Sun protection is a significant part of our lives in many aspects. UV protection is built into daily moisturizers and even clothing. Car windows and sunglasses now come with UV blocking technology, and tinted glass is often sold as an added feature. Many window manufacturers are now producing products with UV window tint as a standard.
Top 5 Pros of Home Window Tinting
Pro #1: Energy Savings
The first and most well-known tint pros are the energy savings house window tinting can provide. Household HVAC systems strain during extreme hot and cold temperatures. Adding an extra layer of protection against sun entrance and cool air escape will reduce stress on your systems and extend their lifespan.
Many states have clean energy tax incentives for residential window tinting. There are also rebate programs on top of these energy-saving credits. An average of 45% of energy bills is allotted to heating and cooling, and proper house window tinting can save up to 40% of that when installed and utilized correctly.
Pro #2: Privacy
The second most thought-of pro to home window tinting is the added privacy. While there are types of tints that are clear at all times, window tints provide additional privacy from onlookers, which can be invaluable. Unfortunately, many homes with ground-level or sidewalk-facing windows struggle to balance privacy with the natural daylight they desire. Many window treatments like curtains or blinds simply don’t provide both at once.
Pro #3: Security
The added privacy tinted glass allows is a no-brainer. Thieves scouting homes to loot will choose those with valuables in plain sight, and tinted glass is an added security barrier. Beyond the added visual security house window tinting provides, many types of window tints can also provide an additional physical security barrier against break-ins and natural disaster damage from storms and other high winds that throw debris into glass.
Pro #4: Added Home Value
Some people may argue home window tinting adds little value to your home, but these tint pros prove otherwise. With the right windows and tint choice, house window tinting is an affordable, beautiful, functional, and beneficial upgrade for the right homeowner.
Lastly, upgrades featuring stained glass window tint or polarized windows not only add to the curb appeal of your home but are also an excellent solution to a much more expensive window replacement remodel.
Types of Tint
What is tint, and what does it have to do with the windows in your home? Home window film is made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and is treated in different ways to provide various benefits, with sun protection being just one of many tint pros.
Solar Tint (Sun Control)
The energy-saving popular solar tint, or sun control window tint, is one feature of popular window tints. It not only acts as a barrier, allowing less heat from the sun inside, helping your appliances work with less strain, but also acts as a sunblock to your furnishings, fabrics, flooring, and even art that are subject to UV fading and sun damage.
Auto-darkening window tint is a newer technology similar to eyeglasses that adjust to a darker tint when exposed to sunlight.
Privacy Tint (Blackout)
Blackout tint is usually applied as an opaque frost and is popular in bathrooms. This method allows for natural daylight but obscures all detail from both sides of the window. When answering, “Does tint go on the inside or outside of my bathroom windows?” the answer is, in most cases, “The inside.” A privacy tint allows for both sun and moonlight to shine through while providing easy to clean opaque windows for your bathroom.
Security Tint (Barrier)
Security tint features add an extra layer of protection against breakage. In climates with high wind storms, hurricanes, tornados, or even thunderstorms with large hail, this option may be a good fit for your house window tinting. Check with your insurance, as you may receive a rebate for this additional home protection feature.
Decorative Tint (Stained-Glass)
Stained glass window tint can be a beautiful substitute for the real thing, which can be very expensive and often not climate-appropriate. Endless designs are available in decorative tint and can be used as an appealing addition to accent windows with unique shapes when other kinds of home window tinting are challenging to apply.
Compatible Glass + Tint
Not all types of glass are compatible with all kinds of window tints. The three most common glasses seen in homes are; single pane glass (also known as annealed glass), tempered glass (annealed glass treated with high temps), and double-pane or insulated glass.
Be sure to check with the window manufacturer to learn what kind of tint is compatible with your window glass. For example, UV window tint is not recommended on double pane glass with seal issues or over a decade old. Avoid expensive mistakes and find out as much as you can about your glass and the features you need most out of your home window film.
DIY How To Tint Home Windows
Once you have established what type of glass your windows are and what kind of tint you are applying, here is a short DIY on home window tinting.
Clean, clean, clean.
The cleaner the surface, the better the adherence. Specific cleaning methods are recommended depending on the brand and type of tint you are applying. Minuscule pieces of dust will be trapped under the home window film, so thorough cleansing is an essential first step to avoid a messy or less than perfect result.
Measure twice, cut once.
This adage applies not just to cutting wood but to the sticky and semi-permanent home window film. It sticks not just to glass but also to measuring materials, blades, and itself. First, measure the windowpane you are applying tint to, and add a 1/2-1 inch border to each side. Measure a second time to ensure your calculations are correct. Now you can cut the piece of PET you are applying as house window tinting, and you have left a buffer around the border.
Activate, then apply.
Follow the instructions of the particular brand you’ve purchased. Most brands have an activation solution step, wherein you will spray the window pane itself or the material. Then, apply slowly and methodically using the included tools or a hard, thick, plastic smoothing card. Avoiding bubbles and creases is the most challenging step of the application and where most DIY-ers become frustrated when working on their home window tinting project.
If your window is not often visible, say, a basement egress window that simply lets in a lot of sunlight and doesn’t have an easy curtain solution for privacy, these mistakes will most likely not be noticed. However, for picture windows you gaze out of daily, those bubbles and creases can be the slight constant annoyances that ruin your view. Unfortunately, the only fix to poor application of home window tinting is removal and reapplication.
Trim and let cure.
Once you are satisfied with your application, use a blade to trim the material to the edges of your window frame. Most residential window tinting requires a curing period of 1-2 days, so be sure not to apply cleaning solutions or subject it to extreme heat or cold during that time.
DIY house window tinting is a time-consuming but cost-effective method and can be a fulfilling project. This project can also save you money if you look to replace your windows with tinted glass.
Buyer Beware: Tint Cons
Cold Weather Climates
Climates that see minimal sun and do not have air conditioning or aren’t reliant on it for more than a few weeks every year will likely not see energy savings return on investment with home window tinting. However, the other tint pros like privacy, security, and aesthetics still apply.
Don’t Try This At Home
Residential window tinting is not for DIY beginners. It takes lots of practice, training, and expertise to get this job right the first time. Between understanding the type of glass that works with the type of tint, and the intricate attention to detail application takes, it is a job for the well-educated and experienced do-it-yourselfer. It can also help to have a pro let you know when a window replacement is the smarter option for investment than home window film.
Applying home window film may void the warranty of your windows. In addition, many HOAs have regulations surrounding the level of tint and especially how reflective it is. When determining the type of home window film to invest in, be sure to check your manufacturer’s warranty and HOA regulations.
Professionals can help navigate your potential home window tinting Cons list and assist with your research and validate your findings.