Home Window Tinting: How Does It Work?

by Editor on May 20, 2013

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High-rise office buildings covered with glass are natural candidates for window film. But did you know that this technology offers the same benefits to the windows in your home? Increased comfort, reduced energy bills and a reasonable investment make window film one of the best upgrades you can buy.

Quick, Professional Installation

Thin, flexible window film installs quickly and with minimal mess, so there’s almost no downtime. Installers cut the film slightly larger than the window, then dampen the glass with water to activate the proprietary adhesive on the back side of the film. After smoothing it over the glass, final custom cuts are made.

Because film is trimmed to fit each piece of glass precisely, there are no gaps, missed spots, crooked edges or any telltale signs that the film even exists. Large plate-glass windows in living rooms, traditional double-hungs, dining room bays and even unusually-shaped windows get a custom, seamless look and equal protection. It works as well on antique windows as those in a new-construction home.

Dramatic Reduction in Passive Solar Heat Gain

If you considered window film before but decided it wasn’t the best solution for your home, it might be time to think again. Some older versions are dark and absorb heat instead of reflecting it away.

This causes hot windows that radiate heat into the room, which adds to the air conditioning load. The room-darkening effect also increases the need for daytime indoor lighting. The intended heat gain reduction benefit is lost when windows heat up, and it can void some window warranties.

But today’s advanced window film technology cuts solar heat gain dramatically. The sun’s rays might beat against the glass, but as much as 75% of the heat reflects back to its source, instead of entering your home or heating up the window. Different grades of film give different levels of protection. Although some film has a shiny, reflective surface, the most effective varieties are nearly invisible.

Warm in Winter, Cool in Summer

Low-e window film is another option that makes your investment worthwhile year-round. Just as all window film keeps out UV rays, low-e film reflects heat back to its source in winter.

When temperatures drop outdoors, indoor heat doesn’t pass through the glass. Instead, it stays where it’s supposed to: inside. Low-e film can increase the efficiency of single pane glass to that of a double-pane window.

UV Ray and Glare Reduction

Ultraviolet rays damage skin, fade furnishings and can crack wood flooring. Window film keeps 99% of those harmful rays outside, but it does a lot more, too.

New technology filters out the damaging rays that you can’t see while letting in visible light that you can. This allows for brighter rooms without the sun damage and uncomfortable heat.

Sunshine beaming through glass reflects off TV screens, computer monitors and other shiny surfaces, making them difficult to view. Window film reduces glare, which adds to the enjoyment of your home.

Energy Savings and Return on Investment

The natural side-effect of reducing heat gain in summer, heat loss in winter and keeping rooms bright is that your utility bills will thank you. The load on your HVAC system is reduced because the sun’s heat isn’t working against it. With low-e film, the same is true in winter for containing heated air. Because natural light passes through, there’s no need for extra indoor lighting in the daytime.

All of this energy savings means window film is a smart investment for your home. Most home window tinting pays for itself in three years or less by way of reduced cooling, heating and lighting consumption costs.

With a vast array of window film products available, there’s one that suits every window in your home.

About the Author

Bill Valway, CEO of Absolute Perfection Window Tinting & Graphics, an authorized dealer of Vista Window Film, is an industry expert in window tinting for the home.

Absolute Perfection Window Tinting & Graphics
5399 Enterprise St.
Sykesville, MD 21784
(410) 549-4285

photo by: conbon33

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