The Better Choice Between Low-E Glass and Window Film

Smiling woman in front of a big window with sheer curtains.

For the energy conscious homeowner, how to best protect their home from extremely hot temperatures is a common question. The two most popular choices in helping to keep your home cool during the warmer months are either low-e glass windows or window film, but how do you know which one would be best for your home? 

The Pros and Cons of Low-E Glass

Low-e glass (low-emissive gas) is a window glass that has been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating. This coating creates a surface that reflects heat, while still allowing light to pass through. Low-e glass coatings help to reduce the amount of ultraviolet or UV and infrared light that can pass through the glass.

Low-e glass greatly improves the energy efficiency of your home by letting in light while reflecting the heat outdoors. This reduces your home’s cooling costs by not needing to run the air conditioner as much to keep your home cool.

Low-e glass also helps reduce glare in a room, and also protects your home from damages from hard sun exposure, such as fading and discoloration on fabrics, carpets, photos, paint, and more.

The Pros and Cons of Window Film

Window film is considerably less expensive than choosing to replace all of your windows with e-glass ones. Window tinting can be a good option if you live in a historic home or building which can make finding window replacements to match the originals much more challenging and cost a lot more.

Tinted window film can increase the privacy of your home by making it much more difficult for people passing by to see inside of your home. Window film can also help to reflect some of the heat entering your home, relieving some of the burden from your air conditioner. However, window film does not provide the same energy efficiency as low-e glass and it won’t fix any issues caused by old or damaged window frames and seals.

Another important factor to keep in mind with window film, is that applying window film to your windows may void the glass manufacturing company’s warranty if it still applies. While this won’t void the entire window warranty, just the glass, it’s always a good idea to check with the manufacturer first before applying window film just to make sure you aren’t voiding any part of the warranty.

Which One Should You Choose?

While it really comes down to a personal preference to you, the homeowner, most window replacement experts recommend low-e glass windows because you get the best energy efficiency. If you are looking to save money in the long run, make your home more comfortable, and increase your home’s value, it’s a good idea to consider making the investment to replace your windows. The results you’ll get by replacing the entire window versus just adding window film will be well worth your money. Not only are you addressing the old windows, you’re also increasing the home’s energy efficiency because you’re not just replacing glass-you’re replacing the frame’s weather strip and seal too. For example, a leaky or damaged window frame will still remain a problem even after adding window film, so if you’re in need of window replacement, low-e glass is definitely the better choice out of the two.

If you’re interested in learning more about low-e glass windows and how a window replacement can improve the look and feel of your home, contact your local window professionals at Armorvue Home Exteriors in Cleveland. Our installers have over 75 years of combined experience and we guarantee our products and installation services will exceed your expectations. Contact us today for a virtual appointment to talk about your exterior home improvement plans today!