Windows 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.
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.