The summer sun in San Antonio does not make it easy to keep your home cool without overworking your air conditioning unit and costing you a small fortune on your electricity bills. We’re in the midst of exploring the options of solar screens, tinted window film, and Low-E glass for reducing heat transfer into your home through your windows. In our previous blog post, we looked at the benefits and disadvantages of solar screens, and today we’re going to examine tinted window film as another option for your home.
Pros of Tinted Window FilmTinted window film is actually a thin, reflective film that adheres to the glass of the window itself. It doesn’t keep out as much heat as a Low-E glass would, but it will let in more light than solar screens. This is a pretty inexpensive option available for reducing heat transfer through windows. It can be installed by the homeowner for as little as $3 per square foot (about $60 for an average window), while professional installation with many added safety features will cost up to $11 a square foot (over $200 for an average window). Some of the safety features include making your windows resistant to breakage in storms as well as hard for intruders to break.
Cons of Tinted Window FilmUnfortunately, the film does have a tendency to bubble over time, even within a couple of years. Sometimes it also gets a little crease in it so that you can tell that you’ve got a window film disrupting the view. It doesn’t prevent the cold from coming through the window glass, so it is not nearly as useful in colder climates.
Window film has also been shown to cause windows to crack, especially if it has undetected weaknesses. This is because the film increases the thermal stress on sunlit glass. In fact, solar film is not recommended on very large single pane windows (more than 100 square feet), tinted glass that is thicker than ¼ inch, or windows made from solid metal such as older aluminum windows.
All in all, tinted window film can be a good and inexpensive option for a starter home or one that just needs a temporary solution to the heat transfer. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution that will produce a much more dramatic difference in your home, you should look into a high performing Low-E glass package for your windows, which is what our next blog post covers. For any further questions, please feel free to contact us directly.
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