Pity the poor window-film industry. Its products can substantially reduce heating and cooling bills, keep furniture from fading and stop glass from shattering in an earthquake. But almost inevitably, consumers think of the stuff as bubbly, tacky and cheap. "If you see a beautiful window, you assume it's the glass. You don't think anything about the film," said Darrell Smith, president of the International Window Film Association, based in Martinsville, Va. "But if you see a window that looks bad, you assume it's got 'some of that film' on it."
Now, though, window film companies think they finally might get an image makeover thanks to a new tax credit - if they act fast.