HI All. Really interesting site y'all have here.
I'm in San Antonio, TX and the backyard of our 2-story house faces west and in the afternoons our A/C has a hard time keeping up with the 100+ degrees scorching the earth. We don't want to drastically reduce the amount of light entering the house, just the heat. So, I've been calling around for estimates to install film on our west-facing windows, about 196 square feet of double pane, "normal-shaped" windows. I'm finding that the prices vary quite a bit for the same products (but I guess that's probably not too weird- most say they'd match/beat other's prices for identical products).
Keeping in mind that our primary goal is heat-reduction without reducing much incoming light, I'd like some opinions (preferably based on personal experience) on these lines of film. These are the options I've found so far:
3M Prestige 70%
Enerlogic 35 or 70 (would likely be 70)
From my limited readings (mostly threads here on TintDude), I understand that breakage is more likely to occur with the higher Solar Absorption rates, but I'm unclear if it's a problem in my region. Also, I'm only filming my west windows, and I believe breakage seems to happen more on east-facing windows (I assume due to more rapid temperature change/expansion going from night into direct morning sunlight?). Please correct me if I am mistaken.
I didn't plan on clearing this with my HOA as I had hoped the desired film won't be very dark or noticeable. However, it seems that if I want to block as much heat as possible while allowing maximum light into the house, I may want a more reflective film, which might be more obvious. Am I correct in this?
Do any of the above films I've listed raise a red flag to anyone here? Are there any that are considerably better or more suited for what I'm wanting to accomplish?
Thanks for your input! I appreciate your cumulative experience and your time! --Lyle