Tinted Home Windows
Whether you’re looking to increase privacy, cut home cooling costs or even boost your home security, residential window tinting can deliver a return on your investment. Learn about DIY window tinting and how window films compare to energy-efficient windows and privacy glass.
Reduce Solar Gain With Tinted Window Film
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “in cooling seasons, about 76% of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat”. Not only can all that heat gain drive up your home cooling costs, but those UV rays can prematurely wear home furnishings, window treatments and floor coverings.
DIY Residential Window Tinting
One way to reduce home cooling expenses is to add tinted window film to your windows. This relatively low-cost solution can help combat solar heat gain and protect your interiors against UV damage. Some frosted or heavily colored window films also provide a measure of privacy by obscuring the view inside your home from the exterior.
How to Tint House Windows
If you’re considering investing in a DIY window treatment, start by sourcing quality solar film with a high UV rating. The best residential window tinting film is rated to block up to 99% of all UV rays, while some low-quality films are unrated.
Other factors to think about when choosing window films include:
- Security: The thicker the window tint is, the more protection it provides in the event vandals, burglars or high winds damage your window.
- Location: For maximum heat-blocking benefits, focus on adding tint to your south and east-facing windows first.
- Transparency: Just like with sunglasses, the darker the tint, the harder it is to see through from both sides.
- Backlighting: Many types of reflective, or mirrored, window tints are effective at blocking UV rays but completely ineffective for privacy once you turn your interior lights on.
- Age of your windows: Window tint absorbs heat, so make sure your existing windows can safely handle any added thermal stress without cracking. Windows over 10 years old are more likely to develop thermal stress cracks when covered with solar window film.
To apply window tint, start with spotlessly clean windows that you’ve thoroughly cleared of any soap residue. Next, measure the window and cut the film, then follow the manufacturers’ directions. You’ll want to take care to eliminate any bubbles and remove excess moisture using a clean squeegee.
Alternatives to Home Window Tinting
While DIY window tinting can be effective, before investing in window tint, be sure to consider the alternatives.
Depending on the age and condition of your existing windows, it might be wise to upgrade to new, energy-efficient windows. Not only can replacement windows deliver the same, or better, protection against solar gain as you’ll achieve from window tint, but new windows will make your home more comfortable throughout the year.
For maximum privacy and UV resistance, take a look at windows with privacy glass. Also known as obscure glass, this type of glass naturally resists solar heat gain while distorting the view from the exterior, even when your inside lights are turned on.
To learn more about residential window tinting alternatives, call our team of window experts at Thompson Creek Window Company today.