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2804 Balch Springs Rd Mesquite Texas

Glass Window Tint Film

Can I put window tint film on my insulated glass units?


Putting a WINDOW TINT FILM on your windows to reduce the heat is perfect… UNLESS you have insulated glass windows in your home or business. FYI – Double Pane – Thermal Pane Triple Pane is all INSULATED GLASS UNITS We call them IG’s.




Notice the picture above that shows how it is constructed. The idea is to create an “air space” that will reduce the heat flow from coming in or going out of the house. “Desiccants are made from the naturally occurring mineral, gypsum (Calcium Sulfate), and are available in several varieties designed to solve all types of drying problems.


Now, take a look at the “Insulating Glass” picture to the right. Take note to the “Exterior Lite” and the “#2 Surface”. When Low E units are made the #2 surface will always be the Low E surface and placed accordingly with the Low E toward the outside, ALWAYS. {BTW, Low E glass has a surface coating, not a film and it cannot be touched. Therefore you will not have a Low E mono glass where the Low E surface side is open for touching.}


Now let’s look at this picture:image027


On our #2 surface with the row of xxxxx’s you will see how the Low E Coating reflects the heat of the sun in the Summer. It also reflects the heat back into the house in the Winter.


So, imagine that picture with a tint film on the #4 (refer to insulating glass picture above) Surface. In the summer the heat would be reflected back into the unit and reflect again off the Low E. Yes, some heat will go all the way through. But now, you have heat coming in and the Low E doing what it can to reduce the heat but your film (while trying to keep heat out of your house) will reflect the heat back into the “air space” and it bounces back and forth and causes the temperature to rise in your “air space” and it burns out or softens the poly vinyl sealant and eventually leaks air into the “air space”. Same in the winter but it is far worse in the summer because of the direct sunlight bringing so much heat.




You can test our theory by picking one of the hottest days of the summer. Go out side and touch a window that has had direct sunlight on it for hours. You will probably take your hand off fairly fast due to the heat. Go inside and touch the window where you added the film. It is cooler, but it is hotter than it should be. That extra heat in the “air space” builds up and destroys your IG.


So what do you do. Well, you can call us if you read this too late and you have moisture build up in your IG’s. We can come out, measure and offer you a quote for replacing all your bad IG’s. There are many tricks to taking off the film, but those instructions will have to be in another post. Don’t try taking off the film if you never have or you will still end up calling us because you ended up scratching all your window glass and you want it replaced.



If you have film on your house and your windows have not started “fogging up” yet, we would suggest you put Solar Screens on them. That will protect your IG’s from the heat and your IG’s may last longer even with film on your glass. Solar Screens are the best thing I’ve seen invented for windows since I started working with glass 40 years ago. If you do not buy some from us, buy them from somewhere and get them on your windows. They are both Economically Great for cooling your house and protecting your IG’s and I would believe they would be called perfect for “Going Green”.


For Instance

Glass Tint

IG Change Outs

Notice the picture and see the blue tape on the window panes. This house was built with good insulated window units, but they were clear glass. The folks moved in and this room was “Very Hot” and they called us. There were 91 window panes that had to be pulled out and replaced.


These people may not have worried about a $9,000 invoice to change their windows, but we know people that would not be able to pay for the right fix. If it is not fixed, the problem will show up every month when you pay your electric bill.


UPDATE: 2/23/2013 – I just spent an half hour talking to a 3M representative. All of what is written in this article is true, but becoming out dated in part. Not yet, but in time. 3M knows the problem of destroying IG’s by putting film on insulated units. In fact, where you apply their product on your windows, THEY take over the warranty. Half their films made early come with warnings of not applying to insulated units. And they are working on new products that do not cause damage. The insulated glass manufacture cancels their warranty if you use film, but if you use 3M, they take over the warranty. That’s good to know, I’ve always like and trusted 3M but please, if you use 3M Film, be sure to contact them and make sure it is the new version.


Insulated Glass Saves You Money when they WORK RIGHT

Let us look at it from this angle: Look at your window (average operational window is three feet wide and five or six feet tall). The bottom window glass that slides up and down cost approx. $120.00 or more to replace with a 5 yr warranty not to break seal again (which is revoked if you apply film).


In the Texas Summer the glass gets rightly hot. Without protection, your window has a lifetime possibility of 8 to 12 years. With film added on, maybe 3 or 4 years. This is true pending on the side of the house with the most direct sunlight on it.




We make a living changing out glass and we enjoy our trade. We do not like explaining to customers that their problem could have been avoided. Twenty twenty hind sight is not always perfect. We are not in business to say “We told you so”. We are doing all we can with the new world wide web at our finger tips to help the consumer find better ways to fix things instead of just writing out checks.


We hope this helped and if you came to this page and have read up to here and you have any questions, please email us and let us see if we can help you find an answer.

God Speed and Stay Cool

Old Glazier