What about low-E or low emissivity coatings on dual-pane windows? We will do our best to answer these questions in this article.
To get started, we will establish that there are single-pane, dual-pane, and even triple-pane windows out there. What does this mean? Let’s begin with the single-pane window. This one is just a monolithic piece of glass with indoor air on one side and outdoor air on the outside. – nothing else. There is just one piece of glass.
Dual-pane window refers to a piece of glass on the outside and a piece of glass on the inside. There is about an inch or ½ inch between the pieces, and they are sealed around the edge. In many cases, argon or krypton gas is pumped in this space to keep moisture out. That does good things for insulating your home, and it also helps keep noise out. Most windows today, by code, have to be dual pane.
We currently do not install window film on triple-pane windows, but the good news is that, if you live in the United States, you probably do not have them. They are very rare here in the US.
So, if you have a newer home, let’s say from the year 2000 or newer, it is highly likely that you’ll have dual-pane windows. There is also a high chance that you may have a low-E or low-emissivity coating that is added to one of those glass surfaces, which helps insulate the window.
Understanding the Difference Between Surfaces
You can still apply window film to increase the performance of these windows. But your window film vendor must understand the difference between the surfaces that the coating is applied to. You also want to make sure that the film is compatible with those types of glass and those types of coatings.
Almost all manufacturers, including the manufacturer that Campbell is partnered with, 3M, have warranties that will cover the glass and the window film replacement should the window ever break. It is extremely rare that a window will ever break. This is the result of applying the correct window film and under the correct conditions.
Our company installs hundreds of thousands of square feet of window film every year, and we don’t have any glass breakage claims from this last year at all. Occasionally, a window will break because there is an inclusion on the side of the glass or something that’s already in the glass that turns it into a ticking time bomb. But it is extremely rare.
The Truth About Window Film and Dual-Pane Windows
There is a lot of talk out there claiming that window film is going to break your windows, or it is going to build up a lot of heat between the panes of glass. If you’re applying the wrong film, then it might happen. Your vendor should know the difference between a dual-pane safe film and a non-dual-pane safe film. They should also have metering to use on the glass to see which surface the low-E coating is on – this could be on any of the surfaces of the dual-pane window.
There are warranties in place from major manufacturers that will cover the glass and the seal, as well as the replacement value of the glass and the reinstallation of window film. We have them for residential and commercial buildings. Your window film vendor should be able to give you a lot of information about the type of film, how safe it is for dual-pane, whether or not you have low-E coatings on, which surface that coating exists on, and the warranty for that window.
So, if you are considering purchasing window film for your home because you have too much heat or you’re concerned about fading, or perhaps you have a lot of glare because you have a lot of glass and you feel like you need to wear sunglasses inside, you do not need to shy away from window film because it might just be one of the best solutions you could possibly have. You don’t have to block off your view during the day. Window films are virtually invisible and they do a fantastic job of increasing the performance.
A couple of years ago, we got really advanced coatings, so window films have made huge leaps forward. In 2013, experts would talk about heat building between the panels of glass and a series of other inconveniences that we don’t have to worry about anymore.
Our recommendation to you is that, if you’re looking to have your windows tinted, but you’re concerned about dual pane or whether or not you have Low-e coatings and on which surface they are and if it’s safe for your glass or not, reach out to a well-known reputable window film contractor and make sure that they are working with (and they probably will if they’re very well established) one of the major manufacturers of window film.
The combination of an excellent manufacturer that is going to back the warranty and a contractor that really knows what he’s talking about is an excellent combination. Call Campbell Corporation today for more information about our window films or to schedule a consultation and receive an estimate.