Published on January 29th, 2013 | by Henri


Putting tinted film on skylights

Q.   I have some fixed Velux skylights (not low-E) which were originally installed when my house was built in 1988. I have been unable to get an unequivocal answer from any of the companies that make/install window film, nor could a representative from Velux give me a definitive answer. I have seen opinions expressed in print that putting a film (even low-E) on thermal windows could cause a problem with the glass. What would you advise?

A.    You didn’t say why you want to put a film on the glass. Is it to, protect furnishings, reduce glare, reduce heat build-up in summer, or reduce heat loss in winter? All these are valid reasons for having tinted film put on skylights.

Film can also be installed on low-E windows that do not have a filter in them but should not be put on low-E windows with a filter as the glass could get too hot. For those who have low-E windows and are not sure if their windows have a filter, you can put a piece of red construction paper against the glass exposed to the sun. If the red fades within a few days, there is no filter and it’s OK to apply a film.

I don’t know what questions you asked the various people you spoke with but I am not aware of any problem besetting insulated glass with the installation of a tinted film for the reasons mentioned above. I have them myself and have seen no problem. Such installation should be done by a trained person; it is not simple to do and, if not done properly, the film can end up with air bubbles and wrinkles.

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