6 Reasons People Tint Their Windows

6-reasons-people-tint-their-windows

When you hear the words window tinting your first thoughts will likely be about your car. Tinting car windows has been a popular feature for automobiles for a long time. However, window tinting can also be extended to other windows aside from cars. By tinting the windows of your home you gain several advantages.

What follows are six such advantages that not only improve quality of life, but keep you safe as well:

1. Increased Safety A plain windows doesn’t offer much protection from the outside world. In the middle of the day without blinds or window tinting it’s easy to see everything that’s going on in a home simply by looking in. With tinting your home is a lot more private and safer. By having dark windows people can’t see everything you’re doing or what possessions you have in your home. Also window tinting can also serve as a small barrier if your window glass breaks which adds further protection.

2. Save Money By having tinted windows on your home you save money on cooling expenses. One of the key reasons rooms and homes in general heat up is due to sunlight. If you have a lot of direct sunlight coming into your home you’ll be spending more on cooling costs to counteract this. With tinting the amount of heat let in via sunlight is greatly reduced. This cuts down on AC usage and lowers your energy bills.

3. Easy To Use With residential window tinting you have an easy to use method to keep your home from being too bright. A common response to too much light entering a home is to install curtains. However, curtains are a bit of a hassle to use. You have to open them whenever you want to look out and then close them to cut down on the brightness levels. With tinting you have no active effort involved and can easily look out while still keeping your light levels under control. Plus unlike curtains you don’t have to vacuum tinting.

4. Good For Your Furniture By using residential window tinting you also increase the life of your furniture. Ultraviolet radiation damages your furniture by fading it. This fading effect is very strong and can affect fabrics, art, wood, and other materials. This can also make your home furnishing old before their time. Plus without proper tinting a standard non tinted glass window lets in up to seventy percent of the sun’s UV rays.

5. Health Reasons There are several health benefits to using residential window tinting. Overall it improves the condition of your skin by reducing direct exposure to light which can dry and damage your skin. It also keeps your home cooler cutting down on the need for air conditioning; overusing your AC lowers the humidity of your home which can lead to sinus issues and dry skin. Lastly, residential window tinting can also help prevent skin cancer by reducing your exposure to UV rays.

6. Increases The Value Of Your Home By installing residential window tinting you increase the value of your home. This is considered a home enhancement and not only does it makes your home nicer to look at and live in it also adds to resell value. If you ever sell a home having tinted windows is a selling point many buyers find agreeable.

As you can see residential window tinting does a lot more than just keep the light out. Window tinting adds quality of living, additional safety and increases your overall home value. It is a worthwhile and affordable addition to your home.

How Long Will Professionally Installed Window Film Last?

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A lot of people are very excited about the prospect of saving money on their utility bills every month and getting more energy efficiency out of their professionally installed window film.

Understandably, you might want to know more about window film’s durability, its expected life and the inclusiveness of the manufacturer’s warranty.

How Long Does Window Film Last? 

That’s a great question – yet the answer depends on a number of factors. In essence, window film has been known to last for 20 years or more under the right conditions.

The types of materials used, the window that the film is placed on, the orientation of the window (e.g., facing east), and even local climate can all affect the long-term resiliency of window film.

The good news is that commercial window film usually has a very generous warranty period – typically ten years or more – and many residential window films come with a lifetime warranty. This means that if you, as a homeowner, experience any difficulties, then you can call on a factory-trained technician to make it right.

So, taking into account the durability of window film itself and generous lifetime warranties for residential window film, most families are able to lock in the energy efficiency and cost savings of window film for a very, very long time.

Durability Factors to Consider 

In technical terms, window film works to combat heat gain and glare in your home by lowering the amount of solar heat transmission.

This is done in two ways in the case of window film – enhancing the amount of solar absorption that gets trapped in the window film (and protects your family) and, secondly, by upping the amount of solar reflection.

More solar reflection means less glare, less heat gain in those sweltering summer months, and lower utility bills to contend with.

The UV protection that you expect from window film is built directly into the film itself and heavy-duty coating means that your window film will stay in place for years. Below are some other factors for you to consider when it comes to long-term durability:

Climate and Compass Orientation

Hotter climates oriented either east or west – and therefore catching more of the rising or setting sun – are more punishing over time on residential window film than more temperate climates.

That said, it can make even more sense to purchase window film and have it professionally installed if you live in a hotter climate and have many windows that face west. Why? Because you’re getting far more ROI (return on investment) this way.

Film and Glass Type

Polyester-based window film can adhere more easily to certain types of glass than others. Getting your window film professionally installed ensures the best possible adhesion and the most warranty protection.

Window Films ROI

The economic concept return on investment relates as much to homeowners as it does to local businesses. ROI is basically a metric for determining how well an investment – in this case, the purchase of window film – pays off over the short and long term.

If you have a window that faces west and you live in a climate with punishing heat from June to August, then your ROI could be quite high since you’re getting an almost immediate reduction in your utility bills by combating heat gain at its source.

In fact, window film have been known to pay for themselves within 6-12 months in the case of some businesses. When a business, or you as a homeowner, can turn off a few air conditioners, the savings really start to add up.

Today’s Choice For Glass Protection

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Adding window film to glass is quickly becoming a trend for health- and safety-conscious people who want to protect themselves and their families. The film, once applied, screens almost 100% of existing ultraviolet rays (UVRs) without compromising visibility. “Ultraviolet rays are sneaky,” says the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Not only can they cause skin cancer and visible signs of aging, they’re also very good at finding you. . . . When you’re inside your car or house, if you’re sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming in, you’re at risk for UV damage.”

What are the advantages of window film?
Window film is like sunscreen for glass. Applying it to your windows will lower energy costs by cutting down on the amount of cool air loss during hot weather and heat during winter. The sun’s UV rays can damage fine flooring and fade upholstery. Also, applying safety film to window glass serves a dual purpose: Not only will it lower energy costs by filtering damaging UV rays, but if your home or business suffers damage from weather or vandals, the window film will hold the shattered glass in place. This offers another level of protection from additional damage and also guards against injury to pedestrians and pets who walk near the damaged glass site.

Window film application
Applying window film is tricky, so unless you are an expert DIY (do-it-yourselfer), it’s best left to professionals. The film is a self-adhesive, polyester material that is applied to existing glass on vehicles, homes, and commercial properties. Based on what you want and what you need, you can choose from transparent film, decorative, high-tech compounded film, non-reflective, metallic, or dyed film that will absorb and reflect solar energy.

Once you have selected the glass film, you or your installation professional will thoroughly clean the glass area. The glass must be clean and very dry. DIYs will need a utility knife, a spray bottle of clean water and a (plastic) squeegee.

  1. Cut the film. Make your cuts at least 1/2″ too big on all sides. Using your spray bottle, spritz the window with water, remove the film backing, and apply it to the glass. Some glass film specialists also spray the water on the application side of the film.
  2. Using your squeegee, gently press the film onto the window. Air bubbles should be worked out to the edges.
  3. When the film is firm and flat, trim the edges with your utility knife.

How long does it take window film to dry/cure?
The drying time for window film depends on the location of the glass (facing a hot sun or in the shade) and the type of film you selected. Most people are surprised to learn that it takes about 30 days for glass window film to “set up.” During the curing process, the film may appear hazy and you might see a streak or bubbles. Don’t panic; just wait thirty days.

How long will my window film last?
Once again, your film’s durability depends on the glass type and its exposure to the elements. The type of film installed – decorative vs. transparent, for example, also makes a difference in its lifespan, but there should be some type of warranty for your film product. Warranties may depend on whether you installed the film yourself or had it professionally installed, too. Bottom line: The film application warranty can be from 2 years to 15 years.

Thanks to technology and education, the stigma about films appearing unattractive is history. Window films are the right thing to do for your home, your business, your vehicles and YOURSELF.

Using Decorative Window Film at Home

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Are you looking to upgrade the look of your home? There are many ways to do so, but one of the most functional ways to do so is also inexpensive and can transform any room of your house; decorative window film is your answer.

For those who have already installed window films in their home, it is considered a necessity.

Benefits of Decorative Window Film 

  • Window film is great for reducing energy costs.
  • Eliminates glare.
  • Reduces fading of carpets and furniture.
  • Wonderful to decorate with.

Those are some persuasive reasons to use window film. So where would you use it in your own home? Here are a few ideas:

  • Use decorative window films on your sliding glass doors. Everyone loves a sparkling clean home, but walking into a closed sliding glass door because it is so clean you don’t see it is not fun. Even dogs have been known to run into glass doors and they have great sensory perception. A decorative window film will protect you and your guests from injury while changing the look of your room.
  • Do you love the look of stained glass but can’t afford to have it installed? Apply stained glass window film to get the same look for less. This would look great in a cozy office or sitting room.
  • People who work nights should definitely get window film for their bedroom windows. This will screen out sunlight during the hours you are sleeping, greatly improving sleep quality. It’s also less expensive than blackout curtains.
  • As your child grows older the way you decorate their room will change to reflect that. Decorative window film is an easy way to change the look of your little one’s room, as well as your older kids.
  • Extend the look of your flower beds close to the house by installing a floral window film on your home’s facade.
  • Do you love the way your windows look during the fall when a coating of frost covers them? Get a lovely frosted window film and enjoy that look year round. You can even combine the look of frost with etchings of other designs like flowers and symbols.
  • Another great reason to have window film installed is that it helps to maintain your privacy. Keep nosy neighbors, peeping toms, and burglars from seeing inside your home.
  • Etched glass is glorious to look at, but it is also pricey. Get the same look for less with decorative window film.
  • Bathroom windows are perfect for decorative window film. Try frosted, etched, or rippled film to maintain your privacy.

Decorative window film is the perfect solution for your home decorating needs while also being functional. Have fun decorating!

The Levels of Window Tinting

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If you are looking for a cost-effective and simple way to improve your privacy and reduce sun damage to your home, then window tinting could be the answer. Curtains and blinds have their place within the home, but when it comes to the light reduction, they tend to be an all-or-nothing solution. Slated blinds may give you the degree of light you require, but they do not provide real privacy and can lead to lines of fading within your home.

While window tints are the ideal answer, this is only true if you get the tint percentage right for your needs. Get it wrong and you could literally be left in the dark.

Understanding visible light transmission

Unlike curtains, window tints are not an all-or-nothing approach to light reduction. The films are available in a broad range of tint darknesses that are measured by percentages. However, the percentages do not refer to the color of the tint, but rather the amount of light they transmit. The higher the given percentage, the more light is allowed to get through a tinted window; that amount of light is called visible light transmission, or VLT. A tint with 25% VLT transmits 25% of the visible light while a film with 90% VLT blocks 10% of it.

The uses of different tints

Choosing the right percentage VLT requires a balance between safeguarding your privacy, protecting your home from sun damage, and allowing enough light in to be able to see comfortably. One of the benefits of window tints is that you can choose different tint films for various rooms without affecting the overall decor of your home. For example, a room with a high proportion of soft furnishings that are likely to fade in strong sunlight might required a lower VLT percentage than a bathroom.

However, you need to balance the VLT against the room’s uses and the time of day you are likely to use it. If you are present in the room a great deal, 10% or 20% VLT may be too dark. However, for a room only used in the evening, this percentage might be just right.

VLT and UV reduction

The UV or ultraviolet rays are the ones likely to do lasting damage to both your skin and your health. If you or your family members suffer from skin conditions or are particularly sensitive to the sun, you can be at risk from UV even indoors. One of the many benefits of using window tints is that they minimize the amount of UV rays entering your home.

In addition, you do not have to go for the lowest VLT percentage to keep UV light at bay; the ability of good quality window tints to block UV rays is not connected to the color of the film. Therefore, even a 90% VLT can safeguard your family’s health and wellbeing.

Making VLT percentages work for you

Now that you are aware of how the VLT percentages work, you need to decide how best to make them work for you. Consider each room at a time, taking into account its use, the risk of sun damage, and how much sun exposure the room gets. Then consider how overlooked the room is; if your neighbors are within touching distance, this is going to be an important part of your final decision. However, if your nearest neighbor is in the next county and there are no bypassers, you may avoid figuring privacy concerns into your equation. Once you know what you want, find the right supplier, sit back and enjoy your sun-safe and private home.

8 Tips for Packing Boxes for Your Next Move

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Moving can be an incredibly stressful time for most people, and simply packing up an apartment or house really isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you have children or you’ve lived in a place for a long time and accumulated what seems like a ton of stuff, the problem of packing boxes efficiently is exacerbated.

While packing may not be the most fun you have this year, it is something you need to do if you’re going to move. Use these eight tips for packing boxes to make your move a little less stressful and a bit more efficient.

Start Packing Early. When you know it’s time to move, one of the worst things you can do is put it off. Instead, start packing your belongings as early as you can and do it in stages, not all at once.

Trying to pack everything in your home in a weekend is a recipe for stress and broken items. Take a few weeks to slowly pack and make sure you’re doing it right.

Round Up Boxes. Buying moving boxes can be expensive, and if you have to pack a whole house, you could easily spend hundreds of dollars. There’s nothing wrong with a few wardrobe boxes or specialty boxes for TVs, but you don’t need to spend your savings on cardboard.

Go around to grocery stores, liquor stores and even businesses you frequent and just ask for some boxes. You could save a lot of money and get most of your boxes for absolutely nothing.

Leave buying as a last resort.

Fill Your Boxes. If you’ve moved before, chances are you’ve put something in a box only to find it in pieces when you arrive at your new destination. It might seem like an inevitable part of moving, but doing a better job at packing can prevent breakages.

Your best bet is to simply fill your boxes with shredded newspaper or packing paper to cushion any soft drop or fall the box takes. Extra-fragile items should be labeled as such.

Buy Bubble Wrap. Items that are very fragile can still be boxed, but they need to be securely wrapped in bubble wrap before the box is sealed. Buy some bubble wrap for packing, and buy enough.

A little leftover bubble wrap never hurt anybody.

Label Your Boxes. People who start packing in a hurry often forget to label their first few boxes. Some people – often those who have never packed before or tend to lack organizational skills – don’t label a single box while packing and moving.

Get a package of high-quality waterproof markers and label each box. Ideally, you should label your boxes on all sides. Even a single letter or abbreviation like “K” for kitchen or “MR” for master bedroom will make the process easier.

Pack Non-Essential Items First. You might love your books, but you don’t need them the week before you move. Pack non-essential items like books you don’t use daily well before your move date to cut down on stress and reduce your workload.

Don’t Box Bulky Items. Too many people make the mistake of boxing very heavy or oddly-shaped items. Instead, wrap them in bubble wrap and move them separately to avoid damage.

Consider Getting Help. If you’ve got lots of furniture and very little time, you may want to hire movers. They can help you pack and help you pack the right way, too.

Friends may be able to help too, but know that you’ll be asked to help them move when it comes time!

Why Have Privacy Window Film Installed?

why-have-privacy-window-film-installed

Providing privacy to a home does not mean you have to obstruct a perfectly good view to the great outdoors by using window blinds and drapes. Instead, you can use privacy window films, which still allow some natural light in while helping your home stay energy efficient.

What exactly are privacy window films?

Privacy window films are useful for interior windows and exterior windows. You can also use them on glass doors inside your home where a little bit of privacy is desired. Some people use the films outdoors on patio door windows to add a bit of extra privacy in a space meant for quietness, healing and connecting with Mother Nature. Most importantly, privacy window films are great for providing privacy too a home without making it feel like a jail cell since the ability to look in and out of the windows is still possible. Best of all, window films come in all kinds of different patterns, designs and colors to match your homes décor inside and outside for a flawless look that provides beauty and tranquility.

What are the benefits of window films? 

The benefits of window films are endless, but to start with they can be wipe down with glass cleaner on a regular basis where are window treatments such as drapes, curtains and blinds need to be taken down and physically hand washed and scrubbed with soap and water. Window films do not collect as much dirt, grim and dust as drapes, curtains and blinds do, which makes these particular window treatments outstanding for allergy sufferers. In addition, well-maintained privacy window films have the ability of lasting up to 15 years when cleanse weekly with a soft cloth and window cleaner. Window films also help reduce energy cost by keeping the hot sunlight out during the hot months of summer and the warmer air in during the cooler months of fall and winter. Even better, film on windows can prevent glass from shattering into the home and injuring a love one in the event an object hits it or an intruder tries smashing it in with a baseball bat or other object. These benefits alone are reasons enough to install window films onto your home’s windows.

End Notes for Privacy Window Films 

The next time you are in need of adding privacy to your home and need some sort of window treatment that doesn’t obstructed the beautiful views to the outdoors you should consider using window films. Not only will they add the privacy you need, but again they will help lower your energy cost and provide safety to your home as well. Best of all, window films are easy to install and extremely affordable window treatments that will last you longer than a decade.

Lighting Your Nursery

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For most expectant parents one of the most important things about the pregnancy is buckling down and designing the nursery. After all, this is where you will be bringing your child home to for the very first time, and where they will spend a large chunk of their time for the next several months to years. If you are in the midst of designing your nursery, it is possible you’ve forgotten one important details; the lighting. Don’t fret though; many expectant parents focus on decorating their child’s room and filling it with appropriate furniture, but completely forget about lighting. So, now is the perfect time to rectify the situation, as lighting is an extremely important aspect of your child’s nursery.

Why are Lights Important?

The lighting in your nursery is important for several reasons. First, it can effect your child’s ability to sleep, and strong lighting may hurt their eyes, as they will spend much of their first months lying on their backs staring into the lights. Glare and strong glows can be harmful to a newborn, so picking soft lights is your best bet.

Experts also note that soft, layered lighting can be an easy and effective way to acclimate your baby to the dark, and to get through baby-oriented tasks safely and happily. Lighting is very much a cornerstone of every well-designed nursery.

Picking the Right Lighting

Now that you know how important lighting is, you are probably wondering how to pick the correct lighting solution for your needs. Experts all seem to agree that soft, layered lighting is best for a newborn and young baby. Start with LED bulbs in both overhead lighting and task-oriented lighting. Not only do these lights cast a soft glow, but the spectrum is more natural. The bulbs also refrain from heating up, which prevents the possibility of burn injuries.

Where Should Lighting be Situated?

Most experts agree that overhead lighting is a good starting point. Overhead lighting is away from the child, and creates a softer more manageable glow. Overhead lighting also removes the possibility of choking hazards, which lights situated too close to a child’s crib creates. LED bulbs can be purchased for existing overhead lights, or you can install a new lighting fixture to fit the needs and theme of your child’s nursery.

Once you have overhead lighting all figured out, experts suggest picking task oriented lighting, as well. A task lamp situated next to a rocking chair makes the space multifunctional. You can use the space to put your child to sleep, or use it for story time and breastfeeding. A floor lamp or desk lamp that is powered by an LED bulb is best. Not only are these bulbs more energy efficient, but they also do not heat up like traditional bulbs, preventing potential burns and injury.

Finally, you’ll want to utilize a nightlight. Often thought of as a lighting solution for slightly older children afraid of the dark, the soft glow of a nightlight can be reassuring to babies, too. It will also help you complete baby-related tasks at night without turning on stronger lights, which can make it more difficult to get you and your child back to sleep.

Now that you have the 411 on the lighting needs of a nursery finishing up the decorating process should be a breeze. Remember, proper lighting is about more than simply setting a mood or ambiance. It is an easy and effective way to keep your child safe and happy during their first few months. These tips and facts should make your shopping experience a bit easier.

Eco-Friendly Roofing

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With an overwhelming interest in green living over the past few years, roofing manufacturers have developed a wide range of eco-friendly roofing products. Homeowners can now choose from a variety of styles that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, long lasting and affordable. Take a look at some of the top eco-friendly roofing products on the market today.

Cool Roofing

“Cool roofs” are made in white or lightly-colored materials that reflect the sun’s rays away from your house, rather than absorbing heat into your roof. By reducing heat transfer to your home, they reduce air conditioning costs and create comfortable, more even temperatures, especially in areas with hot, sunny climates. By conserving energy use, they also decrease air pollution associated with greenhouse gas emissions. A high solar reflectance, created with special coated granules in the roof tiles, combined with a high thermal emittance allows cool roofs to stay up to 75% cooler than conventional roofing materials during hot weather.  Note: Asphalt shingles are available in white and light colors, but they are a petroleum based product and not considered eco-friendly “cool roofs.”

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are a great eco-friendly investment for your home. They’re made from recycled metal materials like steel, aluminum, copper and zinc that are light reflective, fire-resistant, extremely durable and completely recyclable. Next to tile, copper and slate, standing-seam metal roofing provides the best longevity at a less expensive price. Compared to conventional asphalt shingles which last about 20 years, metal roofing can easily last up to 50 years, so it’s highly unlikely that you would ever need to replace your roof. Metal roofing is available in a variety of colors and designs to complement any architectural style, from a century old, rural farmhouse to a contemporary, urban home. For an additional green factor, you can select a light color that promotes the heat resistance of “cool roofs.”

Wood Shake and Shingle Roofing

Natural wood shakes and shingles are eco-friendly, biodegradable roofing materials that offer a classic look for more traditional homes. Conventional wood shakes are typically made from old-growth western cedar that’s becoming scarce, but eco-friendly wood shakes come from sustainable forests that are certified by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the largest world-wide certifier of responsibly harvested forest products. You can also find wood shakes and shingles that are made using reclaimed wood from old bridges, mills, wine barrels and water tanks. Although natural wood shakes and shingles are beautiful, they are not fire-resistant and should be treated with a fire-resistant coating. If building or zoning laws in your area prohibit the use of real wood shakes or shingles, you can select from shake-like roofing materials that are manufactured from 80% post-industrial recycled rubber.

Clay and Slate Tile Roofing

Natural clay and slate tiles have been used as roofing materials for centuries. Because of their durability and long life, up to 100 years, natural clay and slate tiles can be found on many European homes and buildings dating back to the 18th century. As eco-friendly, natural materials, clay and slate roof tiles offer many advantages. They are fire-resistant, rot-resistant, insect-resistant and maintenance-free, but they can crack or break with force. The biggest drawback is weight. Because these roofing materials are heavy, your roof may require extra support. Clay and slate roof tiles come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes to complement architectural styles and features on every home. Although they are more expensive than other materials, the long lifespan of a clay or slate tile roof will definitely offset the initial costs.

The Pro’s & Con’s of Window Tinting

the-pros-and-cons-of-window-tinting

When you want to upgrade your home to improve energy efficiency, residential window tinting is an option worth exploring. Here are the pros and cons of window tinting to help you to decide if and how best to utilize this green feature in your home.

PRO’S

Reduction in your utility bills. You could save up to 40 percent on your utility bill by adding tinting to your windows. This results from a reduction in heat transfer into the home in summer time with less use of central air and fans, and out of the home in winter time. That means a savings that over time will be cheaper than window replacement.

Return on investment. Those savings in your utility bills amount to an excellent return on investment.

Protect your interior fabrics. Window tinting works to block the UV light that enters your home, with estimates that 99 percent of US rays are blocked. The UV rays are what damage your furniture by fading colors.

Clear windows. The latest window tinting technology is no longer a literal fix: 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.

Reduced heat in your home. Window tinting can reduce the heat of the sun in your home, too. So when you are sitting by a window the window tinting will block 55 percent of the heat coming into your home making you feel more comfortable in your home.

Added security. Residential window tinting, which goes on a like a film, can protect you and your family when accidents happen a window breaks. The tinting prevents the window from shattering, and keeps those small pieces of glass from hiding on the floor causing injury later.

Utility company rebates. Many utility companies, like those in the state of California, offer rebates to customers who add use window tinting.

Good deal when buying new windows. If you budget is super tight, the combination of a less expensive window and window tinting can give you the efficiency of some levels of triple-paned windows.

CON’S

Warranty problems. Unfortunately, some double pane window manufacturers will void their warranty since residential window tinting is a retrofit. Other manufacturers do not.

Difficult to apply. Improperly applied window tinting can leave unsightly bubbling because the window frames and latches make it difficult to apply.

Choosing which film to use. Different installers have their preferences of which tinting is the best to use. You can check out NFRC certification, which rates different brands and types of window tinting for energy efficiency based on solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and other efficiency standards.

A second issue arises when choosing the right film for your climate.   Where you live will determine which type to buy. The clear film, which lets in light and keeps out solar heat that comes in during high temperatures, is not as beneficial in cold climates where you want the passive solar heat gains. Choose your window tinting carefully.