Static Cling Film vs Regular Window Tint

Readers sometimes write in ask about the differences between static cling film and standard window film.  Here is a comparison of the various factors you should consider when making a decision between the two types of window films.

Solar Heat Rejection Performance

Winner: Regular Window Tint

Static cling film is not as reflective as standard adhesive-based window tint.  This causes heat to be absorbed rather than reflected away from inside the house.  After periods of absorbing heat, sooner or later this heat will be transferred into the home as well.

Due to its non-reflective nature, static cling film should not be installed on dual pane windows unlike regular window tint.  This problem is especially troublesome as the standard for windows now are dual-pane construction.

UV Rejection Performance

Winner: Tie

Both types of film are generally block 99% of UV radiation.

Preserving your Window’s View

Winner: Regular Window Tint

The optical clarity of regular window film is much better than the thicker but removeable static cling film.  When installed, regular window tint looks as if there is nothing on the window at all, whereas there will be minor to major optical distortions with static cling films.

Installation and Maintenance

Winner: Tie

The major win for static cling film is that it is removeable; however, there are also negatives with this feature.  Due to its static nature, it is likely to adhere to dust and small debris particles.  When removing and reinstalling, great care needs to be taken to make sure that the film is kept clean before the next install.  Once static cling film is dirty, it is quite hard to get it clean again.

On the other hand, although regular window tint cannot be removed, the installation methodology for both films are nearly the same.  After installation, regular window tint does not need any special maintenance besides avoiding using harsh window cleaner or ammonia based products on it.

Winter Performance

Winner: Static Cling Film

This is where static cling film really shines.  Once removed, the winter sun can help warm up your home.  With regular window tint, the sun will continue to be weakened by the window tint.  Although regular window tint provides some insulation to the windows, this insulation effect is not as substantial.

Comments (2)
  • Custom Tinting

    Relatively good article, however, a few comments do not hold true. Window film can be cleaned with ammonia based cleaners, but, no cleaner should be allowed to puddle at the edges.

    Also, Winter performance it no wholly true. Static cling films CAN be removed, however, the amount of heat gain while the sun is lower in the sky is nominal, you are actually not gaining from it, since you are losing heat through the glass. It also does very little to heat areas that will radiate the heat into the space.(ie. floors, furniture) Couple that with the fact that film provides an insulating value (heat loss reduction can be as high as 10-15%)

    Nice topic, but the facts are a little skewed.

  • Lucette


    I have not been able to find any brand of static-cling window film that is clear (or almost clear) and blocks 99% of UV. They seem to top out at about 90%. Could you please direct me to a brand that is removable, clear, and blocks 99% of UV rays? The less distortion, the better, of course.

    I have single pane windows that are probably more than 40 years old, and that have a few cracks. Could I safely install regular (non-cling) film? I am a renter, so cannot replace windows, do not want to damage them further, and would ideally want to be able to remove film when I move out. Also, film should not be noticably tinted.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!