Can Window Film be Used on Low E Windows?
Low-emittance (or Low-E) windows are quickly becoming the standard for energy efficiency in today’s homes and buildings. Low-E glass helps reduce energy costs and harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays while still allowing plenty of natural light. But can window film make Low-E windows even better? The answer is yes!
Keep reading to learn what Low-E windows are, how they work, and why Madico window film is an ideal solution for Low-E window problems – adding many benefits that turn your windows into a powerhouse of protection.
What Are Low-E Windows?
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, colorless 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 glass coatings are applied to minimize the amount of longwave infrared light (or heat) that can radiate through a window, improving its insulation properties. Radiating energy loss is a leading cause of heat transfer through all windows.
There are two types of Low-E glass coatings:
- Passive Low-E coating maximizes solar heat gain into a home or building to create the effect of “passive” heating, reducing the need for artificial heating sources (such as furnaces, heat pumps, space heaters, etc.).
- Solar control Low-E coating limits the amount of solar heat that passes into a home or building to keep the interior cooler, reducing energy consumption related to air conditioning, fans, and other cooling methods.
Benefits of Low-E Windows
Reduces Energy Costs More Than Clear Glass
Low-E glass is more expensive than regular glass but can save a great deal of money on utility bills, making it an investment that pays off over time. By reducing the amount of heat loss in your customer’s home or building, Low E windows can help save money on heating costs during winter months as well.
Reduces UV Light Transmission
Low-E glass helps reduce the UV rays entering a home or building. UV rays contribute to fading of fabrics over time and can leave you sunburned after too much exposure. Reducing UV rays with Low-E windows helps save your customer’s furniture, flooring, draperies, and more from fading and sun damage.
Allows in Natural Light
Low-E windows will reduce visible light slightly when compared to a clear glass pane. But there should still be plenty of natural light to brighten your customer’s home or building!
How Does Window Film Help?
Applying Madico solar control window films to Low-E windows makes a good product even better, providing your customer with:
- Superior heat reduction over Low-E windows and standard windows
- Greater than 99% UV blocking
- Increased fade protection
- Reduced glare from overly bright windows
Applying Madico solar control window films to Low-E windows also helps fix many common Low-E window problems. For instance, some Low-E windows can allow too much heat to enter, allow too much visible light (creating glare), or only block a portion of UV light. It’s easy to solve these issues by applying Madico window film, which can reduce 86% of the sun’s heat and blocks 99% of damaging UV rays.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Window Film
Whether you should consider tinting Low-E windows and how much you would benefit comes down to three factors: the type of Low-E coating, the location of the Low-E coating within the window, and the amount of solar heat gain reduction or heat loss reduction desired.
Type 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 lite that is closest to the sun, which usually is the second surface.
Choosing the Right Film
Choosing the best Madico solar control window film depends on the amount of solar heat gain reduction or heat loss reduction desired. Madico offers many shades and colors of films, all designed to perfect your windows. From silver to bronze to grey, these films enhance existing windows to make your customer’s home or building more comfortable by reducing glare, blocking UV light, and offering superior heat reduction over Low-E windows and standard windows alone.
Get the Glass Specifics
When in doubt, ask the glass company or window manufacturer to send specific information about the Low-E glass in question, so you can help your customer make the best decision. Madico is here to help, too! Contact your local sales representative or Madico Technical Services for prompt assistance.
Partner With Madico Today
For more than a century, Madico has set the standard for producing world-class, high-quality film products. Today, Madico is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of window film, providing specialty solutions for the automotive, architectural, healthcare, aerospace, and transportation industries.
To learn more about becoming a Madico dealer, visit www.madico.com.
We also invite you to visit Madico U, your one-stop resource for answers to common questions about Madico products, how-to videos, and articles to help build your window film business through improved sales, marketing, and technical expertise.