June 11, 2008

Reducing Carbon Footprint?

In an effort to be conservationally correct, not to mention lowering our energy costs, we’re attempting to install Gila Window Film on all of our West facing windows. I made the first attempt alone, on a kitchen window, after watching the video on “repeat” for, oh, maybe a dozen showings. I hoped I had it, hoped knowing the routine would make the job a success. Well… not.
First of all, the stuff is hard to cut, at least with the non-sharp scissors I had readily available. Working with only 2 hands, I had a tough time spraying both sides without dropping the sheet I’d finally managed to cut. And once the cover film was removed, the sticky backing kept curling up and sticking to itself or to me. Argh! I felt like I was working with flypaper, and I was the fly.
Finally got it straightened out and stuck on the window, where it belonged. The smoothing out with a squeegee worked fairly well. Not too much problem with bubbles. Of course, the places where it had stuck had a few wrinkles, and that shows a bit. The next problem was trimming the edges. The video instructions make it sound easy to use the blade and template provided to cut the film 1/16 inch from all edges. Harder than it sounds, believe me, especially using the tiny blade provided, which didn’t cut within the template worth a flip.
So, I finally resorted to a utility knife, which worked fairly well. The kitchen window, fortunately, is small, so doing one side by myself, while difficult, wasn’t totally impossible. (The photos show left side of windows with film, right side without.)
Last night, with the kitchen window behind me, I enlisted Steve to help me with one side of a utility room window (larger than the kitchen one by almost twice as much. (After the kitchen experience, I thought a less visible window was a good idea for the bigger trial.) We managed to stick it together in spite of having 4 hands. And the trimming was still a trial. We eventually gave up on the stupid template and just winged it with the utility blade. More bubbles on this one, maybe because Steve decided to take it over, insisting that I was pressing down on the squeegee too hard. However, firm is necessary or the bubbles don’t go away, as we now see.
Anyway, the results look pretty decent. And standing in front of the window panes with the sun shining in, it’s noticeably cooler with the film than without. We have a lot more windows to practice upon. Eventually, I’m sure we’ll get the hang of it. (I just hope it’s before we get to the last window!)

1 comment:

  1. Hey, cool! How much is that stuff? We could really use it in a couple of windows. Also, is it permanent?



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