By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Whether you’re trying to keep your house warm in the winter or cool in the summer, your heating and cooling system is the biggest energy user in your home.

But an invisible shield could help make your home more energy efficient. In this week’s Angie’s List report, what you should know about window film.

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“Installing high-efficiency windows can be a great investment but it’s also expensive and costs thousands of dollars. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, window film is a great alternative,” said Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks.

Solar window film is a thin material applied to window glass which helps filter out a lot of solar energy.

“Window film will be a much better option in terms of improving the performance and matching the performance of a new replacement window, typically a fifth the cost of going through the replacement of those windows,” said window film installer, Kevin Koval.

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Jay Dunbar says, what he spent on window film, he made up within three years, in energy savings.
But he noticed one thing immediately, no more uneven temperatures throughout his house.

“First thing that we noticed, because we had it applied I think it was in late fall, we noticed that when it got cold, all of a sudden our bedroom wasn’t 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, which was very nice,” said Dunbar.

You can install window film yourself, but doing that could void your window warranty. Reputable film installers will replace your window warranty with their own. They’ll also install the film without bubbles, which will prevent cracks or peeling later on. Some will even let you transfer the warranty if you sell your house.

Window film can also help filter out potentially dangerous ultra violet light and even protect your furniture from fading from sunlight.

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