If you’re looking to save money on heating and cooling bills, you’ve probably considered installing solar control window film or low-emissivity (Low-E) glass panes. Both options are designed to help keep the cold out during the winter and keep the heat out in the summer, but the two products function differently and have significantly different advantages. It’s up to you to decide which option is right for your home and understand the benefits that each have, as well as their drawbacks.
Making the comparison
Birmingham solar control film is a thin multilayered film. It can be tinted to match your preferences, whether you would like one subtle shade of protection or a privacy-protecting dark tint. The film is retrofitted to fit the inside surface of a window and works to block ultraviolet rays, regulating heat loss and gain throughout the year. Low-E glass, by comparison, has been treated with an invisible metallic oxide or metal coating. This creates a surface that simultaneously reflects heat while still letting light come through. Both options won’t hinder your ability to see the outside world from within the confines of your home.
Solar window film can be found in home improvement stores or online. It is simple to install and can be applied by just about anyone—although a professional installation is often advisable. The costs associated with solar control film are significantly lower than those associated with Low-E window coating. To perform a do-it-yourself installation using solar window film, the cost can be as low as $40 per window. If you choose to hire someone else to install your solar film, the price is increased to around $100–200 per window. The money spent on the product and installation will be made back fairly quickly, with a standard return on investment (ROI) taking about two to five years.
Installation of Low-E coated windows, by contrast, is a significantly more expensive process for several reasons. First, installing Low-E window coating requires that the entire windowpane be replaced, rather than simply attaching a film to the inside or outside of the existing windowpane. A professionally installed Low-E window can cost as much as $800 to $1500 per window, depending on the size of the window, quality of the coating and product warranty length. The longevity of Low-E windows and solar film as solution to protecting your home are about the same.
Making a smart choice
While both Birmingham solar control film and Low-E coated windows are viable options for regulating indoor temperatures for your home or office, many consumers find that solar film is a much more cost-effective option, offering significant money savings and optional do-it-yourself installation for added convenience. Speak with a contractor at Solar Control Specialists today to discuss your options and receive a quote. Remember, it all comes down to initial investment and long term ROI—which option is going to give your home the best results, for the longest period of time, at the best price?