Window Tinting Cost Factors
Most homeowners spend between $255 and $1,600 to tint their windows. The final cost of tinting will mostly depend on the number of windows to tint. When comparing the price of window film to the other energy efficiency measures available to homeowners, window film is the clear leader because of its lower cost and superior results. You can claim this cost on your taxes.
When window tinting your home, you’re choosing to reduce the UV rays, heat, and transparency of your windows, giving yourself greater control over your AC use and privacy
Residential Window Tinting Cost Per Square Foot
Residential window tinting costs about $9 per square foot on average with most homeowners spending between $8 and $12 per square foot depending on the size and number of windows. Windows that are above 6' in height will incur an additional charge if ladders, scaffolds, or scissor jacks are used. Business window tinting & security films vary on the type and location of windows.
What Are The Benefits Of Tinting My Windows?
To put some real numbers on the effectiveness of tinting: It can result in a reduction of as much as:
85% of the heat generated by sunlight, which can amount to as much as 15 degrees of a difference,
close to 95% of the glare, and
as much as 99% of the UV rays
Reducing Glare Inside the Home
Darrell Smith, the executive director of the IWFA, says,
"Tinting allows in natural light without the negative impact of harsh glare and potentially dangerous UV exposure."
Glare inside the house is caused by sunlight coming in through your windows. During daylight, this glare will affect your ability to enjoy any product with a screen, including your televisions, cell phones, and computer monitors. Having a tint applied is like getting a big pair of sunglasses for each of your windows, eliminating the need to close curtains during the day or relocate your equipment, making for a more enjoyable media experience.
Prevent Unnecessary AC Use
Depending on the season of the year or local weather conditions, tinting can make the difference between using or not using the AC due to its effectiveness.
Extra Privacy & Safety
If you want to leave your curtains or blinds open during the day but would prefer that neighbors not be able to see in, you can install a privacy window film—thereby reducing or altogether eliminating their ability to see in. In addition to making your home more private, it also works to make you less vulnerable because no one can see who is in the house or what particular valuables might be in a specific room.
Reduce Damage From the Sun
Tinted windows will protect your carpet and wood furniture from repeated exposure to the sun, especially when you have large windows or floor-to-ceiling glass doors with furniture, carpet, or wood floors directly inside.
Increase Energy Efficiency
A study published by the International Window Film Association (IWFA) stated:
“Professionally installed window film is the most cost-effective answer for Florida residents when compared to other energy-saving home improvement initiatives, such as upgrading insulation, air sealing, or installing new air conditioning or heat pumps. ... Window film can reduce energy consumption by reducing solar heat gain and cut cooling costs by as much as 30 percent.”
Save money on your electric bill by reducing the daily heat that comes in through your windows and forces your AC or fans to work harder. Homes today come with larger windows and more of them. Bang for the buck, window tinting will make an immediate impact on your utility bill by reducing the temperature inside the home.
Protection From Exposures to UV Light
Overexposure to the UV energy in sunlight can be harmful to your health. Because of the potential to damage your skin and eyes, a window treatment film can help protect your health.
Should I Install Window Coverings Or Tint?
Tint: A significant factor in this decision is the amount of light you get to keep. If you tint your windows, the light can still come in. Tinting also costs less.
Cover: Blinds, curtains, or shutters usually eliminate most of your daily sunlight, which is rarely a desirable option during daylight hours. You have to close and open blinds, shutters, or curtains manually every day.
How Long Does It Take To Install Window Tinting?
“It takes us about 15 minutes to install residential window tinting on a standard glass door. This means we can complete most homes in one afternoon.” They ask that you stay home on the day the film is to be installed so you can confirm they have ordered the right film and so you can answer any questions that arise during installation. This also depends on how dirty the frames are, if you have pets, what you are doing in the home etc.
What Window Tinting Choices Do I Have?
The window tint film is stuck to the interior side of windows with an adhesive. The film measures only a few millimeters thick and is constructed from layers of polyester with a scratchproof coating. In the production phase of the film, either layering or dye treatments are incorporated to achieve the effect of reducing sunlight heat, UV, or providing privacy.
Another type of tint film has metal elements embedded in the polyester—which creates a mirror-like finish often seen on commercial building windows. More recent products use ceramic components to build that reflective quality. Tint Shoppe in Woodbridge, VA, offer window film made with European ceramic technology they offer a lifetime residential warranty on.
“There are more expensive window films to choose from which may have more advanced technology in them, for example, XIR, or ceramically coated films. These films may or may not be better for your particular application. The cost on these window films can range in price from $7.00 to $15.00 per square foot installed.” --says Tintindustry.com
Your choice will depend on:
Shatterproof ability - protecting the contents of your home from debris during a storm
The desired level of privacy - how difficult you want to make it for people to see in. Contra Vision’s one-way privacy film “offers a translucent white perforated film which provides some privacy at night as well.”
Amount of heat reduction – heat-reducing window tints are typically more expensive than those that operate solely in one category. It will be essential to ensure that any film that absorbs heat is used with glass that is rated to withstand that additional heat.
Decoration choices - design and color options in tinting are available to further customize your home, with some companies even offering custom-printed tint film for advertising purposes.
Optional extras - Motorized tint screens are available that can be controlled by a smartphone or over the internet. They can be adjusted throughout the day as needed, or set to a schedule. SmartTint says their “Smart Tint® switchable privacy film is private frosted and opaque when powered off and transparent clear when powered on.”
Who Are The Best Window Tinting Vendors?
Tintcenter.com says, “We recommend the products from ASWF, SolarGard, Johnson, and SunTek. Our experience with these major window tint brands has been top-rate over many years. They honor their warranties and their window film lines has been steadily improving to suit the needs of professionals and consumers alike.” Tint Center also has an excellent list of major brands and a description for each on the site.
Amazon usually has a top ten list of window films based on sales and star ratings. We found this one, which is updated hourly.
Window Tint Maintenance
In most window tint installs, it is not uncommon to see wither water bubbles under the surface or slight cloudiness; however, this is from the install fluid and will go away. In some cases, manufacturers have a clause in the warranty stating if you try to work out the bubbles or clean away the cloudy appearance, you will void the warranty because of damaging the film. Depending on what film you have installed, what time of the year the install job was completed, and where you live—which affects temperature and humidity—this could take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Resist the urge to clean them straight away after the installation since the film will need time to cure.
Once any bubbles are gone and the film is no longer cloudy, you can clean them. Don’t damage the film by scratching it or causing it to fade or peel with harsh cleaning products. It is essential to use the right products like soft cloths and gentle cleaners. You can use a rubber squeegee and some mild alcohol or acid- and ammonia-free detergent (like baby shampoo) and never use paper towels. Once you have sprayed your cleaning solution onto the windows, wipe with a cloth and use the squeegee to remove any excess. Repeat the process a second time just spraying with water instead of detergent.
Hard water will leave visible deposits of minerals on your windows, so if you have hard water but don’t have a water softener in the home, look for an alternative source like bottled water for your cleaning.
Window film that has been heated by the sun is easier to scratch or damage, so plan to clean the windows in the morning.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Unless you are willing to dedicate some serious time to watching videos and reading step-by-step installation instructions, it is probably best to leave this to the professionals. The areas in the installation work that usually trip people up are:
Cutting the film to precisely the right size
Cutting in a straight line
Cutting in an arch (for arched windows)
Removing the film backing without creasing the film
Not leaving any fingerprints on the film
Successfully applying the film without any air bubble
The entire job gets a lot more difficult with bigger windows or tall glass doors, and it is pretty safe to say that doing it successfully without the assistance of at least one other person is next to impossible.