House Window Tinting Reviews

Should I Use Low-E Glass or Window Film to Block Heat?

If installing new windows isn't a priority, sun-blocking window film or window tint is another option. Compared to low-E windows, the cost of installing tinted film on clear glass is less expensive overall.

David Parke, a sales manager at Custom Sun Control in Marietta, Georgia, says most solar reflective films start at about $6 to $14 per square foot. "For the money, you won't find a window that will give you the same performance as solar film, " he says.

However, installing the reflective film insulation won't address an inefficient window frame, which could account for air leakage in the house.

Heat blocking window film also won't provide the efficiency of the newest triple layer low-E coatings that are sprayed onto the glass at the factory and then cooled to create a bond.

Applying aftermarket films to single-pane glass works to block infrared and ultraviolet light, but it's not a good idea with dual-pane glass because the film is applied to the inside of the window. Because of this, heat energy passing through dual-pane glass is reflected back inside the insulated glass and can cause excessive heat buildup inside the unit, resulting in condensation.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted July 13, 2010.

Have you had an experience with sun-blocking window film or window tint? Are you considering adding some to your windows? Or did you install low-E glass replacement windows to keep the heat out? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.


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