I decided to take the plunge after reading an article about a member who had purchased upgraded windows on his RV to filter out heat & UV. I got to thinking and I figured for a fraction of the cost that I could essentially do the same.
I did a little research and settled on some top line material by 3M called Prestige:
Some of my reasons for doing it are:
1) Almost complete (99.9%) reduction in UV rays, which is the largest cause of fading. This will keep the internal fabrics (sofa, cushions, carpet) and any wood looking new for years to come. This will help not only looks, but should keep resale value higher than one with faded fabric.
Also, directly from their webpage: "You can always pull the blinds, but what is the use of having windows if you can't enjoy the view?"
2) Reduction in heat buildup. This will make it easier for the A/C unit to keep the same comfort level at reduced energy usage.
3) A bit more privacy. Mid-afternoon clothing changes can now be done without closing all of the blinds. Also, now I can upgrade the TV and stereo system
4) Security. Yeah, they could probably jimmy the main door easier than breaking a window, but window film really does strengthen the glass and keeps shards from going everywhere in the event of breakage.
I'm using the PR40 material which has the highest solar energy rejection. It also has lower internal reflectivity than glass, which means at night it is easier to see outside rather than seeing a reflection of yourself in the glass.
Anyway, I bought the material on Monday and have been taking my time putting it in this week. I've been getting 1-2 windows done a night after work, in between dinner and before dark. It's really pretty easy to do it yourself, because all of the windows are completely flat. I've done a really nice job and am happy with the results versus paying someone to put it in for me.
Anyway, I should be done with it either tonight or tomorrow. I'll try to snap some pictures of before & after. So far, I'm really happy with the way it is turning out.