As a homeowner, you try your best to keep energy costs low while still maintaining comfortable temperatures indoors. Heating and air conditioning are expensive, and many builders take these concerns to heart when selecting windows for new homes. Because winters can be bitterly cold in some parts of the country, Low-E (or low emissivity) windows have become increasingly popular.
Low-E windows help keep indoor temperatures stable by directing warmth or cool air back into your home. While these innovative windows are a blessing during the winter and summer seasons, the coating that makes them reflective can cause serious damage to your neighbor’s home as well as any foliage or patio furniture that may be nearby.
Low-E Glass Redirects Solar Energy
Low-E windows have an invisible coating that allows light in but keeps heat out. That sounds wonderful until you realize that the sun’s damaging rays are simply being redirected elsewhere. In many cases, especially in neighborhoods where houses are close together, that energy can take a toll on your neighbor’s vinyl siding. You see, as the earth rotates and the seasons change, so does the sun’s angle. In the spring and fall, we meet hundreds of Midwest homeowners who don’t understand why their siding is melting. Sadly, Low-E windows are often to blame. Those windows can warp vinyl siding and damage decks, grass, exterior furniture, and even friendships.
It’s a phenomenon that’s more common than you think, with the issue making local news across many parts of the country, particularly hitting home in Northeast Ohio. While the window and door manufacturers claim “there is no definitive cause of the phenomenon” homeowners are still left holding the bag paying for the damages and scratching their heads looking for a solution.
Exterior Prestige 40 Window Film to the Rescue
Fortunately, there is a remedy for melting siding and that is to reduce the reflection from your neighbor’s windows. The best way to minimize the reflectivity associated with Low-E windows is to install a window film covering on the outside of the windows, 3MTM Exterior Prestige 40 window film. Vinyl siding begins to warp or melt at 160 degrees, and dark surfaces absorb even more heat. As you saw in the video, while the outside thermometer might not register temperatures in that range, reflected energy is often immeasurably high. Though most non-reflective window film reduces reflectivity to 20 percent, we don’t think that’s good enough. When applied to the outside of your windows, Exterior Prestige 40 reduces reflectivity to just 8 percent, minimizing UV damage.
The trick then becomes approaching your neighbor and pointing out the problem. A perverse yet effective solution we’ve seen quite a bit is offering to pay for your neighbors’ window film installation. Pointing out the benefits of the window film not only for you and your home but the inherent benefits they’ll reap minimizing sun damage to their furnishings and carpet. The benefits certainly outweigh the costs when facing potential vinyl siding replacement.
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Before your Low-E windows damage your neighbor’s property, give our knowledgeable experts a call. They’ll be happy to help!