Window Tint: Cost-Effective and Energy Efficient
On a recent vacation to Southern Florida I spent time in a sun-baked lanai fixing my father’s cable television. As I melted, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard the air conditioner had to run to keep the indoor temperatures tolerable. It was so warm inside it led me to do some research on methods to increase his home’s energy efficiency without spending too much money. What I found was interesting to say the least.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 43% of a home utility bill goes to heating and cooling. To my father this was another way of sticking it to the little guy, but to me it was a way to save. The problem was going to be separating my father’s wallet from his backside.
To do this I had to be smart. I started him off with a money-saving approach, courtesy of the United States government. As part of my approach, I read how the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave federal tax credits for consumers who make energy-efficient improvements to their homes, including window tint (which I know about as a writer and proofreader for the company Detail Wiz, which does professional window tinting for homes). By purchasing a qualifying solar controlled window tint between January 1st and December 31st 2011, he could receive up to a $500 tax credit for 2011.
I explained to my father that window tint, or window film as it’s sometimes referred as, is a thin film that could be professionally placed over the windows of his home. The film varies in tint level from clear to 70% visible light transmission (VLT), which refers to how dark the tint appears on the windows. I told him it was relatively inexpensive ranging $6–$14 per square foot and is designed to reduce up to 99% Ultraviolet (UV) light from penetrating the window(s). I also told him that it would provide the following benefits:
- In the hot summer months, the window tint would prevent ultraviolet (UV) light from penetrating into his home causing the floors, walls, and furniture to heat up and drive up the interior temperature decreasing energy efficiency.
- By having window tint professionally installed on his windows, it would not only keep the UV light out, but in the winter months the window tint prevented the heat from leaving his home too.
In the end, he agreed to speak with a home performance professional that would help develop a plan to increase his home’s energy efficiency, which included adding the window film and other recommendations for improvements that were cost effective. A win for both of us.
This interaction also made me realize that there are a lot of people out there who don't know about the benefits of window tinting, especially for those in sunny climates, like my father. If you'd like more information on window tinting, feel free to visit the Detail Wiz website.
Michael M. Dickson is a writer who specializes in marketing and sales material for Detail Wiz. He is also a freelance writer, blogger, and energy efficiency nut. When he’s not following his children around the house turning off lights, he’s busy offering personal finance advice and is a licensed insurance professional in the state of Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelMDickson.
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