Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
EXTERIORS of buildings
ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ATTIC CONDENSATION CAUSE & CURE
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BRICK VENEER WALL LOOSE, BULGED
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DECK COLLAPSE Case Study
DECK FINISHES COATINGS PRESERVATIVES
DECK FLASHING LEAKS, ROT Case Study
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DRYWELLS, FRENCH DRAINS for FLAT SITES
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
FIBERGLASS INSULATION MOLD
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
HEAT TAPES & CABLES for ROOF ICE DAMS
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD PAINT REMOVAL ALTERNATIVES
LEAD PAINT REMOVAL TROUBLES
LEAD PIPES in BUILDINGS
LEAD in ROOFING, EFFECTS
LEAD TEST KIT for HOME USE
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT ANALYSIS, DIAGNOSTIC USES
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PORCHES & Sunrooms
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
SHEATHING, GYPSUM BOARD
FIBERBOARD SHEATHING, Celotex Homasote & Other
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
SIDING, ASBESTOS CEMENT
SIDING ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLES on WALLS
SIDING ASPHALT SHINGLE or SHEET
SIDING DAMAGE by SPLASHBACK
SIDING EIFS & STUCCO
SIDING, FIBER CEMENT
SIDING, WOOD PRODUCT CHOICES
SIDING, WOOD INSTALLATION
SIDING WOOD, FAILURES OVER FOAM BOARD
SIDING WOOD, FLASHING DETAILS
SIDING WOOD SHINGLE INSTALLATION
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAINS on CONCRETE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS & FINISHES, INTERIOR
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE SURFACE CLEANING METHODS
STONE VENEER WALLS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION
STUCCO PAINT FAILURES
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
THERMAL EXPANSION CRACKS in BRICK
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL SIDING or WINDOW PLASTIC ODORS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WALL FINISHES INTERIOR
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WIND WASHING INSULATION at EAVES
WINDOWS & DOORS
Best Practices Guide for Windows & Doors:
CLIMATE, WINDOW CHOICES FOR
CONDENSATION on WINDOWS & SKYLIGHTS
Doors, Exterior, Energy Efficiency Guide
DOOR FLASHING DETAILS
DOORS, ENERGY EFFICIENCY
DOORS, EXTERIOR, Selecting & Installing
GLASS vs HEAT MIRROR SOLAR GAIN/Loss
HURRICANE, WIND, & STORM-Resistant WINDOWS
LOW-E WINDOW GLAZING
LOW-E VS QUAD-GLAZING
LOW-E RETROFIT ADD-ON FILMS
SITE BUILT DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOWS
SKYLIGHTS, Guide to Choosing & Installing
Skylight Condensation Problems
Skylight Design Issues
Skylight Energy Efficiency
Skylight Installation Procedures
SKYLIGHT LEAK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
SKYLIGHT VENTILATION DETAILS
SLIDING GLIDING WINDOW DEFECTS
SLOPED GLAZING DETAILS
SOLAR SHADES & SUNSCREENS
STORM WINDOW INTERIOR
STORM WINDOW PLASTIC CHOICES
STORM WINDOW WEEP HOLES
SUNGAIN, FILMS, LOW-E GLASS
SUNSPACE GLAZING for SUNTANNING
VERTICAL GLAZING DETAILS
VINYL / PVC WINDOW WARPING
WINDOW / DOOR ENERGY EFFICIENT, DOE
WINDOW / DOOR AIR LEAK SEALING HOW TO
WINDOW CERTIFICATION & STANDARDS
WINDOW EFFICIENCY Features & Ratings
WINDOW FLASHING & SEALING Guide
WINDOW GLAZING Based on Climate
WINDOW HARDWARE AGE
Window Installation, Flange-Type
Window Installation, w/ Integral Brickmold
WINDOW LEAKS INTO BASEMENT
Window Materials & Construction
Window Types, Guide
WINDOW TYPES - Photo Guide
Window & Door Sources
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD-OIL COMBINATION HEATERS
WOOD STOVE OPERATION & SAFETY
ZONE VALVES, HEATING
This article describes different types of energy-efficient window glazing products: low-transmission films, low-e glass, coated glass, reflective fiolms, high transmission glass, low emissivity films etc. Window glazing add-on films: this article also discusses sources for window films and coating to control heat gain, heat loss, heat transmission - high-transmission 3M Sungain film. We list and discuss window glazing energy products and answer: what are the differences in function & use among low-transmission films, low-E glass, coated reflective films & high transmission, low emissivity films or reduced-iron-content glass?
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
Also see LOW-E VS QUAD-GLAZING for a comparison of the benefits of Sungain films vs. multiple-glazed windows. For retrofit or "DIY" Low-E window films see LOW-E RETROFIT ADD-ON FILMS. For more up to date information about the performance of films to increase solar collector efficiency, see SOLAR COLLECTOR FILMS.
Sungain Window FIlmSources
I've had little luck [back in 1984] locating quad glazing with Sungain™ film (Solar Age, 2/83, 9/83) locally. Do you have any information on where I can buy quad-glazed glass window units? -- Rick Essman, Carson City NV
High-transmission Sungain film is made by the 3M Company. According to M.J. Johnson of 3M's Energy Control Products, quad-pane and tri-pane units and windows with Sungain film were [by the mid 1980's in the U.S.] available from several manufacturers, and 3M continued to add more of them across North America by 1985.
Sungain is a thin plastic film, discussed in Popular Science Magazine in 1982 and produced by 3M Corporation. Sungain plastic film admits more heat than glass through the same area.
Quad-glazed units (glass only):
Complete windows with quad-pane Sungain glazing
Check with the glazing and window manufacturers for prices and availability.
Window Glazing Energy Products: What are the Differences in Function & Use Among Low-Transmission Films, Low-E glass, Coated Reflective Films & High Transmission, Low Emissivity Films or Reduced-Iron-Content Glass?
Definition & Uses of of Low Transmission Window Films and Low-E Glass
Low-transmission films such as Scotchtint™ were developed to block solar transmission through window glass into the building interior, avoiding un-wanted heat gain in some buildings. Low-transmission, heat reflecting films would not help solar collector efficiency.
Low-E glass, low-emissivity glass, low infrared reflectance glass (these all mean the same thing) produced by Airco Temescal, Berkeley CA, and Guardian Industries, Carelton Michigan, uses a transparent coating that reflects heat. Infrared energy is long-wave energy (longer than visible light), and is in essence, radiant heat. If we reflect radiant heat from a window surface we are reducing the heat that passes through the window.
Practically speaking, in winter indoor heat may be reflected back into the interior, reducing heat loss through low-e glazed windows by radiation loss by 1/3 to 1/2. Of course air bypass leaks in a building can easily overcome the energy savings from special window glazing. See AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION and AIR SEAL STRATEGIES.
In summer, heat from bright sunlight may be reflected back outdoors, reducing the heat transmitted to the building interior. Thus low-e glass or Heat Mirror film coated glass may reduce heating costs in the heating season and cooling costs (by letting in less solar heat) during the cooling season.
Low-e glass, compared with un-treated glass, has a slight bluish color.
Coated plastic reflective films, such as Heat Mirror, produced by Southwall Corp., Palo Alto, CA, also reflect heat as does the low-e glass mentioned above.
Low transmission glazing films such as Heat Mirror (a 2-mil polyester reflective film) and Low-E glass have been installed on airplane windshields to increase pilot protection, comfort, and visibility since World War II. -- op cit. A special advantage on airplanes was the fact that the glass is electrically conductive: sending an electrical current through the glass could be used to remove fogging, frost, or ice.
The Southwall Corporation was formed by the original developers of coated plastic reflective films for these applications, including John Brooks, Sean Wellesley-miller, and physicist Day Chahroudi who had observed low-E and coated windshield technology, working at MIT, adapted the process to produce a transparent insulation leading to a whole industry of special glazing intended for use in solar and energy conservation applications.
Heat mirror film coated glass, compared with un-treated glass, looks about the same.
1. Popular Science Magazine in 1982
2. U-value is the measurement of heat transmission through a material - it's the reciprocal of R-value. R-value is a material's resistance to heat transfer.
Definition & Uses of High Transmission, Low Emissivity Films
The high-transmission, low-emissivity films such as Heat Mirror™ or 3-M's Sungain™ might boost solar collector efficiencies in some applications, particularly high-temperature collectors in cold climates. In this case, the added insulation value of the film might offset the transmission losses. The actual efficiency gains for the solar collector may still not justify the added expense.
As these products were developed for building glazings (windows), their durability in solar collector applications is in question. The effects of high temperatures, thermal cycling, and high UV exposure on the window glazing film had (in the 1980's) only been studied in a preliminary way. 3M informed us that its Sungain film will become brittle at temperatures above 250 degF., prohibiting its use in some solar collector applications.
Reduced-iron-content glass, such as Solakleer, produced by General Glass, International, New Rochelle, NY, also admits more heat than ordinary glass.
For more up to date information about the performance of films to increase solar collector efficiency, see SOLAR COLLECTOR FILMS
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is preceded by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Questions & answers or comments about where to buy & how to use high-transmission Sungain type window films.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References