Whether we’re ready or not, winter will arrive before we know it. Higher heating bills are sure to follow. Now is the perfect time to prepare our homes for the cold, so that we can stay cozy this winter without breaking the bank.
Maybe you already know that homes can lose a great deal of heat through their windows; in typical homes, windows are the source of between 25% and 40% of total heat loss. Some of this loss occurs by way of poor seals between window and wall; checking around windows for drafts, and sealing any gaps with caulk or weatherstripping, is always a worthwhile fall task.
Heat loss can also occur through the glass itself. An untreated pane of glass conducts heat easily, allowing it to transfer from your interior to exterior, and vice-versa. This heat transfer makes it harder for your heater to maintain a warm, comfortable temperature when it’s icily cold outside. The harder your heater has to work, the higher your energy bill will be.
For some, upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows is the answer. The extra pane of glass provides a buffer between inside and out, greatly increasing the insulation power of your windows. Less precious winter heat will be lost, and heating costs will be reduced. But for many homeowners, replacing single-pane windows for double-pane is also too expensive. A much more budget-friendly option is to apply a tinted film to your windows.
Many of today’s window tints feature a low-E coating; low-E is short for low emissivity, meaning the coating restricts the emission of heat. In the summertime, exterior heat is not allowed to pass through the coating, but is instead reflected away; in wintertime, this same reflectivity keeps heat on the interior of the window. Both kinds of reflectivity help to maintain interior temperatures, minimizing the need for heating or cooling.
As a general rule, an effective window tint can improve a single-pane window’s insulating properties to be comparable to a double-pane window. A double-pane window could deliver insulation comparable to a triple pane window. Better yet: The cost of installing tinted film is a lot less than the cost of replacement windows.
In addition to reflecting away heat, modern tints can also block out UV rays – these are the rays that can harm us and fade away the color in our carpets and furniture. 3M Prestige window tints, for example, can reject up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays. That’s great news for your skin as well as your furnishings.
There is one thing that today’s window tints don’t often feature: a dark tone. Most tints are designed to perform without darkening the appearance of your windows or blocking out the view or natural light that you love. With today’s tints, the reduction of brightness and natural light is a choice, and not a necessity. 3M Prestige films are available in a number of options that allow you to choose how much natural light passes through.
More comfort for less cost – that’s something to aspire to this fall and winter. If your windows aren’t up to the challenge, consider giving them some extra insulation with a tinted window film.