Can You Put Window Film on Low-E Glass? Exploring the Possibilities

Low-E (low emissivity) glass is a popular choice for energy-efficient windows due to its ability to reflect heat while allowing light to pass through. However, if you’re considering adding window film to your low-E glass windows, you might be wondering if it’s possible and what implications it may have. In this article, we’ll delve into the topic of window film on low-E glass, exploring its feasibility, benefits, and considerations.

Understanding Low-E Glass

Before discussing the compatibility of window film with low-E glass, it’s essential to understand what low-E glass is and how it works. Low-E glass is coated with a microscopically thin layer of metallic oxides, such as silver or tin. This coating helps to reflect infrared heat while allowing visible light to pass through, making it an energy-efficient option for windows.

Can You Put Window Film on Low E Glass
Can You Put Window Film on Low E Glass

Can You Put Window Film on Low-E Glass?

The compatibility of window film with low-E glass depends on the type of low-E coating used on the glass. There are two main types of low-E glass coatings: hard-coat and soft-coat.

Hard-Coat Low-E Glass: Also known as pyrolytic or “hard-coat” low-E glass, this type of coating is applied during the glass manufacturing process. Hard-coat low-E glass is more durable and less susceptible to damage. It is generally safe to apply window film on hard-coat low-E glass as long as the film is compatible with the glass surface.

Soft-Coat Low-E Glass: Soft-coat low-E glass, also called sputtered or “soft-coat” low-E glass, has a thin metallic coating applied after the glass is manufactured. This coating is delicate and susceptible to damage. Applying window film directly to soft-coat low-E glass can damage or compromise the coating, affecting its energy-efficient properties. It is generally not recommended to install window film on soft-coat low-E glass.

To determine the type of low-E glass coating on your windows, you can consult the window manufacturer or a professional installer. They can provide information regarding the specific type of low-E glass you have and advise on whether it is suitable for window film application.

Benefits of Window Film on Low-E Glass

If your low-E glass is compatible with window film, there are several advantages to consider:

Enhanced Energy Efficiency: While low-E glass already offers energy-efficient properties, certain types of window film can further improve thermal insulation, reducing heat transfer and improving energy efficiency.

Glare Reduction: Window film can help reduce glare from sunlight, creating a more comfortable indoor environment without compromising the benefits of low-E glass.

UV Protection: Some window films are designed to block harmful UV rays, which can fade furnishings and pose risks to human health. Adding window film on top of low-E glass can provide an additional layer of UV protection.

Privacy and Aesthetics: Window film offers various options for privacy and aesthetics, allowing you to customize the appearance of your windows while maintaining the benefits of low-E glass.

Considerations and Professional Installation

Before proceeding with the installation of window film on low-E glass, there are a few important considerations:

Warranty and Manufacturer Approval: Applying window film to low-E glass may void the warranty provided by the window manufacturer. It’s crucial to check the warranty terms and seek manufacturer approval, if necessary, to avoid any issues.

Professional Installation: To ensure proper installation and avoid damage to the low-E coating or glass, it is highly recommended to have window film installed by a professional. They have the expertise and knowledge to assess compatibility, select appropriate films, and apply them correctly.

Film Selection: Not all window films are suitable for low-E glass. Consult with a professional to select a film that is specifically designed for use on low-E glass and compatible with its properties.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to adding window film to low-E glass, it is essential to determine the type of low-E coating on your windows. Hard-coat low-E glass generally allows for the application of window film, while soft-coat low-E glass is more delicate and should not be tinted. Window film on low-E glass can enhance energy efficiency, reduce glare, provide UV protection, and offer privacy and aesthetic customization.

However, it’s crucial to consider warranty implications, seek manufacturer approval if required, and have professional installation to ensure compatibility and avoid damage. Consulting with experts in the field will help you make informed decisions and achieve the desired benefits while maintaining the integrity of your low-E glass windows.

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