How To Stop Window Reflection
Ordinary glass windows reflect only a small portion of the sun's light, allowing most of the beam to pass through unchecked. This allows plenty of welcome visible sunlight into a home or place of business, but it also lets in the unwanted portion of the sunlight spectrum, damaging ultraviolet light, which can discolor floors and lead to faded furniture, and the warming infrared light that heats up interiors and requires the costly use of air conditioning systems. Thus many homeowners and businesses are upgrading to low-E (or low emissivity) windows. These windows have a special coating on their exterior that rejects a large portion of the sun's light, blocking much of the UV and IR light that would otherwise enter the property.
The problem is, the light reflected by low-e windows has to go somewhere. And often it doesn't merely bounce off the treated glass and harmlessly shine elsewhere. Sometimes, low-E windows magnify sunlight into dangerous beams; in fact, concentrated reflected light can melt vinyl siding or artificial turf, damage a vehicle's paint job, or cause other issues due to the extreme heat of the focused light.
Double pane low-E windows can lead to the most severe cases of reflected sunlight causing damage. As the temperature changes throughout the season, the sealed air between the two panes of glass can cause a contraction that leads to concavity on the outside panel. This confluence of reflective surface and concave shape leads to even greater magnification of light, creating an almost laser-like ray of energy that can wreak havoc, melting vinyl siding, scorching grass, and damaging myriad other parts of a property, not to mention posing a serious hazard to people and pets.
Thus while low-E windows are always installed with good intentions (lowered energy costs and reduced carbon emissions, e.g.) they can have an unforeseen deleterious effect on your own property and on the neighborhood.
The good news is that it's easy to stop window reflection from damaging anything simply by applying protective anti-reflective window film to the exterior of low-E windows. This window film stops reflected sunlight from melting vinyl siding, damaging artificial turf grass, or from scorching or melting any other parts of a home or business. The light bouncing off windows treated with anti-glare window film is diffused in myriad directions and no more harmful than everyday natural sunshine.
Anti-reflection window film is easy to install and affordable, and should be considered following any low emissivity window film installation, even in areas where the average temperature is cooler. Even on a cold day, the concentrated light bouncing off a reflective window can be hot enough to do damage; stop that damage before it occurs with anti-glare window film.