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Tinted Home Windows: Pros & Cons

May 03, 2020 by Matt Frankel, CFP
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Many people are more familiar with tinted windows on vehicles, but it's important to realize that it's quite common for people to tint the windows of their homes as well. In fact, tinting your home's windows can have some pretty compelling benefits and could even help you save money on utilities.

In this article, we'll explore some of the reasons you might want to consider tinting your windows -- and the major drawback you should consider.

Pros of tinted home windows

There are several reasons why you might want to consider tinting the windows in your home. In addition to window tint being a relatively quick-to-install product, there are some major benefits:

  • Less natural heat: Sunlight generates heat, and tinted windows allow less sunlight in. HomeGuide claims that tinted windows can block as much as 85% of the heat generated by sunlight, which can mean a difference of as much as 15 degrees in the interior of the home.
  • Less sun damage: Natural sunlight isn't just hot -- it can be damaging to the inside of your home. Wood floors and furniture are especially vulnerable to long-term sun damage, and tinted windows can help prolong their lifespan.
  • Lower energy costs: This goes hand in hand with "less natural heat." As sunlight heats the air in your home to an uncomfortable temperature, you probably use your air conditioning system to cool it. Reducing the sunlight in your home means you'll have to run your air conditioner less, which can save you money on electricity.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows make it more difficult for people to see into your home, which can add to the feeling of privacy (and security) in your home, without the need to keep your shades drawn at all times.
  • Reduced glare: Tinted windows help eliminate glare caused by sunlight. As a personal example, I can't use my home office after 3 p.m. without my blinds down. The glare is too intense for me to see my computer screens comfortably. Window tint can solve this sort of problem.
  • Decoration: In addition to simple darkening tints, some types of window tinting film come in attractive patterns that can add a decorative element to your home.

Potential drawbacks of tinted home windows

The main downside to tinting your home's windows is the expense. According to HomeGuide, you can expect residential window tinting to cost between $5 and $8 per square foot. The cost can be higher for second-floor or higher windows, or if your windows are any shape besides rectangular. As you might imagine, this can add up quickly, especially if your house has a lot of windows. As I mentioned in the last section, this is likely to be somewhat offset by reduced electricity costs, but it's likely to be a major out-of-pocket expense.

The Millionacres bottom line

If your home is too hot in the summer or lacks privacy when the blinds or curtains aren't covering your windows, or if there's a nasty glare in your home, tinting your windows could be a smart solution -- as long as you feel the benefits outweigh the cost.

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