3M Thinsulate Climate Control Window Films



At a Glance

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Reduce Carbon Footprint
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Reduce Heating Bills
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Like adding an extra pane of glass
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Nearly Invisible
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Warrantied by 3M

3M Company holds the original window film patent dating back to 1966. Since then, window film has evolved significantly in appearance and function thanks to technological advancements. In 2016, 3M introduced Thinsulate Climate Control Window Film, a nearly invisible window film that keeps out the sun’s heat in the summer and retains manmade heat during the winter. It is almost the equivalent of adding an extra pane of glass at a fraction of the cost of window replacement and without changing the appearance of the house or building.

The 3M-owned brand name, Thinsulate, is appropriate for this innovative film as the term suggests insulation from extreme weather. Just think Thinsulate gloves, scarves, hats, and boots. Its effect on existing windows is significant; especially when you consider that it is approximately the same thickness as a Post-it Note and not an extra piece of glass separated by a ½” air gap. The table below illustrates the impact of Thinsulate Climate Control Window Film to the U-Value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of standard clear glass window units:


U-Value Before U-Value After Improvement SHGC Before SHGC After Improvement
Single Pane (1/4") 1.03 0.62 40% 0.82 0.53 35%
Double Pane(1/4", 1/2" air gap, 1/4") 0.47 0.35 26% 0.70 0.51 27%

The numbers speak for themselves. Adding 3M Thinsulate Climate Control Window Film lowers a window’s SHGC and U-Value considerably, almost to the same extent as replacing single pane glass with double pane, or double pane glass with triple pane.

3M’s Thinsulate Climate Control Window Film presents a compelling value proposition to commercial buildings looking for envelope retrofits to comply with carbon footprint reduction mandates such as New York City’s Local Law 97, Boston’s Building Energy Reduction and Disclosure (BERDO), and Washington’s Clean Energy DC. Window replacement is the typical solution for those commercial decision-makers looking to increase the efficiency of their building’s curtainwall glazing. Yet replacement is expensive, disruptive to tenants, and may have load implications if the building’s structure is unable to withstand the additional weight. Consider the following options:
Cost of window replacement:
$1000 per pane
Cost of window insert:
$1000 per pane
Cost of 3M Thinsulate:
$100 per pane
From an efficiency standpoint, window replacement is usually most effective. Neither inserts (think of a sophisticated storm window) nor window films will offer the same energy performance. And window film will rarely offer the exact same performance as inserts. However, the increased performance of window replacement and inserts comes at a price. 3M Thinsulate represents a 90% savings over window replacement and a 75% savings over window inserts.

cooling season
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Thinsulate Climate Control Window Film is warrantied by 3M Company against premature product failure (bubbling, cracking, crazing, peeling, blistering, delamination, and discoloration). 3M also protects against thermal shock fracture and seal failure for up to 60 months and 40 months, respectively, depending upon the application. (Please see warranty for terms and conditions.)

Key Takeaways

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Reduce Carbon Footprint
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Reduce Heating Bills
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Like adding an extra pane of glass
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Nearly Invisible
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Warrantied by 3M

Learn about our other sun control films.

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