When it comes to shelling out the money for another home improvement project, is tinting house windows really worth it? Sure, tinting home windows might cut down on glare and heat gain during warmer months, but is the ROI worth the cost?
As experts in different types of window treatments, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of tinted home windows. Of course product selection is crucial when it comes to maximizing your investment. But what many homeowners overlook is the importance of having the window treatment installed professionally. This can be the difference between decades of savings or a few short years before the tint needs replacing.
Pros and Cons of Tinted Home Windows
Are the windows in your home old, weak, or energy-inefficient? Treating windows with the right window film is one of the easiest and most economical ways to boost energy efficiency. But that’s not all. Certain types of window films are equipped with additional benefits for added reinforcement, UV protection, and daylight redirecting properties. Here are some of the pros of tinting home windows with the proper type of film.
The “Pros” of Tinting Home Windows
- Prevent fading of interior furnishing and upholstery – Have you ever noticed how curtains, drapes, and upholstered furniture near the windows fade over time? This damage is the result of prolonged UV exposure from the sun. To combat this from occurring, some window film products deliver 99.9% UV blocking capabilities.
- Block infrared solar energy that causes heat gain – It’s no secret that if you sit by a window receiving direct sunlight, it’s going to feel warmer. That is unless the window is equipped with a sun control film. Such products are designed to block 97% of infrared light, which in turn can minimize AC-taxing heat gain all while enhancing comfort.
- Control energy leaks and heat loss – With products like 3M™ Thinsulate™, low emissivity capabilities improve the insulation value of a typical single-pane window close to that of a double-pane window, and of a double-pane comparable to that of a triple-pane. This advanced yet invisible insulation technology helps retain heat keeping you warmer during colder months.
- Improve visibility to the outdoors – Another common feature found in certain types of 3M™ Window Film is lowered interior and exterior reflectivity. In essence, this feature enhances outdoor viewing from the inside while maintaining an attractive look from the outside.
- Redirect natural sunlight deeper into your home – With daylight redirecting window film, as much as 80% of sunlight can be redirected up onto the ceiling, casting light as deep as 40 feet from the window into a room. In fact, according to 3M™, there’s a link between enhanced natural light and increased productivity. Hospitals have even shown improved patient recovery with daylighting effects from such window film.
- Enhanced safety and security – Taking the “pros” one step further, some window treatments are equipped with all of the latter benefits as well as added protection against forced break-ins and natural disasters. Not only do these safety and security films prevent shattering, but in the instance there is a break, the film helps hold the glass together, thereby preventing flying shards from causing injury. In many instances of forced entry attempts, these films will deter threats immediately.
- Take advantage of energy tax credits – While a lot of homeowners see the energy-saving benefits of investing in window tint, they don’t always take into consideration additional opportunities to recoup their investment. Under current legislation, the US Department of Energy allows you to claim up to 30% of the cost of a qualified product, including installation fees. To learn more, visit our post on window film tax credits.
The “Cons” of Tinting Home Windows
- Not all home window tints are created equal – Selecting the right window treatment is critical. Not only is it important to choose the proper window film for your climate, but going with a budget tint can provide limited benefits in terms of heat retention, sun control, UV blocking, and other aspects that might be important to you. In short, choose a window treatment wisely, ideally with the guidance of professional.
- Certain products can invalidate the window manufacturer’s warranty – Home window tinting might help create an energy-efficient home by regulating the inside temperature, however some tints and films might void the window. For this reason, it’s important to work with a dealer who offers a window film that replaces the window manufacturer’s warranty.
- Depending on the size of your home, it might cost you – Of course with any home improvement project there’s going to be a cost. Window tinting is no exception. For larger homes, a professional installation might cost several thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done. However, when you factor-in the long-term energy savings with such an investment, the payback can be as soon as just a few years. Just see some of our case studies for proof.
So, Is Tinting Home Windows Worth It?
When weighing the pros and cons of tinted home windows, the choice should be obvious. From improving the energy-efficiency, safety, and security of your windows to enhancing UV protection, daylighting, and visibility to the outdoors, the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. However, this is only the case with certain window film products that deliver on these capabilities and provide years of ROI.