Can You Put Window Film on the Outside?

Window films are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, when energy efficiency and environmental conscience are vital. They provide several advantages, including increased energy efficiency, UV protection, and improved aesthetics. However, one frequently asked topic is whether it is feasible to place window film on the exterior of your windows. In this essay, we will dig into the complexities of this issue, investigating the practicality, benefits, and downsides of applying outside window film.

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Understanding Window Films

Before we go into the topic of putting window film on the outside of your windows, let’s first define window films and how they operate. Window films are thin, multi-layered sheets of polyester that have been coated with different coatings. These films are intended for use on the inside side of windows, where they fulfill numerous functions:

1. Solar Heat Reduction

Window films are known for their ability to block a significant amount of solar heat, making your living spaces more comfortable and reducing the load on your cooling system.

2. UV Radiation Protection

They offer protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can fade your furniture, flooring, and curtains over time. UV protection helps preserve the beauty of your interiors.

3. Glare Reduction

Window films can reduce glare on screens and other reflective surfaces, improving visibility and comfort indoors.

4. Privacy Enhancement

Some window films are designed to provide privacy during the day, preventing outsiders from peering into your home.

5. Aesthetic Appeal

Window films come in various shades and designs, allowing you to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your windows and home.

Applying Window Film on the Exterior: Is It Feasible?

While window films are traditionally applied to the interior side of windows, there may be situations where applying them on the exterior could be considered. However, it’s essential to understand that exterior application presents several challenges and considerations:

1. Weather Durability

Exterior window films must withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow, and UV exposure. Not all window films are designed for such extreme conditions, so you must choose a product specifically rated for outdoor use.

2. Professional Installation

Installing exterior window film is considerably more complex than interior installation. It often requires professional expertise to ensure a secure and long-lasting application.

3. Aesthetics

Exterior window films may not offer the same aesthetic choices as interior films. They are typically clear or lightly tinted to avoid altering the appearance of your windows from the outside.

4. Limited Heat Reduction

Exterior films may not be as effective in reducing solar heat gain as their interior counterparts because they are exposed to the elements. This reduced performance could impact energy savings.

Advantages of Exterior Window Film

Despite the challenges, there are situations where applying window film on the outside can be advantageous:

1. Enhanced Privacy

Exterior films can provide enhanced privacy during the day without obstructing your view from the inside.

2. Heat Reflection

Some exterior films are designed to reflect heat away from your windows, offering superior solar heat rejection.

3. UV Protection

Exterior films can offer UV protection from both sides of the glass, providing enhanced preservation for your interiors.


In conclusion, while it is possible to put window film on the outside, it’s essential to consider the challenges and limitations associated with this approach. Exterior films must be weather-resistant, professionally installed, and may have limited aesthetic options. However, they can offer benefits such as enhanced privacy, heat reflection, and dual-sided UV protection. Before deciding on exterior window film, consult with a professional to determine if it’s the right choice for your specific needs.


Can I install exterior window film myself?

While it’s technically possible, we highly recommend professional installation for exterior window film to ensure it withstands outdoor conditions and performs optimally.

Will exterior window film affect my view from the inside?

Most exterior films are designed to be minimally intrusive to your view from the inside, providing enhanced privacy without compromising your outlook.

Are there special cleaning requirements for exterior window film?

Exterior films may require more frequent cleaning due to exposure to outdoor elements. Use a mild soapy solution and a soft cloth to clean them.

Can exterior window film be removed easily?

Removing exterior window film can be more challenging than interior film, and it may leave residue. Professional removal is recommended.

How long does exterior window film typically last?

The lifespan of exterior window film can vary depending on the product and local weather conditions. High-quality films can last 10-15 years or more with proper maintenance.

In this article, we’ve explored the concept of applying window film on the exterior of your windows. While it presents unique challenges, it can offer benefits such as enhanced privacy and heat reflection. However, it’s crucial to consider weather durability and professional installation for a successful outcome.

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