When it comes to window tinting, the general consensus seems to be split. Some people swear by it, while others haven’t bothered to do much research. Car window tinting is a no brainer, it adds privacy and reduces fuel usage by reducing the stress of your air conditioning system. That being said, people don’t often consider the benefits of residential window tinting. If you’ve ever thought about tinting your home, there are a few things you should know first. Today, we’re compiling a comprehensive list of the types of film and breaking it down for you. Hopefully, this helps you make your decision.
What is house window tinting?
Home window tint makes use of tinted film for several purposes. Tinting can be used to eliminate sun glare, reduce high heat areas of a home, deter guests from entering certain doors or offer privacy from would-be strangers. Identifying the specific situation you need to resolve will help you pick which film you need. Read through each of these types of film to figure out their benefits and what solution would work best for you.
Heat Control Film
Controlling solar heat isn’t as easy as turning down the knob on your thermostat. Actually, it is; but it isn’t cheap. If you have a sunroom (or a sunny room), or windows that face West, you’re probably all too familiar with solar heat. One room with a sun-facing window can dramatically increase the temperature, causing your cooling bill to spike each summer.
Heat control film allows sunlight to come through, but blocks solar heat and UV rays. This gives any room in your home the benefit of sunlight, without the heat or fading properties that sunlight can sometimes have on your furniture and walls.
Glare Control Window Film
We know how frustrating it can be to have glare kill your T.V. lounging time. Glare control film makes it more comfortable to look at electronic devices by allowing sunlight to come through, but reducing the glare that can happen when light diffuses through glass. AR (anti reflecting) coating on eyeglasses are essentially the same technology. Companies have been doing this for years now; you probably have some level of AR film on the glasses you’re wearing right now. The bottom line is it’s more comfortable and it’s better for your eyes.
Energy Window Film
Did you know that window film can be completely clear? If you aren’t trying to reduce the light in your room, but still need to keep heat out in the summer (or in during the winter), then energy window film may be the right answer.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that during the summer, up to 60% of your home’s cooling energy is lost through your windows, while during the winter, up to 25% of your energy is lost through your windows. Energy window film is a perfect solution to a problem you may not even realize you have.
Privacy Frosted Window Film
You can use privacy film for just about any room in the house, but the two rooms that really stand out are bathrooms and kitchens. Often, you want as much light as possible coming into these two rooms, but if you’re experiencing a privacy issue, you may have decided to curtain off the windows. This eliminates light and can make the room feel smaller.
Frosted window film allows for all of the light to come through the window, but makes sure that you can’t see out and no one can see in.
A great solution for double-paned windows is to apply the film only to the bottom windows, especially in a kitchen.
Privacy Mirror Window Film
Mirror film comes in both one-way and two-way options. For homes, we’d recommend that you select the one-way mirror option. Applying a one-way mirror film to your home will allow you to keep all of the light coming in, but prevent anyone from seeing into the house. This is especially useful if you have large windows or doors that look directly into living areas of your home.
Privacy Black Window Film
If you’re finding that one of your rooms is too bright, or you’re relying too much on shades or curtains, black window film might be your answer. Much like vehicle tint, black window film can help actually reduce sunlight coming into a room. This is especially useful for keeping rooms dark, like an office, a photo room or a bedroom. Black window film also has the added benefit of offering completely privacy; blocking most incoming visibility. Consider this for lower window panes or lower levels of your house.
Decorative Film Window Tint
Decorative film has a lot of really unique applications. It can add a lot to your home. Decorative film can mimic ornate stained glass or even offer some privacy for rooms that probably shouldn’t have glass doors or as many windows. A word to the wise: Don’t throw caution to the wind when selecting decorative film. If done properly it can add a lot to your home, but if done poorly, it can be very distasteful. Our recommendation is that you don’t overdo it!
Window Tinting Cost
Let’s talk about home window tinting costs for a moment. There are a few variables to consider when looking at price. Often times, a higher quality tint will cost you more per square foot, but the cost to tint will be negligible when considering the long term savings in energy costs. There are lesser quality tints that are available for retail purchase, but for higher quality tints, you’ll want to contact a professional installer. Keep in mind that some tints are designed with professional installers in mind. Professionally installed window tint should cost something like $8 to $10 per square foot. Window tinting prices that are much less probably means you’re getting shoddy quality film. Anything much more should have you asking questions.