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


There are generally two reasons homeowners opt to have their windows tinted: for privacy and/or climate control. There are multiple ways to have your windows tinted, as well as multiple different types of products to choose from.

Here is what you need to know about the difference between low e-glass and window film, and how to get professional help with window tint installation.

What Is Low E-Glass?

Low e-glass stands for low emissivity glass. Low emissivity is a type of surface condition designed to emit much lower levels of thermal radiation than other types of window glass. This glass helps reduce or eliminate the amount of harmful UV rays that can come into your home and cause skin damage, furniture fading, and other issues

What Is a Window Film?

Window tinting, or window film, is a thin sheet of vinyl that is applied to your windows externally without having to make any changes to the underlying glass or window structure. There are several types of window films to choose from, ranging in thickness and darkness to allow varying degrees of privacy and climate control, even in individual rooms within your home.

Which Is the Better Choice?

Whether you choose low e-glass or window tinting depends on a number of different factors, such as your budget and whether you are planning to stay in your home for an extended period of time. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider:

  • Low e-glass is an expensive upfront investment, but an investment nonetheless. If you expect to own your home for a significant length of time or are remodeling to sell your home for a greater amount than you paid for it, upgrading to low e-glass windows can be an excellent choice.
  • Window film is economical but tends to be lower in quality. Window film is generally far less expensive to install than low e-glass windows, however, there are a few drawbacks. Window tinting can crack, peel, or flake off over time, giving your windows a grimy look that cannot be cleaned off.
  • Low e-glass is more efficient at climate control than window tinting. While both do an excellent job of providing privacy, window tinting film is simply less effective than low emissivity glass technology at maintaining temperature control.
  • Window tinting is an ideal choice for homeowners that need a solution quickly. Window film can often be applied in a matter of days or even hours while switching over to low E glass involves purchasing completely new windows and having them installed, which can take a week or more.

Get Expert Window Tinting Help

Angi (formerly Angie’s List) is a highly valuable, user-friendly website application and forum that allows homeowners to connect with a variety of professional service providers, including home window tinting, plumbing, HVAC, window replacement, and more.

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