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Low-E Window Film vs. Low-E Glass Window: Which Is Better?

In Sun Control, Temperature Control by David Brown

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Many home and business owners desire lower energy bills and improved climate control of their space. While low-E glass windows are great for energy efficiency, low-E window film can provide similar energy savings without some of the disadvantages associated with low-E glass.

What Does Low-E Mean?

Low-E is short for low-emissivity, which refers to low thermal emissivity. Emissivity refers to the amount of heat a material emits. All materials absorb, reflect, and emit radiant energy. However, materials efficient at reflecting heat have a much lower emissivity rate than materials that absorb and emit significant amounts of thermal heat.

How Low-E Glass Windows Work

Low-E glass includes a microscopic thin layer of metallic coating that reflects infrared and ultraviolet light. It works while still allowing visible light to enter homes and other buildings. Low-E windows help control energy costs by regulating temperature by redirecting heat back in the direction that it originated.

This means that in the summer, low-E glass will reflect heat outdoors to keep buildings cooler. In the winter, the opposite occurs, and it will reflect heated air back inside to keep buildings warmer.

Low-E glass windows are more expensive than windows with regular glass, but they are popular because they can help building and homeowners save money on utility bills. Therefore, the investment can pay off years down the road. However, Low-E glass may cause unforeseen problems.

Disadvantages of Low-E Glass

First of all, the metal in low-E windows can cause interference with signals from cell phones and other electronic devices. Secondly, the reflective properties of the metal in low-E glass windows can damage nearby surfaces on the exterior. In other words, while the material cools your building by rejecting heat, it also reflects that heat to some surface outside. This reflection is so hot it has been known to melt vinyl siding on nearby buildings. It can also melt pool liners, warp outdoor furniture, and burn up plants and lawns.

Low-E Window Film Works Like Low-E Glass Without the Problems

Low-E window film includes hundreds of thin vinyl layers produced with a patented nanotechnology process but doesn’t typically contain metal. Because of its unique composition, low-E window film delivers the same energy-saving benefits as low-E glass windows yet doesn’t result in the aforementioned problems.

Low-E window film doesn’t interfere with electronic signals. It also will not damage exterior siding, patio furniture, or lawns and gardens.

There are other significant advantages to choosing low-E window film as well. First of all, it’s much more affordable than low-E glass, yielding an ROI sooner. Secondly, it can be applied directly to existing windows, instantly making them much more efficient. Thirdly, window film can be professionally installed much faster and with much less hassle and downtime than window replacement requires.

Want to Learn More About the Benefits of Low-E Window Film?

General Solar Company remains one of the most highly regarded window film companies in the Washington DC area since 1969. In that time, we have built a reputation for professionalism, integrity, and exceptional service. We serve clients in Washington DC, Montgomery County, Rockville and Bethesda, Maryland, and surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment for a free estimate, give us a call today at 301-231-9500 or contact us using this form.

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