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A Home Owner’s Guide to Tinted Windows

A Home Owner's Guide to Tinted Windows

According to Energy.gov, your windows can impact your residential energy use for heating and cooling by up to 30%.

The first step to combat these losses is sealing your windows against drafts and leaks, but you can also replace them with new energy-efficient windows to help reduce your energy bills.

If a window replacement is a little out of your price range, there’s a cheaper alternative that works just as well. Keep reading to discover more about tinted windows and how they may benefit you.

How Do Tinted Windows Work?

These window upgrades involve implementing an adhesive polyester-based coating to your windows. These coatings effectively turn your windows into sunglasses by reflecting certain light rays while allowing others through.

Window tint blocks different levels of visible light from entering your home, depending on the composition of dyes and metal in the window film.

Unlike sunglasses, this is a one-way effect, so it doesn’t affect the inside of your home by impeding visibility.

Most modern-day windows must meet federal regulations regarding energy efficiency, so they already have low-emissivity coatings to help regulate the internal temperature of your home.

You can apply window film to these windows to enhance the appearance of these windows, but it won’t significantly improve your home’s energy use.

If you have older windows in your home, you can enjoy a dramatic improvement in your energy costs by implementing window tinting.

Types of Window Tint

As electricity prices surge and the threat of global warming becomes increasingly intense, boosting your home’s energy efficiency is a necessity rather than a luxury.

That said, window film can add luxurious appeal to your home, too, depending on the type you choose.  You’ll discover three main window tint options during an online search for ‘home window tint near me‘, namely:

Solar Window Tint

Solar window tinting is moderately thick and absorbs up to 99% of UV rays from the sun. It helps regulate indoor temperatures to maximize comfort, protects your furniture from fading, and reduces glare.

Reduced UV rays can also prevent skin damage from these harmful rays permeating your glass, especially in areas where you spend a lot of time in front of your window, e.g. a home office.

Solar film typically comes in neutral tones, varying from silver to copper.

Decorative Window Film

This thin window film aims to add visual appeal to a room. You can choose from an assortment of shades for this purpose including stained-glass motifs, opaque frosted designs, or etched patterns.

Security Window Film

This thick window film can deter burglars since it holds broken windows in place. They won’t crack as easily or shatter when broken.

In this way, security film can also prevent storm damage to your windows.

Most security films are silver or clear.

Choosing the Right Window Film For Your Home

Different types of window glass absorb heat differently, so they’re not equally suited to all types of window film.

Some types of glass undergo thermal stress with particular window tints. This means that some areas of the glass become hotter than others when you apply window film. In extreme cases, your glass can crack under thermal stress.

Decorative and security window films don’t block much heat, so they don’t alter the temperature of your window glass, so they’re suited to all kinds of windows, i.e. insulated, heat-treated, and basic flat windows.

Solar window film absorbs a lot of heat and will increase the thermal stress of basic flat window glass if you install a film with an absorption rate of over 50%.

You shouldn’t install this type of film on glass that’s over ten years old, or insulated glass with seal failures. You should also avoid using it on heat-treated glass over ⅜-inch thick.

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before you choose window film for your home, or work with an expert window film installer for the ultimate peace of mind.

You can also choose between temporary, semi-permanent, and long-lasting window film, so this home improvement is a good option for renters, too.

You can remove or reposition these types of film, although the semi-permanent variety may leave a residue on the window.

Most security and solar films are permanent or semi-permanent, while a decorative film is usually temporary.

Installing Window Film

It isn’t difficult to install these coatings on your windows, but it’s a delicate task that requires experience and patience. If you rush the job, you’re bound to end up with unsightly bubbles, scratches, streaks, or dirt trapped under the film.

For his reason, it’s a task best left to seasoned window film installers.

This is what’s involved in your installation:

  • Wiping the windows down with a solution of mild soap and a lint-free soft cloth
  • Measuring the window film to half an inch longer than your window size
  • Cutting the window film to size with a sharp utility knife
  • Removing the adhesive backing
  • Applying the film to the window, working from top to bottom

You can help reduce bubbles by gliding a plastic squeegee over the surface of the film to expel air.

Be sure to work in one direction during this process. Sliding the squeegee in both directions has the opposite effect.

The window film takes between four and eight days to cure.

Maximize Your Home’s Potential

Tinted windows are one of those home improvements that offer almost immediate gratification. Once they’ve cured, you’ll start to enjoy the enhanced comfort, privacy, and energy savings these innovations offer.

Would you like to explore more quick-fix options to enhance your home’s appeal? Browse our blog for all the best suggestions, tips, and information.

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