PART 3: The Right Type of Window Tinting Film
(This will be a 4 part series with Industry Veteran Marcus Billings).
So, which type of window tinting film do they need?
The first step in determining which types of window tinting films to recommend is to ascertain the problem of the client. After they’ve been asked, “How can we help?” they will generally answer one of four ways:
It’s too hot in this area!
I don’t want my furnishings to fade!
All of the above.
Different types of window tinting films are constructed to eliminate these problems and most are designed to help to some extent in all of these areas.
When you enter a home or business, begin by asking them what problems they are experiencing. Maybe it’s the heat of the afternoon sun that’s uncomfortable. It might be the glare keeping them from seeing their television screen. Keep in mind that they are looking for a sympathetic ear. Let them do most of the talking initially. Don’t try to impress them with everything you know about different types of window tinting film. Only ask the questions that are needed to understand their problem. Once they’ve thoroughly described the situation, then you can let them know- “We can fix that!” Assessing the client’s needs completely will allow you to present only the types of window tinting films that best resolve the problem and keep the client from becoming confused. So, let’s look at each problem individually, and in doing so, we’ll identify the specific type of window tinting films that solve these issues.
I’m too hot!
This is the most common complaint you’ll hear. Homes and commercial buildings are often built with little attention paid to the heat gain experienced from the use of large areas of glazing. Many times, the HVAC system has been designed with only the overall square footage of the structure and basic insulation data taken into account. Very often, the solar heat gain from the glazing is totally ignored. This is a huge oversight that has a drastic effect on cooling. Sixty square feet of glass exposed to direct sunlight admits 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour during the summer*. That offsets one ton of air conditioning.
Think about that the next time you’re in the living room of a prospective client that has windows from the floor to the cathedral ceiling overhead. At some point in the day, that room is a cooling nightmare. If the windows face east, the client will tell you, “We can’t bare it in here during the mornings!” If the windows are on the West, afternoons will be the problem. On the south side, they’ll have problems for most of the day. Heat gain created by windows is a huge problem for homes and business.
This is where many types of window tinting films are at their best. With some energy control films rejecting up to 82% of the solar energy that would normally pass through the windows, you can see how effective window film can be at cooling an overheated space and making the occupants more comfortable.
If reducing the heat gain experienced through the glass was the only concern of the potential client, the solution would be easy. You could recommend a dual reflective film in the 5-20% VLT range or even Silver 20% and achieve amazing results. With a commercial client, this may be as far as you have to go. Most commercial property owners want to get the most for their money. They will be the easiest clients to please because saving money on the cooling costs and making their tenants happy is their number one priority. The aesthetics of the film will be a second or third consideration for them. (See Part 2-The Commercial Client)
Occasionally you’ll find a homeowner who wants to reduce the heat levels at any cost, but most residential clients will be far more particular when deciding on a type of window tinting film. Their home has a large area of windows because they like the view and the open look that their windows give them. On the other hand, you’re at their home because the heat gain being experienced from this open look is making part of their home miserable for them. Finding the right balance of performance, aesthetics and price point is the key.
So, what do you show them? After the client has noted to you that heat is their primary problem, let them know that you have types of window tinting films that can eliminate it. Tell them that the best films that you have for heat rejection are these films and tape up a sample of ADR10STR and ADR15N and state that they reject 80% and 75% of the total solar energy respectively. If they haven’t already, most homeowners will now mention that they don’t want the windows to look “too dark”. Agree with them that they are a bit dark and that you have some that are much lighter and still reject large amounts of heat.
Now you can show them the samples that are more in line with a home application. The reason for showing the darkest sample initially is because no matter what sample you show them first, they will think that it is too dark. If you show them mid-range samples (25-40% VLTs) first, they will react in the same manner as if you were showing them the darker samples. The first samples “always” look dark to them. By showing the dark samples first, the mid-range samples will look light by comparison, but will still be effective at reducing heat. You always need someplace to go when you present samples to the client. If you show mid-range samples first, you only have very light film gradients (45%-65%) to move to, and they are not effective at stopping heat. Although any reduction in solar energy transmitted will technically reduce the heat gain, in my experience, the client will not notice the difference unless the total solar energy rejected is 50% or more. And you want them to notice the difference! When they notice the difference, they tell their friends and family, and that brings in more clients.