By Scott Orr
|Photo by Matt Hinshaw, Daily Courier|
When most people think of window tinting, they picture a car with dark glass to keep it cool in summer.
But tinting your home's windows can save on both cooling and heating costs, said Dan Gallagher, owner of Bennett Glass & Mirror in Prescott.
"It actually works both ways," he said, "It is blocking the sun-it's blocking 99% of the (ultraviolet) light-but it's also creating a thermal barrier on your window, so it's improving your heating or your cooling."
Clients can get a quantitative analysis of how much tinting actually helps your home.
"What we do is, there's a (device) like a thermometer that measures BTUs," Gallagher said, and manufacturer 3M claims a 30 percent reduction in heating and cooling costs for homes with all the windows tinted.
Not every client wants all the windows to be tinted, at least as first. "Sometimes people come in, and they say, "I just want my south-facing windows done,' he said. "And, because it does change the look of your house, they look at it and say, "Oh, I want to do the whole house.'"
The tint comes in sheets that are normally placed on the inside of windows. It costs between $6 and $12 a square foot. It's applied in a similar way as automobile window tinting.
"Some windows, like Pella, are triple-paned, and that film has to go on the outside," Gallagher said. "But that's kind of rare."
The windows have to be prepped-they must be absolutely spotless before the film is applied-and then the film is placed.
The 3M product is guaranteed for the life of the home, he said. The warranty is 12 to 15 years for the same film product on commercial businesses.