If you want to make your home cooler, the best heat control window films can significantly reduce the degree to which the sun warms your space. Top films on Amazon can block up too 95% of UV rays (or higher!) by providing an extra layer of insulation to block out the sun, and many can also prevent glare. Some offer varying degrees of privacy as well. Before you shop, consider what levels of heat control and privacy you'd like, and think about how much natural light you're willing to sacrifice in the name of cooling your space.
Window films with a tint or frost can let in some natural light while providing some privacy and heat control. One-way privacy films block you from sight during the day, but allow you to look outside. They also block heat, though it's worth noting that the privacy features don't work after dark. Some window films are even decorative and can enhance your windows with an attractive pattern.
Most films either adhere by using either an adhesive or static cling. Both types are effective, but static cling films are easier to remove and reapply, and they don't leave behind any messy residue. However, they may pee in intense heat. Adhesive film is a more heavy-duty option and ideal for windows that see a lot of moisture or extreme temperatures, such as bathroom windows. When using adhesive film, keep in mind that removal and repositioning during installation can be difficult. Window film comes in a variety of sizes that can be cut to fit your windows, so try to choose the film closest to your window size to reduce the amount of trimming you’ll have to do.
Scroll on for my top picks for the best heat control window films to upgrade your windows, cool down your space, and save on energy costs.
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1. A One-Way Window Film That Controls Heat
- Application Type: Adhesive
- Sizes: 36 inches x 15 feet, 36 inches x 100 feet
This privacy mirror window film installs via adhesive to provide permanent heat control and protection. When applied, this mirrored film blocks up to 79% of total solar energy, so say goodbye to excessive heat in your sunniest rooms! It also blocks up to 99% of UV rays to help protect your skin from harmful rays and even prevent your furniture from fading. The film even blocks glare up to 82%, making this film a true lifesaver for those who spend time in overly sunny homes.
This window film has a mirrored appearance, which provides daytime privacy preventing others from seeing inside your home while still allowing you to take in the view. Don't get too comfortable with that privacy, though — at night, if you have the lights on, people will be able to see inside.
This Gila window film comes in two, three, or four-packs and is available in two different sizes. You can cut it to fit virtually any window in your home.
According to a fan: "First of all, this window film is a life-saver! I work from home, and my office happens to have three large west-facing windows that receive very intense afternoon and evening sun rays. For this reason alone, the room would be at least 10F higher than even the hallway connecting to it. [...] I tried everything before this product. I was dialing the A/C back, buying a separate window A/C unit for just this room, putting a large thick sheet up to block the light out. The A/C solution cooled the room, but at a high cost. The sheet never worked. Then I found out about reflective window films. [...] I am here to report that these mirror-coated window films are indeed the REAL DEAL! My office is now at the same temperature as the rest of my house! I've had to turn down my A/C unit because this room can get a little cool at times. And the film even lets in plenty of natural light still, just minus the heat. It is really just astounding how well these babies work!"
2. An Iridescent Window Film That Controls Heat
- Application Type: Static Cling
- Sizes: 17.5 x 78.7 inches, 17.5 x 118.1 inches, 23.6 x 78.7 inches, 35.4 x 70.8 inches, 35.4 x 78.7 inches, 35.4 x 157.4
If you want a more decorative look, this Rabbitgoo window privacy film is a great option. The window film has a beautifully shimmery rainbow effect that adds style to your panes, while simultaneously giving you partial privacy to prevent passersby from peering inside. You can place it on glass windows or even glass doors. Best of all, it reduces glare, blocks 99% of UVB rays, and prevents 84% of UVA rays from entering your home. Amazon reviewers report that it does a great job of cooling down their spaces.
Application and removal should be super easy, since the film attaches via static cling and doesn't require the use of glues or adhesives. You can buy it in a variety of different sizes.
According to a fan: "This is awesome! Beautiful when the light hits it ... like a rainbow of color. It really does block the hot sun and keeps our backroom cooler as we have east-west exposure. Easy to put up. Took me about 30 mins.[...] I can see out slightly, which is fine, but hard to see in."
3. A Frosted Window Film That Controls Heat
- Application Type: Static Cling
- Sizes: 17.7 x 78.7 inches, 17.7 x 118.1 inches, 35.5 x 78.7 inches, 35.5 x 118.1 inches
This frosted window film from Coavas gives your home a chic look while adding a layer of privacy — and blocking out heat, of course. According to the manufacturer, it provides heat insulation in the summer and heat preservation in the winter to help lower your energy costs. This static cling film blocks hot sunlight, including up to 96% of harmful UV rays. But that's not all it can do — the frosted tint prevents the neighbors from peering into your home, making it easy to enjoy some glare-free sunlight with the blinds or curtains wide open.
The window film attaches via static cling, which means installation is easy and you can adjust or remove the film any time you want. It's available in three different tints: Champagne Frosted, Pure Frosted, and White frosted, so pick the one that best matches your space. It comes in four different sizes.
According to a fan: "I installed this on my windows above my porch doors, and they came out great. They provide a nice even light to come in and keep the temp down when the sun is shining. Very easy to install, and it is a high-quality product."