10 Ways to Save on Energy Costs in Your Business

10 Ways to Save on Energy Costs in Your Business

Small businesses are slaves to the bottom line. It doesn’t take much for the profit margin to shrink or expand, which is why paying attention to energy consumption – and energy efficiency – can be vital to a business. Looking for ways to save on energy costs in your business can start with very simple observations, corrections, and modifications. These savings will become evident as monthly utility bills continue to decrease over time. In fact, the majority of the suggested modifications will end up paying for themselves within the first year or two, meaning those savings will be actualized in the business account before you know it.

Save on Energy Costs

10 Ways to Save on Energy Costs in Your Business

  1. Perform an Energy Audit. Energy audits are a great way to take annual assessment of where the energy is going in your business. Many local utility companies offer energy audits for free, or for a small fee. A representative can meet you at your place of business to do a walk-thru and asses the building structure, and day-to-day energy consumption, to make recommendations on how you can benefit from energy savings in your business. You can also do online energy audits, such as this energy audit provided by PG&E, by answering a series of questions.
  2. Turn on the right kind of lights. What kind of lighting is your business using? If you are using any amount of incandescent lighting you are throwing money right out the proverbial window. By switching all of your business’ interior and exterior lighting from incandescent to compact florescent (CFL) or LEDs, you can save  more than 75% on lighting costs. That can really add up, especially for businesses with multiple offices or large industrial warehouses. Also, install motion sensitive light switches in bathrooms, storage closets, or other areas where people may forget to turn off the lights. These energy savings will quickly add up as well.
  3. Install Commercial Window Film. One way to quickly gain energy savings in your business is to install commercial window film, especially on windows that have western or southern exposure. By blocking UV rays, you can save as much as 10% on monthly utility bills. In addition to energy savings, window film can also protect interior furnishings from fading, and cut down on frustrating computer glare.
  4. Look for the Energy Star Label. The government created the Energy Star label in order to highlight products that met strict energy efficiency standards as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of energy. One qualification to meet Energy Star guidelines is that the cost difference between a product with the Energy Star label and a standard version will be made up in a reasonable amount of time. Owners and/or managers should always purchase electronics, appliances for office kitchens, and even smaller devices – such as exit signs – with the Energy Star label to reap additional energy savings in your business.
  5. Fix Water Leaks. Any water leaks should be fixed immediately. Not only will it save you money on your water bill, it will also save you in terms of repairs. Water leaks can erode concrete, cause mold and mildew damage, and can creep into interior wall spaces where further damage can go sight unseen. In the case of faucet leaks, hot water leaks can cost extra since the company’s hot water tank will be working unnecessarily.
  6. Increase access to natural light. We started with lighting in Part 1 and we will begin there again. If your business is in a large warehouse or in in a single-story building you’re able to modify, it makes sense to look into solar tubes and/or skylights. These are simple and affordable to install and will add a tremendous amount of natural light to your warehouse or office even on a cloudy day. Seek out skylights with the Energy Star label to ensure they are rated for maximum energy efficiency in terms of insulation. You can also contact a local commercial window film installer to add window film to skylights for added protection from UV rays and to prevent glare.
  7. Assess your air leaks. Poorly sealed doors and windows, leaky HVAC duct work, and gaps in exterior construction materials can waste a tremendous amount of energy. Do an annual air leak inspection and replace weathered or damaged weather stripping, caulk cracks or obvious gaps in window seals and on exterior walls where different construction materials meet. Also,inspect areas where electrical outlets, cables, and plumbing enter your building to ensure the holes and gaps are properly sealed as well. Energy savings in your business can be gained by keeping your interior temperature comfortable without overworking your HVAC.
  8. Consider an insulation overhaul. If your business is located in an older building that hasn’t been renovated in a while, it is probably worth it to hire a local licensed contractor to do an inspection. A poorly insulated building wastes a surprising amount of money in heating and cooling costs. If the bid comes in higher than you would like, consider upgrading your roof insulation. Simply modifying the roof insulation to a higher R-value can save about 15% in HVAC energy costs alone. If your building is so old that existing insulation values are lower than R-12, you may be eligible for incentives which will further the energy savings in your business.
  9. Install a programmable thermostat. If you are in a newer building, you probably already have a programmable thermostat. However, older buildings don’t usually have them and the difference can cause a larger company hundreds of dollars per year on monthly utility bills.Talk to your HVAC contractor about installing one. If you already have one, check the programming fairly regularly to make sure nothing has been changed. This is especially true around daylight savings time changes, seasonal changes, and during certain times of the year – such as holidays and summertime – when the office might be less inhabited.
  10. Go Solar. Many business owners are stuck in an old way of thinking: “I’d love to go solar but it’s just too expensive.” However, technology has continued to advance, making solar energy more efficient and affordable than ever before. Government tax incentives have continued when other energy efficiency tax incentives have fallen by the wayside. Now could be the best time to overhaul your company’s energy paradigm and make the change to solar. Between tax incentives, competitive sales rebates, and affordable financing, it might cost you much less than you imagined.

Finding ways to gain energy savings in your business can become a game. These five steps will get you started. Now it’s your turn to think of additional energy saving techniques. Additionally, here are some more ways for you to cut energy costs.

Making small changes, such as increasing natural lighting or using a programmable thermostat, and large changes, like beefing up insulation or going solar, you can take energy savings in your business and transform them into significant dollar savings.

10 Ways to Lower Energy Costs at Home

10 Ways to Lower Energy Costs at Home

Did you know the average American household spends almost 30 percent of their annual energy consumption on heating their home? That is closely followed by another 17 percent on cooling energy and about 14 percent towards their hot water tank usage. Most Americans pay their monthly utility bills automatically. They may bemoan the fact that this month’s bill is higher than normal, but otherwise they don’t really give much thought to monthly energy consumption. While homeowners may anticipate the rise in energy consumption during summer and winter months, they don’t always take the time or make the effort to reduce it.

There are simple ways homeowners can benefit from significant savings on their annual energy costs. Ready to learn how your can start adding up your energy savings at home?

lower energy costs

10 Ways to Gain Energy Savings at Home

  1. Check for leaks. It probably comes as no surprise that since the biggest energy expense is in heating a home, that is also one of the easiest areas to recoup some wasted money. For many households, energy savings at home begins with sealing previously unnoticed leaks, which waste a considerable amount of energy and money. These leaks can come in the form of old weatherstripping or damaged caulking on windows. Leaky ducts in your home heating and cooling system can keep hot air from getting where it’s supposed to go.
    • Replace old weather stripping on exterior doors
    • Do a visual inspection on the exterior of your house, where different building materials meet, to check for any visible cracks or gaps that could indicate a leak.
    • Hold a lit stick of incense and hold it in front of windows, doors, electrical outlets, or locations where cables, wiring, and plumbing enter your home on an exterior wall. If the smoke is disrupted by a draft, you know you have a leak to seal up.
  2. Annual Maintenance Contracts. Since heating and cooling are the main energy consumers, it’s important that HVAC systems are running optimally. One cost-effective way to make sure is to find a reputable HVAC company that provides annual maintenance contracts. They will make sure homeowners’ HVAC system performs efficiently year round, and that the ducts are sealed properly.
  3. Change Air Filters Routinely. Usually the rule of thumb is to change air filters every 6 months but to prevent filters from clogging, and causing the HVAC systemto work harder, homeowners should change air filters about every 3 months when the heater or AC are being used heavily.
  4. Installing a Programmable Thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat can be one of the biggest cost saving techniques. On average, it can save families as much as $180 per year. There’s no point in heating and cooling a home when nobody’s there. And winter nights offer the opportunity to wear flannel PJs and cozy up under thick blankets while the energy-consumptive heater takes a snooze as well.
  5. Installing Window Film. Window film can make a considerable difference when it comes to keeping a home cooler in the summertime. Homeowners can give their AC a break by having residential window film installed. Tinted window film can prevent up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays from entering a home. In fact, properly installed window film can save as much as 10% on utility bills during the summer months.
  6. An Energy Audit. The word, “audit” can cause the nervous system to go on alert. However, this is the kind of audit where the homeowner, or a licensed professional, assesses the areas where energy – and therefore money – might be wasted by inefficiency in appliances, undetected leaks, and so on. Energy savings at home should begin with a knowledgeable assessment of where the energy in a home is going. Almost anyone can perform a Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit. Homeowner’s may be surprised at what they discover. If you don’t feel like you know enough to perform a thorough energy audit, contact your local utility company. Many utilities, such as PG&E, offer Energy Audit seminars or can direct you in hiring a professional to do the audit for you.
  7. Wish Upon the Energy Star. When it’s time to purchase a new appliance, HVAC system, or a piece of home entertainment equipment, keep an eye out for the Energy Star Label. Energy Star is a government approved stamp that the electronic or gas powered device is more energy efficient than a standard model and meets strict energy guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy. It is also a guarantee that the extra money spent on an Energy Star product will be recouped by its energy savings within a “reasonable amount of time.” From that point forward, it’s all just energy savings.
  8. Light Bright. Lighting is an easy focal point for energy savings at home. Incandescent bulbs burn significantly more energy than their florescent and LED counterparts. In fact, as it stacks up between the three lighting options:
    • Energy Saving Incandescent Bulbs: 25% energy savings
    • Energy Saving Compact Florescent (CFL): 75% energy savings (Note: CFLs contain mercury and should never be thrown away in the trash. Please save them and bring them to your local hardware store or other CFL recycling station.
    • Light-Emitting Diode (LED): 75%+ energy savings

    You can imagine how those savings at home add up over time.

  9. Make Way for Natural Light. Sunlight is absolutely free. However, so many homes have the blinds pulled and the curtains closed during the daytime to maintain privacy, cut down on passive solar heat (another way to conserve energy!), or to keep the glare from television and computer screens. Installing window film can be a great way to keep the lights off during the daytime while still benefiting from free sunlight, preserving privacy and preventing excessive solar heat gain. Contact a local window film installer for more information on how you can keep the lights off and let the sunlight in.
  10. Adequate Insulation. Insulation helps to maintain a more constant indoor temperature so the HVAC system works less to balance fluctuations. Older homes are often inadequately insulated. It’s worth the money to have your home inspected and get bids on adequately insulating your home. Improving the insulation in your attic can help tremendously. Take a peek – if the insulation is equal to, or lower than attic floor joists, it’s time to make modifications.

Observing these five simple steps will help contribute towards energy savings at home. They can save families hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per year. The older the home, the bigger the savings. Best of all, the will pay for themselves in no time, allowing homeowners to pocket the rest.

Energy savings at home means more money in the pocket. Take some time this weekend for a DIY energy audit and see where you can start saving energy.

Commercial Energy Saving Solutions That Save You Money

Commercial Energy Saving Solutions That Save You Money

Energy consumption is a hot topic now that climate change has come to the forefront of public awareness. But let’s not dismiss the fact that energy is expensive, and many of the systems in place today are wasteful.

Commercial Energy Saving Solutions

Reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency, though, doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Instead of installing rooftop solar panels, for example, try the tips listed below and check your next month’s energy bill to witness the savings first hand.

Window Tinting

One of the most inexpensive and effective commercial energy saving solutions around comes in the form of window tint. This isn’t the tint you see on car windows, though.

Office window film is one of the most effective ways to limit the amount of sunlight, and therefore heat, coming into an office workspace. Rather than keeping the interior temperature consistent by using the HVAC system, window film is used to help alleviate the burden on a building’s heating and cooling equipment.

As a result, the HVAC system runs less often. And when it does, the system experiences a lighter load, ultimately saving you money.

Lighting Upgrades

When it comes to commercial energy saving solutions, there’s nothing more simple and straightforward than replacing old light bulbs and fixtures. This is especially true if your business is still using incandescent light bulbs.

Making the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), halogen bulbs, and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) last much longer and require less energy than conventional light bulbs and fixtures. Additionally, if your business already uses fluorescent lighting, consider upgrading the electronic ballasts to newer and more energy efficient models.

HVAC System Tune-Up

The majority of energy costs for commercial buildings comes from the heating and cooling systems. As previously mentioned, installing office window film is a cost-effective way to help manage the interior temperature of a building. But that often isn’t enough.

To get the most out of other commercial energy saving solutions, consider giving your HVAC system a tune-up. Doing so is less costly than upgrading the entire system, and you’ll still see the benefits on your next power bill. Giving the system a tune-up will help ensure the system operates as close to peak efficiency as possible.

Adjust Thermostat Settings

Now that your HVAC system is running smoothly, it’s time to dial in the thermostat. Anyone with experience working in an office knows just how fickle the cooling and heating system can be.

In the summer, the office gets too cold for comfort. Try adjusting the thermostat by raising the temperature a few degrees. While the change might not seem noticeable, it will be reflected on your energy bill. Also, consider keeping off-hour temperatures higher or lower (depending on the season) for further energy savings.

Computer Power Management

Commercial energy saving solutions don’t always involve installing new fixtures or adjusting the thermostat. Sometimes saving on energy costs is as simple as turning off equipment at the end of the day.

To get started, instruct all your employees to power down their computers at the end of the day. Some equipment, such as internet servers, will have to remain powered on. Other equipment, though, such as copiers, printers, and audio/visual systems should be turned off or to a power-saving setting outside of normal business hours.

Replace Weather Stripping

Now that your HVAC system is dialed in and working efficiently, it’s time to ensure the temperature remains as consistent as possible. An easy way to do this is to replace old or cracked weather stripping.

Take a walk through the office and try to identify as many leaks as possible. Then work to seal these leaks using weather stripping and caulking. Doing so will help maintain a consistent temperature, all while giving the HVAC system a break.

Use Natural Light

Sometimes commercial energy saving solutions can be realized by simply turning off the lights. If your business has large windows, this could be a viable option, especially in the summer months.

However, try not to sacrifice the mental health of your employees in order to save a few bucks on the electricity bill. If the light levels with fixtures switched off are too low, consider other options.

Apply For Tax Breaks and Incentives

Even the government is willing to help with commercial energy saving solutions.

For example, Investment Tax Credits (ITC) can be applied to the cost of installing new solar power systems. If solar panels are out of your price range, though, check with your city government to see what local tax incentives are offered for improving your business’s energy efficiency.

Use Occupancy Sensors

Much like powering down computers at the end of the day, there’s no sense in leaving the lights on if nobody is in the office. To help minimize energy waste, and to avoid reminding employees to turn off the lights, consider installing motion sensors that turn lights on and off automatically.

You Have the Power

Commercial energy saving solutions don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it can be as simple as turning off lights and equipment at the end of the day.

Reducing energy costs does, however, require you to be attentive to the needs of both your business, as well as your employees. To save money on your next power bill, try using the tips described in this article and then move forward from there.

For more information about how energy saving methods such as window film can help your business, contact us today. Our team of experts will help you find the best solution for your business.

Increase Your Green Footprint With Green Houses

Increase Your Green Footprint With Green Houses

Energy efficiency and green living are popular these days and for good reason. Living green and increasing your green footprint both saves money and helps protect the environment.

After all, we get one Earth, and we’re quickly doing irreparable damage to our planet. Of NASA’s 134-year record keeping, all but one of the hottest 16 years have occurred since 2000.

That alone is enough incentive for most people to invest in green living. Though if you’re still not convinced, even just installing window tints saves money.

Green Footprint Dos and Don’ts

Whether for financial or planet saving reasons, investing in growing your green footprint is something that could benefit any homeowner.

If you’re ready to make your green footprint a priority, check out our guide on the dos and don’ts of building a green, energy efficient home.

Do: Energy Efficient Windows and Tints

Many homes, even newer homes, don’t have the luxury of energy efficient windows. It’s usually because somewhere along the line someone wanted to save a few extra dollars.

So why bother with adding energy efficient windows or tints? Because the superior seals and tints on the windows keep in heat and air conditioning.

Tints especially are easy to install and lower your energy costs.

When you heat and cool your home with non-energy efficient windows, you’re also heating and cooling the outside. Obviously, this wastes money and energy.

What’s more, those of us with electric heating systems can’t moderate how efficient our heating usage is.

Electricity coming from the provider is only as efficient as the provider makes it. This makes windows that retain heat even more important.

Don’t: Sub-Par Insulation

Many people overlook their home’s insulation, thinking that the bare minimum will be enough to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

While it’s true the bare minimum will work just fine, it will severely limit your ability to increase your green footprint and make your home energy efficient.

Think of it this way. Installing those energy efficient windows won’t be any help if all of your heat and air conditioning is escaping through your walls.

It’s very important to plan for quality insulation when you’re building your home. New home builders should consider their other energy efficient appliances and take care to insulate for maximum effectiveness.

Installing an energy efficient furnace and windows? Poor insulate could almost negate the cost savings of both.

Do: Utilize Technology

Smart home technology is quickly becoming very popular for those looking to increase their green footprint. Simply put, technology is once again saving us money.

Smart thermostats especially are excellent for moderating how much your HVAC system runs. While regular thermostats can have schedules, smart thermostats do so much more.

For instance, certain brands of smart thermostats have sensors that detect movement in certain rooms and only trigger the system when movement is detected.

If the temperature in a room is too high or low when you enter, the HVAC system will turn on or off until the temperature is correct. However, if you’re not in the room, the HVAC system stays off.

Smart thermostats also allow for automated on and off schedules where the system only runs when you’re home. This saves on heating and cooling costs when no one is around to reap the benefits.

As always, the less your HVAC system uses electric and gas, the less the impact on the environment.

Don’t: Use Non-Eco Friendly Materials

If you’re in the process of building your home already, stop and take stock of what you’re using for building materials. We bet you’ll find your materials aren’t eco-friendly.

The fact of the matter is, most contractors aren’t worried about your green footprint. They’re using materials that save them money in the long run.

Instead, they should use materials that save the environment. Everything from roofing materials to your insulation has an eco-friendly alternative.

Talk to your builder about utilizing as many eco-friendly materials as possible. First focus on the easy ones, like recycled lumber, granite, and concrete.

Next, move onto things that are harder to come by. These are your recycled roofing materials and insulation. It shouldn’t take too much work to have most of your home constructed from eco-friendly materials.

Do: Install an Energy Efficient Hot Water Heater

Your hot water accounts for an astounding 14-18 percent of your utility bills. In other words, every time you shower, do laundry or run the dishwasher, you’re using a lot of energy.

Installing an energy efficient hot water heater can help mitigate these costs. There are three types of hot water heaters you should know about.

The first, tankless water heaters, heat your hot water on demand instead of saving it in a reservoir. On-demand heating saves money and uses less natural gas, thus helping the environment.

The next kind, indirect hot water heaters, heat water by running it through a coil attached to your furnace. This saves energy by utilizing an existing source of heat to warm your water.

The last type of water heater is the greenest of all. Solar water heaters use the sun’s rays to heat your water. Using zero electric or gas, these hot water heaters really increase your green footprint.

Don’t: Build Large for the Sake of Large

Large homes have an appeal. It’s understandable to want the most space you can afford. However, building on land taxes the environment. Every extra square foot does a little more damage to our planet.

Empty space costs more in energy bills for heating and cooling and stresses the actual land you’ve built on.

Instead of building large, build what you need. Plan ahead and think of how much space is really needed. The land you don’t build on will turn into your beautiful back yard!

Investing in energy efficient technology and building practices save both money and the environment. With modern technology, saving the environment has never been so easy.

If you’re in the market to build an energy efficient home or improve your current home’s energy efficiency, get in contact with us.

Our team is well versed in the unique practice of installing window tint to help improves your home’s energy efficiency.

How Residential Window Tinting Can Lower Energy Costs

How Residential Window Tinting Can Lower Energy Costs

Even though the summer solstice falls on June 21st this year, the sun’s rays will be turning up the heat much sooner than that. While spending the day basking in the hot sun is great when poolside, it’s less enjoyable when you’re inside and trying to relax. Higher temperatures outside drive interior temperatures up as well, meaning a hotter (and more expensive) home for you. Summer energy costs can easily break the bank if you’re not prepared. We can help you save.

Read here to learn how residential window tinting can lower your energy costs:

What Does Residential Window Tinting Help?

First and foremost, protecting your family and valuables from the sun’s harmful rays is important. Just as important is how to protect your wallet from skyrocketing electric bills.

Investing in residential window tinting is:

  • Good For Your Family: Investing in options to safeguard against unneeded exposure to damaging UV rays can help protect your skin, eyes, and immune system.
  • Good For The Environment: Minimize your carbon footprint with residential window tinting that helps you use less energy. It’s good for the planet (and good for you.)
  • Good For Your Pockets: Unprotected homes are easy targets for high energy bills, small changes can make big improvements in energy costs.

Get Energy Costs Down and Keep Them There

Residential window tinting doesn’t only have the option to look cool, it’s also practical! The thin usually synthetic resin polyester film can block up to 98% of the sun’s UV rays. While blocking the UV rays from your skin, the window tinting will also block them from heating up your home. As the UV rays enter through your windows, they heat everything they touch! This includes the walls, floor, furniture, air, and you. While the warm sun coming through a window may be the spot a furry friend likes to snooze, they’ll love it, even more, when your energy bills are down because you can afford to buy them more treats.

What About My Bills?

Glad you asked – according to the US Department of Energy, heating and cooling are to blame for 48% of your energy bill. That’s outrageous! Most heat enters and exits through your windows making them less than picture-perfect. Investing in residential window tinting is budget-friendly and long lasting. The average window film won’t need to be replaced for 10-15 years. With those numbers, you’ll be hard pressed to find blinds or drapes that can last that long without going out of style or breaking down. Speaking of breaking down, if you invest in tinting it could very much save you money on repairing your air-conditioning unit. The A.C. unit will not have to work as hard if your home is getting help from your windows to cool it down.

Drapes Are A Drag

Many old or historic homes have beautiful windows that are costly to replace. Keeping to the eclectic feel your home might have can be thrown off completely by permanently-drawn window treatments, making your home feel darker and smaller. Brightening up your space can make it appear cleaner and larger. But if it’s too hot to keep the blinds open, you have two options: pay more on your energy bill or be uncomfortable. Neither of those seems fun.

Replace Windows or Tint Them?

Maintaining your home’s style and integrity can get costly when looking to replace windows. It’s cheaper to apply residential window tinting than to replace each individual window in your home. Even if you’ve recently updated (but want to save even more on your energy bills) you can benefit from window tinting. New double pane, high-efficiency windows are energy saving, but window tinting can add an extra layer of insulation. Saving you more money. Whatever the age of your window, investing in residential window tinting can make raising your blinds feel good. You’ll know you’re saving money, the planet, your skin, and your valuables. What’s better than that? Plus, select states (like California and Florida) give tax rebates just for installing energy-efficient upgrades to your home.

Residential Window Tinting Options

Residential window tinting is a budget-friendly, adhesive film made up of “extremely thin layers of metal … between two pieces of clear polyester plastic.” There are many different styles of tinting that can give you the protection and ambiance you’re after. All while lowering your energy costs. Low-emissivity films are recommended by the US Department of Energy as they are the most cost and energy efficient. “Low-E” films can increase your insulation by 30%, which can reduce cooling costs by 50%!

While the film is hard at work blocking UV rays from entering you home, there are multiple styles available for you to enjoy:

Decorative Window Films

  • A safer and cost-effective alternative to stained glass.
  • Can provide the look and feel of colored panes without the high costs.

Reflective Window Films

  • Help to reflect the sun’s rays back away from your home.
  • Even “blackout” curtains don’t efficiently reflect the sun like films do.
  • Plus, “blackout” curtains must block the view in order to work!
  • Residential window tinting does not obstruct your ability to see outside.

Clear Window Films

  • Help with energy efficiency while securing the environment.
  • There is no view obstruction and can help safeguard against criminals or others looking into your home.

Safety, Always.

Because of the adhesive backing of the films, there is an additional strengthening added to the windows. This provides less risk of shattering. Adding safety for children, pets, and accident-prone adults. Plus, while lowering your energy bills, your window tinting will lower the money spent on replacing dangerous, shattered windows.

Say Goodbye to High Bills!

There is nothing worse than opening an electric bill and seeing a number you don’t expect. Sunny California doesn’t get its name for nothing and sometimes it can really beat up your wallet so-to-speak. With summer just about here (and winter headed back around soon enough) there’s no better time to invest in residential window tinting. If you want to start saving money on your energy bill today, contact us for a free quote!

Window Tinting vs Sunscreens for Your Home

window-tinting-vs-sunscreens-for-your-homeWindows help the home’s interior feel spacious and allow in welcoming natural light. However, sunlight through windows can also heat the home up, significantly, which leads to higher cooling bills. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a home’s windows account for nearly 40% of unwelcome heat gain. In addition, sunlight fades home furnishings. Adding window tinting or sunscreens are two ways to reduce the sun’s glare and heat. Adding either is better than no protection at all, but window tinting has many advantages over sunscreens. Here is how these options compare.

Keeping the Light and Not the Heat

Sunscreens are woven mesh screens that keep a home cooler by providing shade. The degree of darkening depends on the style, but in most cases, you will experience less natural light in your interior than window tinting provides. Window film reduces heat gain and glare while still allowing in pleasant light, which may reduce the need for artificial light, and it is more aesthetically pleasing.

Blocking UV Rays

It isn’t just heat coming through windows that poses a problem but also the damaging ultraviolet rays. These rays fade furniture and carpet and can degrade many types of materials over time. Both sunscreens and window tinting reduce UV rays, but only tinting does so with minimal darkening of the room. If you want to enjoy natural light and a clear view of the outdoors without sun damage to your furniture, then tinting is the logical answer. Some types of window film block out up to 99% of damaging ultraviolet rays without compromising your view.

Durability

The durability of sunscreens varies depending on brand and how well they are installed. Common problems you might see over time include damage to the frame or the mesh from weather exposure. In violent storms with high winds, screens can even be ripped away from windows. As long as window film is applied professionally and appropriately maintained, it can outlast sunscreens.

Appearance and Home Value

Your home’s curb appeal affects not only your personal enjoyment of the property but also your home’s resale value. Windows are one of the first features people notice, and this is especially true if they stand out in a negative way. Sunscreens can drastically alter the appearance of your home, and some find the opaque mesh screens unattractive or even foreboding because they make windows seem blocked off.

Professional window tinting, on the other hand, is usually subtle and attractive and this holds true whether you are viewing the windows from outside or from inside the home. Because window tinting increases a home’s energy efficiency in a low-key, attractive way, it can often increase property value.

Cleaning and Maintenance

When choosing any home feature, you will spare yourself extra work and future headaches by considering what degree of effort you will need to put into maintaining the feature. Window tinting is very easy to clean and maintain, especially compared to sunscreens which can look dirty very easily and are comparatively more difficult to clean. In addition, sunscreens can make cleaning the exterior side of glass very difficult and often have to be removed to complete this task. Tinted windows can be cleaned with a damp cloth and a mild, non-ammonia, cleaning product.

Professionally installed, high-quality window tinting offers several practical advantages over sunscreens, and it is more pleasing to the eye. Your home deserves the best, so be sure to ask about the types of window film and which might be most suitable for your needs.