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Residential window tint, commonly known as solar window film, is an extremely thin layer of lamination that blocks out harmful ultraviolet rays and improves the climate control efficiency of your home.

Also, they look pretty slick!

With the increasing heat and cooling costs, research shows home window tint can block up to 80% of solar energy, leading to an annual decrease of at least 5-10% in utility bills, depending on your locality. For a 2,000 square foot home with a medium-high tint on dual-pane windows, this could mean a 22.3% decrease in annual cooling costs ( $306), whereas a small commercial building with single pane windows can save $9,769 per annum in 1.5 years. This is just the beginning though: advances in recent years have seen savings increase exponentially.

For instance, scientists from Princeton University have recently developed ‘smart windows’ with a tunable tint to dynamically control the amount of natural light and heat that enters your home. Inexpensive, self-powered, and easy to install, they’re expected to result in 40% savings on the energy costs of an average building.

For a 5-foot-by-6-foot window, the price of the window tint installation may vary from $120 to $270 (starting at about $6 to $14 per square foot), which may seem like a lot of initial investment at first. However, with the window tints are significantly low-maintenance and you’d be saving a hefty amount on utility bills every year, which means you’re going to reap the benefits in the long term.  

In some places, the utility companies offer to cover the cost of window tint installation, so we recommend checking in with the concerned professionals to get a quote, if possible. Not only this, according to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, homeowners can claim a federal energy tax credit of 10% (applicable up to $500) for installing a firm on your windows, doors or skylight. You simply need to furnish a copy of the IRS form 5695, supplier’s invoice, and manufacturer’s certification to be considered.

You can go for the classic mirrored solar film that’s recommended for HVAC efficiency and privacy or select from a variety of other films, invisible or coloured, that are available in the market. Depending on your location, home size, glass type and film material, you can use an Energy Savings Calculator to get an exact estimate of the amount you will be saving on utility bills post-installation.

Before you start your window tinting project, make sure you contact your window manufacturer to confirm that installing a film will not void a potential warranty.  Sometimes, product malfunction, damage or loss resulting from the application of third-party window films is not covered by the manufacturer. Another important thing to note here is that window tints work best on windows that are in good, functioning condition. If you’re looking to achieve energy efficiency but have an inefficient window frame, you’d be better off investing in window replacement instead of tinting.

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