While window tinting may seem more like a summer topic, business for tinting companies tends to be a little slower during the winter, so a better deal may be had. Plus, my annual obligatory Christmas column isn’t due until next week.
If you want to reduce your utility bills and keep your home cooler, tinting might help. How much depends on how many windows are involved, the exposure, the quality of the tint, and embellishment by the salesperson who quotes the savings.
The darker the tint, the better the privacy, at least during the day. Nosey neighbors and weirdo
s will have to work harder to catch a glimpse of you and your fine furnishings. The downside of dark tint, as opposed to sun screens, is that you can’t take it on and off. Speaking of those fine furnishings, a good quality tint will block much of the harmful ultraviolet rays that fade fabrics and carpet, and even some paint finishes.
Tinting can minimize the danger of broken glass. While sliding doors and some windows are made with tempered glass, most of the windows in your home probably are not. The layer of tint film can keep the shards of death from Freddy Krueger-ing you and yours.
If your windows are under a manufacturer’s warranty, tinting will likely void it. Unless you’re the original owner of the home or purchaser of the windows, there likely isn’t a warranty anyway.
Tint can also scratch and looks pretty ugly when it does. This is especially true of the DIY kind. Poor installation sticks out like a sore thumb. Door scratching pets and tint do not play well either.
While tinting helps keep your home cooler in the summer, it does the same thing in the winter. Out here, that’s not a huge negative but it’s certainly something to think about. Many homes built after 2000 already have a “Low-E” film applied, which helps filter out the long (heat) waves and reduce utility costs, so adding a tint may or may not prove cost effective.
Lastly: There’s little or no resale value in tinted windows.