Should You Get Tinted Home Windows?

You have many options when selecting replacement windows for your home. Brand, frame colors, shapes, design—all are factors to consider. Since these windows should last for many years, it’s a good idea to weigh your choices before deciding which ones are right for you.

One important factor in replacement windows for your home is whether or not to get tinted glass. To help you in your decision, we’ve listed some pros and cons here.

Advantages of Tinted Windows

There are many benefits to be derived with tinted windows installed on your home.

  • Improve Security. Tinted windows are more difficult to see through from the outside. That means that potential intruders can’t tell if there is movement inside, so they don’t know if anyone is home. Most burglaries occur when the home is empty, so the culprits will likely pass your home over rather than risk being caught. The tinted film will also prevent a broken glass from falling out, restricting access through the window.
  • Reduce Utility Bills. Window tints will block out the sun’s ultraviolet rays in the hot summer months, so your air conditioner won’t run as often. Some tints also insulate your windows in the colder months, keeping your home warmer without turning up the thermostat. Utility companies in some states even offer rebates for window films.
  • Prevent Fading. Because tinted windows filter out the UV rays, your furnishings and carpets won’t fade from the sun. If you have drapes or curtains on your windows, especially in darker colors, the tinted windows can help them look great for much longer.
  • Minimize Glare. Tinted windows still allow the brightness to enter from outdoors, but without the glare you’d get without the tint. Your windows don’t have to be dark, or look reflective, in order to block UV rays and give you the benefits. You will maintain your clear windows and your views.
  • Add Style. Window tints come in a variety of colors and patterns that can add flare to your home. You can choose a style that is unique, looks good, and provides practical benefits as well.

Disadvantages of Tinted Windows

As with every product, there are usually features that are not especially advantageous.

  • Warranties May Be Voided. Some window manufacturers may void their warranty when tinting is applied, since they consider it a retrofit. However, some film manufacturers offer to match the voided warranty. Make sure you verify that your warranty will still be effective, or you might get a surprise if you need to replace or repair a window down the road.
  • Choosing the Right Type of Film. It’s important for peak performance to choose a film ideal for your climate. For example, some keep out the heat more than others, but are not as beneficial in colder climates. Window tints are rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council for energy efficiency and overall quality.
  • Not as Effective in the Dark. While tinted windows add security during daylight, people are able to see inside after dark when interior lights are on.
  • Difficult to Apply. If you plan on applying the window tint films yourself, you might be surprised that it’s not as easy as you think. If applied incorrectly, you could have bubbles in the surface.
  • Films Can Peel. Again, if not applied correctly, the films may peel after a time. This can be avoided by having the tint applied professionally.
  • Initial Investment Can Be Costly. Even though the energy savings can more than make up for the initial cost of the tinting, some homeowners aren’t willing or able to pay the extra cost.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tinted Windows

Now that you’re aware of some of the pros and cons of tinted windows, you may still have some questions before you consider having them installed. We’ve tried to answer some commonly asked questions that consumers have about tinted windows.

Q: What Exactly Is the Window Film that’s Used for Tinted Windows?

A: The window film used in tinted windows is a thin, multi-layered polyester material. The film comes in a variety of performance levels and shades.

Q: What Are the Different Levels of Performance?

A: The levels represent percentages of light that is allowed through the film. The lower the percentage, the darker the film.

Q: Is the Tinted Film Applied Inside or Outside?

A: The film is usually placed on the inside of the glass because it is more durable and won’t be affected by the outside weather.

Q: Why Are My Newly Tinted Windows Hazy or Blotchy?

A: Moisture can remain between the film and the glass for several days. Eventually, the moisture will evaporate and the film will adhere cleanly to the window. The amount of time this takes depends on the outside temperature and amount of sunshine.

Q: How Can a Damaged Film Be Repaired?

A: If the film becomes cracked, scratched or otherwise damaged, it cannot be repaired. However, the film can be easily peeled off and a replacement installed.

Q: Do Tinted Windows Provide Better Temperature Control?

A: Tinted windows eliminate so-called “hot spots” in your home because they filter out the sun’s UV rays. Your home climate remains more consistent throughout.

Q: Does the Film Prevent the Glass from Breaking?

A: No, but it does protect it from shattering because of the adhesive in the film. It will hold the window pane together if broken and keep the shards of glass from falling out. This is a definite advantage in the event of an attempted break-in, since the intruder will still not be able to enter through the window. The feature also prevents injury to those who may be in proximity of a broken window.

Q: What Is Meant by “One-Way Film”?

A: This feature is not related to the actual tinted film itself. It has to do with where the light is coming from. For example, during the day, the outside is brighter than the inside, so you can see outside by not in. After dark, if you have lights on indoors, you can see from the outside in. If you have significant outdoor lighting, you can still see outside after dark.

Q: What Type of Surface Is Required to Install Tinted Film?

A: Only glass surfaces with a smooth finish are appropriate for installing tinted films. It cannot be applied to plastic or plexiglass surfaces because they contain too much oil to properly adhere.

Q: Will Removing the Tinted Film Ruin My Window?

A: No. A residue may remain if the film is removed, which can easily be removed with soap and water.

Q: How Do You Clean Tinted Windows?

A: You can clean tinted windows just as you would un-tinted windows. Use non-abrasive cleaners, sponges, cloths and rubber squeegees. Never use razor blades to clean windows.

Q: Do Window Tint Films Include a Warranty?

A: Not all window tint films offer warranties, so do your research and ask before having them installed. The manufacturer should guarantee against bubbling, peeling, delaminating or discoloring. Of course, any warranty may be nullified or compromised if you install the window tints yourself, so make sure you check that out as well.

Q: Do Tinted Windows Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

A: Because tinted windows block 99.9% of the sun’s UV rays, anyone indoors will not be affected by their damaging effects.

Q: Are Tinted Windows Scratch-Proof?

A: No window tint films are entirely scratch-proof, but most of them use coatings that make them scratch-resistant. This coating is durable and protects the windows from normal wear and tear from both the weather and individuals.

Q: Do Tinted Windows Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

A: Because tinted windows block 99.9% of the sun’s UV rays, anyone indoors will not be affected by their damaging effects.

Q: How Long Do Tinted Windows Last?

A: The life of your tinted window film depends on a few factors, like the type of film, type of glass and window construction. Most quality window tints are warranted for at least 10 years.

Q: Can Skylights Have Tinted Glass?

A: Absolutely! Since skylights are in your roof, where the sun beats down more directly, the tinting will have tremendous benefits. Your energy bill will be reduced considerably as a result. Your furnishings will not fade as quickly.

Q: Do Tinted Windows Help in the Cold Weather?

A: Yes, because the tinting reflects the radiant heat back inside your home. This results in a warmer home without higher heating bills.

Q: Do Tinted Windows Need to Be Dark?

A: Tinted windows can be effective no matter what shade they are tinted. They are all made of materials that reject the UV rays but let in the light. The shade you choose is based on your preference, and will have little impact on the amount of light entering your home.

Call Banner Construction for Answers to All Your Replacement Window Questions.

Banner Construction specializes in installing premier replacement windows for your home. We can answer all your questions and provide you with free estimates for your project.