Window Films Enhance Low E Windows
Window films enhance Low E windows in a number of ways. They can be safely applied to these types of windows with no worries of damaging seals or fracturing of glass. Learn what Low-E windows are, how they work and why window film is an excellent cost-effective solution for enhancing all window types.
What Are Low-E Windows?
Low-emittance (or Low-E) windows are quickly becoming the standard for energy efficiency in today’s homes and buildings. What is Low E? Emissivity is the measure of a material’s ability to radiate energy and Low-E stands for low emissivity. Low-E windows have a thin, colourless metallic coating applied to the window’s surface to improve energy efficiency. When we say thin, we mean very thin – even thinner than human hair. Low-E coatings are applied to minimize the amount of longwave infrared light (or heat) that can radiate through a window, improving its insulation properties.
There are two types of Low-E glass coatings:
- Passive Low-E coatings maximize solar heat gain into a home or building to create the effect of passive heating. This reduces the need for artificial heating sources such as furnaces, heat pumps, space heaters, etc.
- Solar control Low-E coatings limits the amount of solar heat that passes into a home or building to keep the interior cooler. This reduces energy consumption related to air conditioning, fans and other cooling methods.
How Does Window Film Help?
Applying window film to Low-E windows helps make a good product even better by offering benefits such as:
- Reducing solar heat gain
- Eliminating 99.9% of UV rays
- Reducing solar glare
- Increasing fade protection
- Enhancing daytime views
- Providing additional earthquake protection 24/7
- Increasing comfort levels – year round
Applying window film to Low-E windows fixes many common problems that these windows present. For instance, some Low-E windows allow too much heat and glare to enter or only block a portion of UV light. Low E windows also trap heat and allow the constant bombardment of IR rays to pour into your home or business which increases room temperatures. Window film fixes this and offers many more additional benefits.
Things to Consider
When considering tinting Low-E windows and how much you would benefit from doing this comes down to three factors. The type of Low-E coating you have, the location of the Low-E coating within the window and the amount of solar heat gain or heat loss reduction you ultimately desire.
Types of Low-E Surface
There are two types of Low-E coatings on glass. The first type is a conductive coating that is put on the glass as it’s being made. It offers some heat loss reduction but does very little to reduce heat gain into a home or building.
The second type is a more complex system of multiple layers of metals and conductive coatings deposited on the glass after it’s made. This type of Low-E glass provides heat gain reductions of 30-50% in addition to reducing heat loss.
Location of the Low-E Surface
Typical windows are double-pane insulating units (IGU). There are four potential surfaces on which Low-E coatings are used: the first (#1) surface faces outside, the second (#2) and third (#3) surfaces face each other within the IGU and are separated by a spacer (creating an insulating space), and the fourth (#4) surface faces directly inside. Passive Low-E coatings function best on the third or fourth surface, which is furthest away from the sun. Solar control Low-E coatings function best on the second surface.
Choosing the Right Film
Choosing the right window film depends on many factors. Window films are available in many shades and colours such as clear, reflective and non-reflective to complete black out. They are specifically designed for today’s types of windows and can be safely installed on Low E, dual pane windows. Contact us today to learn which window film solution is best for your home or business.