The average American household spends a whopping $2,200 on utilities every year. Guess where more than half of that goes? That’s right: heating and air-conditioning, and those costs go up if you live in places with temperature extremes, like Arizona, or Alaska. Heck, even places like California, which is famous for having year-round moderate weather, have the dubious honor of being the 6th most expensive state for utilities.
Sure, you can invest in solar paneling and alternative energy sources (as you should!), but those can be expensive and you won’t be seeing ROI anytime soon. If you’re not some kind of millionaire, relying on clean energy might just send you to the poorhouse before you can save the planet.
A more cost-effective solution? Lowering your need for heating and air-conditioning. And you don’t need fancy equipment or exotic materials to lessen your reliance on HVAC. In fact, something as simple as installing window tints can save you a ton of cash in the long run, helping you save up for those expensive solar panels.
There’s a very big chance that your closest window tint shop is stocked with all the things you need to save big on utility costs. But is window tinting really that effective?
Why Window Tints Help You Lower Electricity Bills
In essence, window tinting involves installing a very thin film of a special material that absorbs and reflects the sun’s heat during summer and keeps in residual heat during winter. Window tints also block off 99% of the sun’s UV rays and reduce glare, so you won’t have to see a reflection of yourself smashing a whole bag of Cheetos while you watch sports on your flat screen.
Could you do the same with curtains? Not quite: curtains are great at blocking off light, but not keeping out/in heat. They also get dusty, which adds to your cleaning. Window tints, on the other hand, are able to lessen your reliance on heating and air-conditioning without any added costs: just install it and enjoy not sweating/freezing in your living room.
How Effective Are Window Tints?
Studies show commercial window tints (that is, the type of window tints installed in commercial locations) can absorb as much as 80% of the sun’s heat. But even residential-grade window tints reflect off around 55% of the sun’s heat. Think about it: half the heat means you don’t have to crank up the AC to max, which means you use up less energy.
For new houses, setting up a window with a tint is also cheaper: sure, you can splurge and go for double-pane windows, but a single-pane window with a tint is half the price but offers the same level of comfort as the first option.
Of course, where you install your tints is also important: you won’t get much value-for-money if you install a window tint in a north-facing window, since that direction doesn’t get much direct sunlight anyway.
Always tint up your windows that receive the most direct sunlight throughout the day, and you can look at a yearly reduction of utility bills by up to 10%. Couple that with other energy/cost-saving practices, and you’d be on your way to actually paying $0 on energy bills. It’s far off but, hey, at least you’re a few steps closer to living the dream!