Jun 06

Window Tinting: The Ultimate Guide

Window Tinting

The Ultimate Guide To Finding
& Installing The Perfect Tinting
For The Home & Office

Everything you need to know about window tinting – all in the one place!

Windows can change your living or work space dramatically. The more windows the better! A home or office without windows wouldn’t be a fun place live or work and in Australia approximately 40% of all home energy is used on heating and cooling within the home.

As a lot of people stare out of their windows, the concept of reducing energy costs, making their home/office more secure or reducing sun damage within the home/office by blocking UV rays would hardly (if not ever) cross their minds.

Windows in a home design create a beautiful and harmonic space between the indoors and outdoors, unfortunately, glass contributes to around 15-30% of a home’s heating utility costs and in excess of 30% of the home’s cooling costs.

While opening up your home to the world outside seems like a harmless idea, it can cause many issues when living in the harsh Australian weather.

South Australian climate can be unpredictable no matter what season. As we can’t control the elements, our goal at the Energy Efficiency Centre is to enable your home the best controlled and most comfortable internal climate possible, in the most energy efficient way. We do this by considering all environmental contributing factors on your home, in particular, sunlight.

The installation of window film on the windows of your home allows you the have the best of both worlds. The iconic indoor/outdoor lifestyle us Aussies are known for, with the added protection against the elements. Applying window film will have vast financial, environmental and protection benefits for you and the value of your home.

For more information on saving energy from the South Australian Government click here.

CHAPTER i

What is Window Tinting &
How Does it Work?

Window tinting is an adhesive film applied onto windows that acts as a filter to repel ultraviolet (UV) rays and prevent them from passing through the glass.

Within your home, some tints and films can insulate your glass and prevent heat loss in winter and retain cool air in summer, improving the overall glazing insulation of the home by up to 92% and therefore lowering air-conditioning costs.

Along with blocking infra-red rays and both UV-A and UV-B rays, window film can help save on maintenance costs and add to the durability of household items by protecting them from sun damage (i.e. floor boards, carpet, blinds and paint).

While tinting is uncommon in old, unrenovated houses, it is now a key consideration when building a new home or extension due to it’s energy efficiency and long term low carbon footprint.

Not so long ago applying window tint to your house was somewhat like design-suicide. Back then, the quality of tint was not able to withstand the harsh, Australian climate and it would often peel off the windows, rendering the whole tint useless. These films were dye-based that had poor heat rejection, causing the film to absorb the heat, change colour (grey/purple) and distort your view through the window.

Modern films use high temperature acrylic adhesives and metals like titanium to block heat entering or escaping and improve overall window strength. This creates a hard and thin product which can withstand high temperatures without bubbling or peeling. They are often undetectable and do not obscure view, allowing you to maintain your home’s design while still enjoying the benefit of UV blockage.

Thankfully, tint has come a long way from the purple, bubbly mess you often see on old cars and advances in technology now allow for a strong and transparent film which can be custom fit to any window within your home. Modern films can easily fit the aesthetics and style of your home whilst serving an array of functions suited to your needs, whether it be glare & heat reduction, security & safety film, anti-graffiti film or frosted film for privacy to name a few.

CHAPTER 2

The Different Types of
Tinting Options

Frosted Film

Frosted films can provide privacy while still allowing the sun and light in. They can also be etched into or computer cut for an extra design effect and they reduce the need for curtains or blinds. The drawback is that, while people outside cannot see in, the occupants inside also cannot see out. This type of film can be perfect for highly private areas such as bathrooms, meeting rooms or door sidelights.

Glare Reduction Window Tint

Window tinting can reduce the glare on computer monitors and plasma television screens, helping to reduce eye stress and fatigue. Glare can be reduced by up to 85% with some more reflective tints.

Decorative Window Tint

Digital graphics can be applied to create a retail identity or to liven up a dull office space. The ability to computer cut also allows branding, logos and appealing designs to be created using this film type and we can customise your design with computer cut technology.

Anti Graffiti Tint

An anti graffiti tinting film can be applied to retail windows or other glass surfaces, such as point of sale counters and public toilet mirrors, that may become victim to graffiti. These films act as a barrier over the glass protecting it from paint, scratches and marking.

Safety & Security Window Film

Some films are manufactured using polyester to create shatter proof glazing similar to laminated glass.  These films can be retrofitted to existing glazing in a variety of situations where safety and security are required.  Such situations include making dangerous float glass child safe and preventing intruder entry.  Safety and security films are commonly clear by block up to 99% of UV light so they can be used to prevent fading of soft furnishings without dimming the view.  Tinted safety and security films are also available where heat or glare reduction is also desired.

CHAPTER 3

The Financial Benefit
of Tinting

Glass windows within the home have the ability to increase the intensity of UV rays and radiate heat from direct sunlight. Window tinting insulates the glass, which drastically reduces heat loss from inside your home in the winter months and retains cool air and reflects up to 86% of the suns heat in summer months.

Therefore this will allow you to control the temperature in your home less by air-conditioning which will significantly help you by saving on utility bills.

According to Canstar, using a cooling appliance during summer to cool a large area of 60 square metres can cost you between $108.00 and $120.00! Change this to cooling your whole house and you could be faced with a bill of up to $383.00 on cooling alone.

Another key draw card for window tinting is the protection it offers for furniture and furnishings inside the house. The window films we sell reject up to 99% of the UV rays hitting the glass, which means that your couch, art, carpet and even photos will be protected against fading and premature aging. Curtains and upholstery can be quite expensive to replace, but with tinting their lifespan is drastically improved. It’s also nice to know that your risk of skin cancer is reduced if you spend a lot of time near your windows.

Security window film/tint can help protect your home against burglary, more specifically the likes of ‘smash and grab’ thieves who are likely to steal valuables in a very short period of time. According to the ABS in 2015 alone, 225,700 households in Australia experienced at least one break-in to their home, garage or shed. This investment could not only protect your precious valuables but also provide peace of mind for yourself and your family knowing there’s an extra shield of protection on your windows, as these film/tints can prevent intruders penetrating glass by great force and resist heavy objects (i.e. bricks, baseball bats, metal pole etc.)

CHAPTER 4

The Environmental & Community
Benefits of Window Tinting

The building industry has experienced huge shifts in eco awareness over the last decade and innovation and technology is still on the rise to minimise the carbon footprint and improve sustainability. Building trends such as smaller houses, multifunctional open plan spaces and larger windows have all been born out of the Australian desire to look after the environment.

All new homes and extensions built in South Australia are required by law to comply with the energy efficiency conditions outlined in the Building Code of Australia as part of a greater plan to combat global warming.

Window films, such as the EnerLogic Low-E Performance has the ability to reduce heat transfer through a standard window by a staggering 43%. This means that heat is reflected off the window and diverted back into the house, instead of being lost through the glass. This makes it extremely efficient for keeping in the heat during winter as the house will require less manual heating to stay at an optimal temperature. Similarly, the window film performs the same way in summer, reflecting external heat off the surface preventing it from passing through the glass.

The benefits of window tinting/film go beyond the home and the office and can make a difference to many aspects of your surrounding community. The environmental benefits can be utilised from applying film to schools, restaurants, trains and almost anything that has a window! In terms of minimising our carbon footprint, window tint/film is a secret weapon which should be utilised to the maximum.

CHAPTER 5

Window Tinting for Protection
from Glass Shattering

Accidents will always happen. The kids may kick a footy through the window or a rock could be thrown up by the lawnmower, shattering a sliding door. While it’s impossible to predict the future, installing tint on your windows can reduce the likelihood of the glass completely shattering.

Tinted window film is bonded to the glass which increases the strength and disperses the vibrations on impact. If the glass does shatter, the film will help keep the pieces of broken glass together, preventing airborne shards and making clean up much easier.

If a security film is used, the strength provided by the additional tinting may also protect your home from intruders or burglars who are seeking entry into your house via a window or sliding door.

CHAPTER 6

The Cost of Tinting

Many people find that the cost of tinting their windows is recouped after just one year by the savings earned in utility bills and the longevity of fixtures of furnishings.

The initial cost of tinting an entire house will depend on the size and number of windows. However, at the Energy Efficiency centre costing is approximately $70-$75 per square metre for heat/glare reduction films and $160-$180 per square metre for insulation window film.

Most sophisticated films such as Enerlogic are priced closer to $190 per square metre of film due to the more rigorous manufacturing process required.  However, in the case of Enerlogic and other insulating window films, the extra heating and cooling costs savings makes it a very affordable tint to apply.

Please also note, that fitting films on to windows that are dirty, arched or irregular shapes (which may require installation from ladders or scaffolds) and working outside of metropolitan areas will incur additional costing. We recommend you clean your windows before installation!

We are happy to provide a customised quote for your home, simply call us on (08) 9276 9055 or visit our showroom. For more information, click here.

CHAPTER 7

Installation of tinting

Tinting is installed on the inside of windows and is applied with a soapy-water solution. Installation can generally be completed in less than one day, depending on the number and size of the windows.

Our explainer video below shows you exactly how window tinting works and how it is applied.

 

Video: What is a Window Film and How Is It Applied?

The 15 steps of Tint Installation

Following is a brief outline of the steps to install the average tinting film. We can also provide advice on installation or arrange expert installation for you to ensure your product performs up to the best of it’s ability.

  1. Measure your window and cut your tint to size.
  2. Spray the window with a soapy-water solution
  3. Take a razor blade and scrape the edges to remove glue, gunk and paint from the glass.
  4. Spray the window again with soapy water and use a glass-safe scourer to remove any other dirt.
  5. Use a squeegee to clean the soap off the glass, wiping the squeegee as you go to remove water.
  6. Spray the window again and repeat squeegee clean to ensure there is no dirt or water left behind.
  7. Take a smaller squeegee and clean the corners of the glass to remove any water sitting in the window seal.
  8. Spray the glass with soapy water.
  9. Peel the liner off the tint to reveal the adhesive- much like peeling off the paper of adhesive contact. Don’t touch the adhesive. This step is best done with help to avoid wasting a sheet of tint.
  10. Line the tint up on the window, and press onto the window.
  11. Spray the tint with more soapy solution
  12. Use a sharp razor blade to trim the excess tint film from the edges of the glass.
  13. Go over the glass again with a squeegee to push all water and bubbles out of the film. Be meticulous because once the film dries whatever is there will stay.
  14. Switch to using a hard-card to push film into the edges of glass, wiping the excess water off the card as you go.
  15. Take a microfibre cloth to wipe down the window, don’t press too hard. Allow window tint to set for at least 8 hours.
CHAPTER 8

How To Maintain Your Tinted
Windows – Do’s and Don’ts!

The average lifespan of tinted window film is between 10 and 15 years, depending on the climate and maintenance.

Most brands of tint will offer some duration of warranty, generally 10 years however a little bit of maintenance will help extend the life of your tinting.

Do’s:

  • Opt for a gentle solution of soap and distilled water. The distilled water will help prevent excess minerals and chemicals building up on your film and is much milder than regular tap water. Alternative methods could also include vinegar and water solution or the use of non-abrasive window cleaning products.
  • Wipe your tinted windows with a soft cloth (i.e. microfibre), soft sponge or rubber squeegees to avoid minor scratching (even if your windows are scratch resistant!)

Don’ts:

  • The use of harsh chemicals, abrasive scourers and rough towels should be avoided when cleaning your windows.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning products and chemicals, for example steel wool and baking soda (no matter how dirty your windows are!)
CHAPTER 9

The Top 4 MYTHS of
Window Tinting

For our last chapter, we thought we would debunk some of our most popular and somewhat comical FAQ’s of concern from our customers over the years.

1 – “…I’ve heard window tinting is cheap because its designed only for old office buildings and homes, is this true?”

Although window film can be applied to any home, modern or traditional, tinting is by no means specific to “old” office buildings or homes and in fact is quite uncommon in older buildings and homes, as it is a fairly recent technology in a residential and commerical sense.

As technology has come a very long way in terms of window tinting, our different products of tinting can serve any modern or traditional homes for multiple functions (i.e. sun protection, security etc.) and should definitely not be categorised as “cheap”. We look as window tinting as a sound investment, with a specific purpose to provide the consumer with many years of the highest quality.

2 – “Will window tinting kill my indoor plants?”

In a lot of cases indoor plants evolved and thrive with no direct sunlight and depending on the plant, it may grow healthier after the installation of window tinting or you may observe no effect.

However, generally speaking some plants may experience an adjustment period after the tinting/film has been installed, as the levels of brightness have altered, which in turn may delay new growth/flowering in your plants but certainly won’t kill them.

3 – “Will the window tinting make my home too dark?”

Traditional tinting many years ago may have had quite a noticeable impact on the levels of brightness within your home. As technology continues to improve and develop since such days, our tinting focuses away from the light wavelengths that effect visible light within your home/office. Today, our film focuses towards filtering light wavelengths such as infrared heat, therefore letting ample light into your home and no need to use additional artificial lighting methods, which would ultimately impact your energy costs

4 – “I’ve heard that window film makes many windows look too ‘shiny’ or ‘super-reflective’”

Traditional tinting methods used in the past may have caused this appearance on window tints, to which you may have seen. Particularly if they were installed in close proximity to certain types of energy-efficient styled lighting.

Thankfully over many years, extensive research and development has led to modern tinting technology to eliminate this “shiny” appearance and the reflective factor on our products is almost unnoticeable.

The decision to tint your windows may seem like an expensive of complicated task, but the long term gains are many. Choosing a window tint will not only save you in energy costs but is also a greener solution and will help reduce your carbon footprint. Our showroom has a large display of the available tinting options and we are happy to consult with you to choose the right solution for your needs. Our expert consultants are trained in all aspects of the product and can help guide you if you are unsure.