Which Is Better? Window Film or Low-E Glass?
When the beautiful summer sun streams through your windows, your home’s inside temperature rises, leading to increased demands on your air conditioner and increased energy bills. Similarly, in the winter your windows are frequently the area of greatest heat loss, leading to higher heating bills. Among your options for saving energy and increasing the interior comfort of your home are installing high-tech low-E glass, or appling a sun-filtering, heat-reflective film to the window glass.
Which works better? Low-E glass or window film?
Many sellers of new and replacement windows of course advocate replacing your home’s original windows with new windows utilizing newer high-tech “low-E” glass, which also use a low-transmission inert gas such as argon to fill the space between the interior and exterior glass panes.
When making the decision to replace your windows, frequently much of the energy savings actually comes from the replacing of the entire window assembly.
This means that along with the low-emission glass and argon (or other) gas fill, you are getting new weatherstripping and seals, and if your installer does a proper job, the hidden gaps around the window and under the trip will also be properly sealed and caulked, perhaps for the first time.
The downside of new windows is of course the cost. Energy-efficient windows of good quality start at $300-$400 each, and can cost up to $1,000 each – or more.
Count up how many windows you have in your home including large picture windows and patio doors, and you can get a sense of how much of an expense new windows can be, with an ROI that will likely be many years.
Window Film – Economical and Efficient
Beginning at about $8.50 per square foot installed, the cost of retrofitting existing glass with tinted film is far less expensive than purchasing and installing all-new windows, making it an excellent option for an energy-efficiency upgrade to your home that will increase your comfort and decrease your energy costs, without draining your bank account.
Some homeowners have even found that their expensive new low-E windows did not provide quite the protection from excessive solar heat and UV fade protection that they expected, and have had window films also applied to their new windows to boost performance.
Window films are also often the only option available for building owners who either don’t want to change the exterior appearance of their building with new windows, or are prohibited from doing so.
In the case of historic buildings and buildings with unique or custom window configurations, it may be impossible in fact (or prohibitively expensive) to have replacement windows made that will match the originals. Retrofitting existing windows with heat and UV-blocking window films can often be the only cost-effective option available.
Window films can also help increase privacy, and security films can be used to increase the shatter resistance of windows, helping thwart break-in attempts and prevent or recuce the hazards of flying glass in areas prone to storms.
For more information on energy-saving, privacy, and security window films for your home or business, fill out our FREE no-obligation quote form today!