with window film than 3M. 3M was issued the very first patent on 3M Window Film in 1966 and today we are the only manufacturer that can produce our own polyesters, adhesives, metals and scratch-resistant coatings. This gives us the quality control and product consistency other manufacturers just can’t match.

    What’s more, we have a core of carefully screened authorized dealers who are trained by 3M to professionally install your 3M Window Film correctly. And 3M Window Film is backed by a warranty that covers 100% of materials and labor. It’s the most comprehensive warranty you can get.

    That, along with 3M’s worldwide reputation as the adhesive experts, means you can rest assured knowing 3M Window Film is safe for your windows, and safe for you.

    How do 3M Low E Window Films work?

    3M Low E Films work much in the same way as the sun control films except that they offer an increased performance against cold weather heat loss. The patented construction of these films enables the metal coating to reflect more of the interior room heat back into the room where it is needed. This improves personal comfort by reducing cold spots near windows and can help save on fuel costs, especially in commercial buildings. These low-e films are also protected with our patented abrasion resistant coating for long-term durability and maintained appearance.

    What is the typical energy payback time for 3M Sun and Energy Control Window Films?

    Simple paybacks will vary depending upon the amount of sunlit glass exposure, the type of film, the type of glass, cost of fuel, cost of application, and other variables. However, we have seen paybacks often range in the 2-5 year period, with some reported to be even less than 6 months. See your 3M authorized 3M Window Film Dealer to analyze the potential energy savings in your commercial property.

    How long does it take 3M Window Films to dry?

    We suggest allowing thirty days for the film to fully dry and cure. During this curing process, it is normal to have small water bubbles and/or a hazy appearance. These will disappear as the film dries; depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as much as 30 (or even 45) days, or as little as a few days. Once dried, 3M Window Films will look great and perform for many years to come.

    How is 3M Window Film applied?

    With the exception of our Do-It-Yourself Window Films available at Home Depot, all 3M Window Films are designed to be professionally installed by skilled, authorized 3M Dealers. Almost all are also designed to be applied to the inside of your glass.

    The first step is to prepare the window area for the application; placing drop cloths on the floor protecting and/or moving furniture where necessary.

    Next, the window glass is cleaned using simple cleaning solutions (often water and ammonia) and razor blade scrapers. Then the film is sprayed with a slip solution (detergent and water) for proper positioning, and applied to the window glass. Using a professional grade squeegee and following proper techniques, the application is completed by removing excess water, trimming the edges, and a final squeegee technique to dry the edges.

    How long do 3M Window Films last?

    3M Window Films are designed and manufactured to last for many years. The exact length of time depends upon the type of 3M Window Film purchased, orientation of the window to which the film is applied, type of glass it is applied to, and other structural and environmental factors. Most 3M Window Films last well beyond their warranty length.

    How do I clean 3M Window Films?

    You should not use any solvents or cleaners on your 3M Window Film products for the first thirty (30) days after installation. After thirty (30) days, you may clean your 3M Window Film using normal household cleaning solutions, including ammonia based products like Windex, using a soft, lint-free cloth or towel. You may also use a squeegee to clean the films. Abrasive products that might scratch or damage the window film should never be used.

    Can I apply 3M Window Films myself?

    With the exception of 3M Do-It-Yourself Window Films available at Home Depot, all 3M Window Films require professional application. Accent Distributing’s network of authorized 3M Window Film Dealers are thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high quality installation for your residential, commercial and automotive window film applications. By requiring that installation is completed only by a 3M Window Film Dealer, we help ensure that our customers will enjoy the benefits of quality 3M Window Films along with the comfort and peace of mind provided by 3M unsurpassed warranty on all of its window film products.

    How do 3M Sun Control Window Films work?

    3M Sun Control Films are designed to reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through window glass by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible reflection) and solar absorption through the glass.

    Typical colored or dyed window films work primarily through increased absorption. The color absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the room. These films are not as effective as reflective window films for reducing heat.

    3M reflective Sun Control Window Films have been precision coated with metals and are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass. These metallized films are range from moderate to excellent in solar performance (heat gain reduction).

    All 3M Sun Control Films are made to be transparent and optically clear. The ultraviolet protection is built into the adhesive system to provide longevity to the film as well as provide UV protection for your home and office furnishings.

    Most 3M Window Films are protected with our abrasion resistant coating that provides long-term durability and maintained appearance.

    What is the warranty for 3M Window Films?

    3M Window Films are warranted to maintain their solar properties without bubbling, peeling, cracking or crazing. Many are warranted against discoloration too. Should the 3M Window Film product used on your commercial, residential or automotive installation prove to be defective, 3M and your authorized 3M dealer will replace the film and provide reapplication labor free of charge.

    3M and its authorized window film dealers also warrant against glass failure due to thermal shock fracture or seal failure (maximum value of $500 per window) caused only as a direct result of the application of 3M Window Films, provided that the 3M window film product is applied to recommended types of glass and that the glass failure is reported to your 3M authorized dealer within the specified time period listed below from the start of the installation:

    • Sixty (60) months coverage against thermal shock fracture.
    • Forty (40) months coverage against seal failure if covered by original window manufacturer.

    Any glass failure covered by this warranty must be reviewed by an authorized 3M dealer prior to repair and only covers film and glass replacement.

    In addition to the warranties mentioned above, 3M also offers the following optional Platinum Warranty Protection for Residential Applications Only:

    • 3M Platinum Warranty — matches the terms and conditions of a residential customer’s existing window manufacturer’s warranty for a mere $.35/square foot.
    • 3M Platinum Select Warranty — matches the terms of the 3M Platinum Warranty but also increases the window replacement value of $500 per window to $1500 per window.

    Both 3M Platinum and 3M Platinum Select warranties allow residential customers continuous coverage on new windows along with the peace of mind that a quality 3M product is protecting their investment. Contact Accent Distributing or your local authorized 3M dealer for more details.

    Do 3M Window Films cause glass to break?

    The application of 3M Window Films will increase the temperature of your sunlit glass, which can increase the stress on the glass edges. The quality of those edges, as well as other determining factors like external and interior shading, the age and history of the glass to which the film is applied, the type of window film used, size and shape of the glass to which the window film is applied, and indoor and outdoor temperatures, all contribute to the potential risk of glass breakage.

    3M’s long history of experience with applying 3M Window Films to different types of glass enables Accent Distributing and our network of highly trained and qualified dealers to make proper commercial and residential window film recommendations to meet your needs and minimize the potential for glass breakage. In addition, 3M supports these recommendations with a 5-year (60-month) glass breakage warranty against thermal shock fracture. Should the glass break within 60 months of application, 3M will replace the glass (maximum $500.00), and your 3M authorized dealer will replace the film.

    Do 3M Window Films cause seal failure when applied to insulated (double pane) windows?

    No, 3M Window Films do not cause seal failure to insulated (double pane) windows. Accent Distributing and its network of highly trained and qualified 3M Window Film dealers have been applying commercial and residential window films to insulated windows for many years with several millions of square feet of window film applied to date.

    When 3M Window Films are applied to the inside pane of an insulated glass unit by a certified 3M dealer, there is some absorption (except in the case of clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which does slightly increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat transmits to the air space, slightly raising the temperature between the insulated layers of the window. However, even a 20 F degree increase (unusual for most films) will result in less than a 3% change in air pressure, well within the 22% change in air pressure which quality manufactured window units are designed and tested to withstand.

    Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials that go into building the insulated glass units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from reputable window manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated units.

    Does the ultraviolet protection provided by 3M Window Films lose its effectiveness over time?

    The ultra violet (UV) protection that we use in our proprietary adhesive system is not indefinite, but we design our window films to maintain high UV protection throughout their lifetime. In fact, 3M recently tested a sample from a window film installation at The Dumbarton House in Washington, DC, and found that the ultraviolet (UV) penetration through the film used on the windows still measured less than 1% more than 10 years after the installation!

    Will 3M Protective Window Films stop my furniture from fading?

    While no product can completely stop fading, 3M Protective Window Films are designed to help reduce the major causes of fading, including ultraviolet light, visible light and solar heat penetration. This protection can help prolong the life of your furniture and other valuable belongings by as much as two to five times depending on the type of 3M Protective Window Film selected. Accent Distributing’s team of highly trained and qualified 3M Window Film dealers can help you choose the type of 3M window film product that best suits your needs and budget.

    Are 3M Safety & Security Window Films are hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, bomb-proof and burglar-proof?

    3M Safety & Security Window Films are NOT hurricane-proof, earthquake-proof, bullet-proof, bomb-proof, or burglar-proof. They ARE, however, designed to make the window glass more shatter-resistant.

    In the event of severe wind from a hurricane or other storm, 3M Safety & Security Window Films may have significant safety and security value. They can reduce the risk of injury from flying shards of broken glass and possibly help prevent debris and water penetration through the window depending on the severity of the storm, the type of glass to which they are applied, framing system used, size and velocity of objects impacting the window, and the like.

    In an earthquake, 3M Safety & Security Window Films can reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of broken glass, and possibly prevent glass from falling out of a home or building. Again, much depends upon the severity of the earthquake, as well as the type of glass to which the window film is applied, framing system used and other factors.

    3M Safety & Security Window Films were originally developed to address international concerns and needs for improved safety and security against terrorist acts or bombings. These films can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury from flying shards of glass due to such events. However, much depends upon the severity of the blast and the proximity of the window glass to the blast, as well as the type of glass to which the window film is applied, framing system used and other factors

    3M Safety & Security Window Films are also a low profile, high performance measure of security in the battle against ‘smash and grab’ crime. The tough, shatter-resistant qualities of these window films can hold window glass together even if a brick or similar object were actually to pass through the glass. The thief must now make a choice. Continue to attack the window, try another window or move on. Time is short, and often they move on. However, if they are determined to gain entry, they will get in. It is generally recommended that property owners have proper alarm systems in place in addition to 3M Safety & Security Window Film in order to provide maximum property protection.

    How do 3M Safety and Security Window Films work?

    3M Safety and Security Window Films are designed to make glass shatter-resistant by holding the glass pieces together when broken.

    Compared to 3M Sun Control Window Films, 3M Safety & Security Window Films are made with thicker polyester and a much thicker, more aggressive adhesive. 3M Ultra Safety & Security Window Films are unique in the industry; they are built using a special micro-layered polyester technology which increases the films’ tear resistance significantly. The impact and tear resistance of Ultra films outperform all other films of similar thickness.

    Why do commercial customers apply 3M Window Films on their buildings?

    Commercial customers purchase quality 3M Window Film products for a wide variety of energy, comfort, safety and security reasons. Among the most common are:

    • Lower heating and cooling operating costs
    • Lower utility demand costs
    • Utility rebates
    • Improved tenant comfort
    • Improved aesthetics, uniform appearance
    • Improved safety and security
    • Extended A/C equipment life
    • Valued alternative to adding more A/C equipment

    Most often, our commercial customers will purchase 3M Window Films for tenant comfort and justify the purchase through energy cost savings.

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