Tinted Windows You Can Save On Your Utility Bills By Solar Tinting Your House Windows

Tools needed, rubber ended squeege, hard plastic squeege for corners ,bladed scraper for paint splatter or grime, sharp knife, and the blue stick is for pushing rubber window gaskets back in place
Tools needed, rubber ended squeege, hard plastic squeege for corners ,bladed scraper for paint splatter or grime, sharp knife, and the blue stick is for pushing rubber window gaskets back in place
Untinted window, view from the outside
Untinted window, view from the outside
Tinted window outside view, note the reflective quality compared to the untinted window
Tinted window outside view, note the reflective quality compared to the untinted window
Tinted windows, note the color of the tint is visible.
Tinted windows, note the color of the tint is visible.
 Tinted window view from inside the house, note the amber soft glow of the tint, with no blocking of your view.
Tinted window view from inside the house, note the amber soft glow of the tint, with no blocking of your view.
Trimming tint on the left side of the window. Notice the blade is cutting on the side away from the window to prevent cutting to much off.
Trimming tint on the left side of the window. Notice the blade is cutting on the side away from the window to prevent cutting to much off.
Right side trimming
Right side trimming
Bottom trimming
Bottom trimming


Window tint for your home can I do it myself, how do I do it, and the cost? Window tint can pay for its self over time and has immediate benefits, by reducing heat from the sun by up to 50 percent; it also reduces ultraviolet rays by up to 99 percent. Stop ruining your carpet and draperies and keep that rich color in the sofa from fading. Let’s explore what is best for your home from one window to whole house tinting projects. Tips and advice on tinting and some cautions home owners need to remember.

Start Saving Money on Your Utility Bills Immediately

On average most homes spend 45 percent of their utilities bills on heating and cooling according to the Department of Energy (U. S. Department of Energy, 2011). What home owner would not want to reduce these costs? In the summer time windows let in a lot of sun, many times the builders face the larger windows south, to catch the sun in the winter time, but what about summer? Now properly applied solar tinting can do what heavy draperies and blinds used to do, without making your rooms or house feel like a dungeon.

Not all tints are created equal, ask questions, and read the tint’s reflective rating.

Window tint applied properly with the proper rating can block up to 50 percent of heat from entering the room from sunlight, not to mention blocking 99 percent of ultraviolet rays, rays that fade furniture and carpets. Maybe you have a window that faces the street and you like to keep the blinds open but are concerned about privacy. There is window tinting that is geared to privacy more than sun blockage. The reflective quality will be different when privacy is the main concern. This type of tint is very similar to what you would see on limousines; it almost completely blocks anyone from seeing in. Solar tint for home windows will have daytime privacy where if there is light shining on the outside of the window it would be impossible to see in, whereas at night, the tint does not offer any privacy. Quality tint does not hinder your view from inside the house and in most cases will offer a much richer looking view because of the tint coloring. You have your pick of coloring from bronze to copper to steel gray. The coloring will show more from the outside, so many home owners will pick a color that compliments their house color.

You may benefit with some tax breaks, ask a professional tax preparer.

Some things you must know before applying or having tint applied. The first thing you must know is if your windows are double paned, which is two panes of glass with a barrier between panes. Usually it is just an air barrier but in some cases, there is a gas injected. In either case if you have double paned windows you have to make sure the tint can be applied. Because of its reflective quality some films will build up to much heat in the barrier between panes and possibly break the glass. Simply put, the tint reflects a great percentage of the rays back off the window thus reflecting into the barrier and building up heat between the panes. When ordering tint it will state whether the tint can be used on double paned windows. Read carefully the specifications of the tinting film you have chosen. Questions that must be answered by the manufacture include; Ultra Violet rays blocked by what percentage, heat blocked by what percentage, and if privacy is your main goal how private is it at night as well as the daytime? Each consumer must check with their tax preparer to see if any energy efficient upgrades that you as a home owner make are tax deductible.

Pick a color that compliments the outside of your house.

Color and reflective quality, do you want privacy or heat blockage? What do you want the tinting of your windows to accomplish? The next question is cost; research shows that the middle of the road, good quality and a reflective rating that will reduce cooling is relatively cheap. A 60 inch by 27 inch window with the tint being pre cut and shipped was 40 dollars, this included shipping, and handling at 2011 prices; this is per window. To have your tint pre cut and shipped simply measure the inside of your window width then length. When ordering add an additional inch to each side. In other words if your window is 23 inches wide you would order the film to be cut at 25 inches, do the same for top and bottom; this gives you an inch margin on each side. The reason for this is, the window may not be completely square and the two inch margin will offset any out of square window, usually any professional will add a margin of error to the measurements to cover any error in measuring and installation. The overlap on the sides and bottom also allows you to squeegee all the water and air out, because once the tint flattens against the window it is like a second skin.

This truly is a do it yourself project, save money and increase pride of ownership.

Can you measure and order tint and install it yourself? You can if you have a basic understanding of how to measure, use a utility knife used to trim excess tint and can stand on a step stool or ladder if needed. What you will need is a tape measure, and one flexible enough to measure inside the window trim, a sharp utility knife and a spray bottle with solution to spray the window and tint. What is the solution? To do-it-yourself use one table spoon of baby shampoo added to a 32 ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water. You will also need a small squeegee, one about the size of a credit card, it should be a comfortable fit for your hand, remember it will be used in tight corners of the window. Why distilled water? This keeps the minerals from hard water clinging to the glass after washing it. When you put tint on it will show any imperfection on the glass such as paint splatter or any bit of dirt or grime. Clean the window well with the solution you have made or you can purchase solution that is specifically made for window tinting at any home and garden store.

Don’t get impatient; follow the directions closely.

Keep the window wet when applying the tint, wet the adhesive side well as you get ready to apply, this helps to move the tint into position and prevents wrinkles. Spray the solution as needed and spray the room side of the tint also after it is hung, this will help with the friction from the squeegee. Squeegee straight down the middle of the window to set the tint, then squeegee from left to right down the window, it is important to push the water and air out the sides and bottom. Once the tint is set you will trim the sides and bottom. Use the squeegee when cutting; place the squeegee in the groove between the window and window casing or trim, cut using the knife on the trim side up against the squeegee this insures you do not cut too much tint. Wet and squeegee again, working any air bubbles and water out. If you leave to much water under the film it may as the adhesive sets leave a hazy residue.

Check off this project in the completed successfully column.

As you can see tinting your own windows isn't all that bad. Just some basic skills and attention to detail is needed. Go one step at a time, and everything will work just fine. You have taken the first step in reducing your cooling bills and protecting your carpets and furniture, and giving yourself a view you can enjoy forever.


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rex michaels 3 years ago Author

Hello Gary and thanks for the comment. Tinting sure helped me. I have a sunroom, and tinting reduced my AC bill by more than what I had expected. You can actually feel the difference immediately after installing it.

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