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The Right Film for the Tropics

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We're building a house and at first I was thinking of purchasing the windows (single glass) locally and then applying a film that would minimize the heat gain from the west-facing windows. Eventually after some research I'm now in the option of just ordering the whole sets of custom windows from the States (double pane) and shipping them here. The windows will be using e-glass. After reading a few threads here I'm a bit confused as to the effectiveness of e-glass in a hot climate;There were some post as to why windows in Florida are using e-glass. It's to my understanding that different e-glass have different characteristics so you can get an e-glass with low solar gain. Will films like Vkool and Enerlogic give off the same protection from the sun in order to minimize the load on the air conditioners? Which film is recommended the best for application in the tropics? I don't care much for the tint and would rather that it's as clear as possible but a light tint is acceptable too.

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Guest filmslayer

when you go with dual pane it will be your only option and yes it is directional do to how their constructed . you named some good films in your first post , i tint in Florida , if i were you i would look into what we call a dual reflective film like Llumars DR25 ...

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i'm sorry but i feel like i'm not understanding something from what you guys have posted. i should go for tinted films? so a clear film is not going to work? i thought the IR is the heat part of the spectrum and that it's what's being blocked out by the film. does the tint equate protection from the IR?

why does a single glass opens more options for what film to use? how does having one glass or two change that?

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Guest filmslayer

there are more educated people that can answer that better than i can , hopefully they will post soon .... what i can tell you from tinting in FL for almost 18yrs. is with dual pane windows your film choice is greatly diminished because of their construction ... and the lighter the film the less TSER's your going to find . you might want to look at homes (neighbors, friends ) that have been filmed and ask them what they think or would do different .... west facing in the tropics is going to be a bear , they are here and take a beating from the sun .... there is 3 parts that make up heat from the sun only one is IR ...

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Low E can work well its going to depend which surface the low e coating is on.

The window has four surfaces if dual pane. Exterior 1 [ 2 3 ] 4 Interior (The "[" is a pane of glass)

If the low E coating is on surface 2 it is more friendly to window film and helps reduce heat exiting. Very helpful in cool climates. If the coating is on surface 3 it is not as friendly to window film (glass breakage threats). If on surface 3 it helps reduce heat entering through the window into the home.

You can get pretty darn good results from Low E squared glass. Performance in the 60% TSER range and 85% UV blocked. That being said, combine the two with window film and you have a bitchin' setup.

You could go for standard dual pane glass and have options for a wider variety of window films and get just as good if not better performance at a lower cost in most cases.

If it were my place I'd probably get nice dual pane commercial thickness (1/4") windows and install a high end 4mil solar safety film. Is that overkill? Hell yes

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Peachy, I was writing when I saw more questions pop up.

Best bet is to put priorities in order.

Heat rejection, glare control, UV protection, natural look etc... put them all in order of whats most important to you and it helps us suggest the best product for you.

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