Energy Saving Tips for Your Home in Winter

Energy Saving Tips for Your Home in Winter

According to the Energy Information Administration, energy costs are expected to increase for homeowners during the winter season, due to home heating fuel costs. In addition, when the days are shorter, homeowners tend to use more electricity to light their home. Add all of that on top of the lighting that homeowners use to decorate the exterior of their home during the holiday season, and the winter months are bound to come with energy bills that will raise more than a few eyebrows. For this reason, it’s important to look for ways that you can save energy in your home this winter...

7 Reasons Your Storefront Needs Tinting

Restaurant tinting.jpg

If you run a small business, every expenditure and profit is significant. In the case of a storefront or a small restaurant, adding treatment to your windows might seem like an unimportant expenditure right now, but we beg to differ. Here are 7 reasons that you should invest in tints for your windows:

#1: Controls Temperature Extremes

Do you have one area that’s too hot in the summer because it’s bathed in glaring afternoon sunlight? It’s probably also too cold in the winter with a chill coming in away from the window. Tinting helps to insulate your windows so you can make the most of your seating. No longer will you have an area that’s uncomfortable for your customers; every square foot is usable.

#2: Prevents Damage

Have you ever moved a picture that’s been on the wall for years? You might have noticed that the area under the picture is a stronger color. This is because the sun has bleached the paint. The same problem happens with fabrics. The process of color bleaching from the sun is referred to as photodegradation, and it happens because UV rays break down the chemical bonds in a material. That degradation affects more than colors, too, causing fabrics, plastics, varnish, etc. to wear down faster.

#3: Prevents Glare

Have you ever had a customer approach the counter and find themselves unable to get a good view of the menu? If the glare is bad, the person manning the counter may not even be able to look the customer in the eye. This can be more of a problem than you think, even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day. Tinting can ensure that nothing obstructs anyone’s view of the food, goods, or employees or customers.

#4: Controls Lighting Design

You spend a long time planning out the decor of your restaurant; how the colors look next to each other, how things are arranged, etc.. It’s not just a matter of personal aesthetics. It’s also part of your strategy to boost sales and draw customers’ attention to the important things. But glare from the windows can throw all of that off. Make sure that you keep your store’s design consistent by keeping the lighting consistent.

#5: Offers Better Security

You probably wouldn’t have thought of this one right away, but window tinting can greatly increase your security. Putting a film on your windows make them more able to hold together under the pressure of cracks or shatters. That means that if there’s a security breach to your storefront, it won’t all shatter and fall apart. This makes it harder for break-ins to happen, increases safety during cleanup, and prevents accidents from ruining your day.

#6: Unique Decoration

In the end, many people make the decision for window tinting out of aesthetic preferences. If your business is a front-facing storefront or restaurant, you want to personalize all the little details. Imagine a charming frosting-detail on the corners of your windows if you run a cafe, or perhaps stained-glass-window accents on one wall if you want to add some distinctive interest in a small corner.

#7: Conserves Energy

If even one of the above reasons is appealing to you, just bite the bullet and do it. The energy savings alone will give you a return on your investment within a year. Window tinting can make your heating and cooling more effective by insulating, and when you’re creating an area with a rotating door that needs to stay comfortable, you know that heating and cooling can really rack up the bills.

Winter Is the Most Important Time for Tinted Windows

Winter Is the Most Important Time for Tinted Windows

When people look into getting their windows tinted, it is usually in the summer time. This makes a lot of sense. Windows tend to work as little infiltration points that heat up your home and drive up your AC bill during the summer. So people want to get their windows tinted when it is unbearably hot outside. On top of that, window tinting reduces the amount of direct sunlight that is getting into a home, so that it is less unbearable brightness. However, we believe that it is even more important for a home to get tinted windows for the winter time. Here are a handful of reasons why...

Car Tinting Laws

Car Tinting Laws

People get their vehicle’s windows tinted for a variety of reasons. It helps prevent passersby from looking into your vehicle to see if you’ve left anything valuable inside, it increases the strength of window, it prevents UV rays from burning you in your car, and it reduces amount of heat that transfers into your vehicle from direct sunlight. However, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is within specific regulations, when it comes to window tinting...

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional For Your Window Tinting

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional For Your Window Tinting

It can be hard to figure out when it’s appropriate to do a big project yourself, and when you really need to hire a professional. It can be tempting to attempt to save money and do your window tinting yourself, but if you’ve never done it before, it’s probably a good idea to take a step back and let our experts do the job for you. Especially if it’s a big project. Here are 5 reasons why.

Local tinting regulations

Chances are that you’ve never had a need to look up the tinting regulations where you live. We’d hate for you to do you tint yourself, and then get in trouble down the line because it doesn’t comply with your local laws.

DIY kits aren’t high quality

For the most part, a do it yourself tinting kit that you purchase will be flimsy. This can make installation difficult, and it probably won’t last long, as the tint will peel and bubble up. Chances are if you do it yourself, you won’t be happy with it for very long.

You probably won’t save money

Doing it yourself is generally in an attempt to spend money. But because the kits you can generally buy to do it yourself don’t last as long as a professional tint, you’ll be spending more money, stretched out over a long period of time, with a not very good tint throughout that entire time.

It’ll be done right the first time

Even if you do manage to get yourself a good quality do it yourself kit, it’s possible that you’ll have a hard time installing it correctly the first time. Taking the tint off to reapply it can be tricky, because of the adhesive. If you don’t get it right the first time, you may end up having to buy a second kit, because taking the tint off yourself when you’re not sure what you’re doing may make it unusable.

Satisfaction guarantee

We know that when we apply a tint to your windows, whether it be on your car or home, that it will be done, and it will outlast anything you could do yourself. We’re so confident in our work, that we’ll fix anything for you, if for some reason you aren’t satisfied. You don’t have this same guarantee when doing it yourself, because if you mess up, you have to spend money on another kit to redo it.


Tesla Awesomeness!!!

How do you make a Tesla, arguably one of the most beautiful and most efficient cars in the world, even more so? Tint it. Want to keep it looking new for years to come? Apply paint protection film (commonly referred to as Clear-Bra).

Window tint rejects up to 99% of the sun's harmful UV rays, protecting the interior of your car from sun damage and fading. Tint also rejects up to 60% of the sun's heat from entering your vehicle, making it more efficient and comfortable. And, let's be honest: a tinted car just looks... better. 

Paint protection film can shield your  Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X or Tesla Model 3 from chips, scratches and other road hazards with a nearly-invisible layer of defense. Keep your investment looking new for years to come and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with paint protection film. 

Whether you've chosen your Tesla for efficiency or aesthetics, we can complement your ride with window tint and keep it looking new with paint protection film. If you live in the Salt Lake City, Park City, or surrounding areas, give us a call to learn more!


we got an email from one of our custumers

today (6/7/2016) i received an email from one of our custumers and this is what it said with this image attached;


"I recently had my back glass broken and it will be getting replaced tomorrow. I would like to get an appointment to get it replaced as I had the original tint installed by your shop a few years ago. I would also like to say that the safety aspect taught by your site is very true and I can personally attest to it. Because of the tint on my back window I was able to drive home about 40 miles from a friends house where the window was broken."

this is a good example of how tint can help in other ways, not just heat rejection or privacy. tint can hold broken glass together, it not the purpose of the film, but more a happy accident. 

Why You Should Tint Your Car Windows

Why You Should Tint Your Car Windows

The car you drive tells something about who you are and possibly who you want to be. With how much you paid for it and how much time you spend in it, it would be a shame not to take good care of it. One day you may even want to trade it in for a new car, so you will want it to be in the best shape possible to get the most money out of it. And, like your home, you car is a place where you want to feel safe.

Tinted car windows improve all of these. The benefits of tinting your car windows are so many that by the end of this article you should be seriously considering tinting your own if they are not already.

Have you ever noticed that when you walk by a car with tinted windows and glance in, you can’t see what’s inside without getting closer, or even putting your face to the glass? Thieves won’t be as likely to break into your car if they can’t easily see valuables lying out.

The tinted film also blocks up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays — depending on the shade. That’s going to keep you from getting an uneven and painful burn through your windows, especially on those long road trips.

And should you ever have the misfortune to be in a car crash, the pliability of the film which sticks to the window will keep glass from shattering everywhere, decreasing possible injuries.

Car Care
Who likes to sit on cracked leather seats or see their fabric upholstery start to fade? Tinting your windows will keep your seats looking new. However, you are not allowed to tint your windshield, leaving the front seats and steering wheel susceptible to the sunlight, so you will want to also use a heat shield for complete protection when you leave your car parked.

As the darkly shaded windows keep out the sun’s heat, you won’t have to run the air-conditioning on full blast. Running the a/c on high while driving can reduce your mileage per gallon anywhere between 5% to 25%. That really adds up! Better efficiency of the a/c will actually give you better gas mileage – saving you money.

Personal Comfort
You return to your car after parking it in the sun while you went shopping or went out to eat and feel waves of heat as you open the door. You know the seats will be hot and the seatbelt buckles even hotter. Not to mention your hands will burn on that steering wheel. Again, tinted windows will keep the temperature down while you’re away so you won’t get burned when you come back.

And finally, for those of you who like the swag your car gives you, tinted windows upgrade the look of your ride.


A Shield for your Paint Job

A Shield for your Paint Job

Keeping the paint on your car looking like new can be difficult, especially when it comes to getting those bugs off the bumper. Then there are the pebbles flying up from the road that make unsightly scratches. Paint protection is the solution to combat the enemies of the beautiful finish on your car.

We’re not talking about dealer paint protection. That is actually paint sealer. They apply a spray that you can buy yourself for a few bucks. What you’re really paying for in that case is the warranty against scratches. You can get real paint protection most anyplace you would get your windows tinted. A thin, clear urethane film is professionally applied to high problem areas. You can choose between areas like the hood, bumpers, door edges and handles, side-view mirrors, and more. You have the option of protecting one area or all of them.

What does paint protection do for my car?

  • Protects from pebbles, salt, and road debris
  • Guards against bug acids that make it hard to clean the hood
  • Reduces paint scratches and chips
  • Keeps paint looking new

How do I wash it?
There is no need to use special cleaning solutions. You can wash and wax your car like usual.

Can I get paint protection on other vehicles?
Paint protection isn’t just for your car; it can be used to protect your RV, motorcycle, boat, trailer, jet ski, ATV, and other sport or performance vehicles.

Does it come with a warranty?
Yes. The warranty is provided by the company that makes the film, not the installation professionals. Specifically 3M and ClearShield offer 5-year warranties and Nano Fusion Film from Avery Dennison offers a lifetime warranty.

How much does it cost?
This will vary depending on what areas you need covered. Prices will go up for larger areas and the difficulty of application for the specific vehicle. On average though you are looking at a range of $500 – $1000+. Our paint protection service starts at $229.

Is there a DIY version?
The 3M company makes a spray-on film that costs much less than a professional application, around $45 for the whole kit. It is called “Paint Defender Spray Film”. Of course, don’t be fooled by the claim that it takes only minutes to apply. Yes, it takes only a few minutes to spray on. But you have to wash, wax and mask off your car first. Then it needs a few days to cure. The spray goes on liquid and then dries as a plastic. This application is much thinner than a professional application and will only last for a year before you will need to reapply.

Is Your Car in Compliance with Tinting Laws?

Is Your Car in Compliance with Tinting Laws?

Getting your car windows tinted is a great idea. It lengthens the life of your upholstery and keeps your car cooler. But is there a limit to how dark they can be? Yes. Each state dictates the maximum amount of tint allowed. Go to to see the tint law for Utah.These limits are in place to make sure:

  • The driver can see accurate road conditions in all directions.

  • Drivers can see fellow drivers.

  • Police officers can see if passengers pull a weapon.

Note: If you need the windows darker for medical reasons, you can get a medical exemption.

If you move to another state, be sure to check their tinting law. You could get a ticket of over $100 if your windows are even 5% too dark. If you had your windows tinted in another state, you may have to have the tint removed in order to be in compliance with the law. Be aware that when you get your car inspected for safety and emissions for the first time in your new state, the mechanics will not automatically check that your windows are road worthy. So if you don’t know how dark they are, call and ask the auto shop if they use a tint-measuring device.

Your car is divided into three sections, with different rules for every section. Check it out:


Tint is applied to the top and cannot extend below the AS-1 line. If you look on the side of your windshield about 5 inches down there is “A↓S1” printed on the window. It is used to keep shaded tints out of the vision line of taller people. Some windshields do not have an AS-1 line, so the law will always give an amount in inches as well. Utah law says the AS-1 line or 4 inches, whichever is lower.

Driver and passenger windows

These windows need to let more light in so that your view of what is around you isn’t hindered, especially at night. In Utah the tint maximum is 43%. Simply put, the window must let in at least 43% light. Reflective and metallic films are not allowed.

Backseat and rear windows

In many states, including Utah, the backseat and rear windows have no tint limit. So, let them be as dark as you want. However, if you do choose to tint these windows, Utah law requires that you have outside mirrors on both sides.

If you are more worried about keeping out UV rays, be assured you don’t have to have a shaded film to keep out UV light. Even though you can’t tint the majority of your windshield, you can have a clear film applied that will block out about 99% of UV rays.

The Energy Saving Benefits of Window Tinting

The Energy Saving Benefits of Window Tinting

Do you want to reduce your energy bill? Do you want your air conditioning to evenly cool all the rooms in your home or business? Do you have one or two rooms that get too warm in summer? Tinting your windows could be the solution to your problem.

Windows are great for enjoying a beautiful view and brightening a room. But with the sunlight they also let in heat which will keep some rooms hotter than others. This is especially true if there are windows facing south or west where the sun is at its hottest. This unfortunately increases the workload for your air conditioning. It may even happen that in the winter you need air conditioning in a few rooms while a heater is running in the rest of the building.

Having your windows tinted will keep out some of the sunshine, and therefore the heat. This will significantly even out the temperature in your space which means your air-conditioning won’t be working overtime. And that means your energy costs will go down. Your actual percentage of savings will vary by location, climate, and local energy rates.

Tinting windows means applying a thin energy-saving film to the inside of the window. There is a clear metal sheet sandwiched between two polyester films. One side of the film has adhesive to stick to the window, while the other side is scratch resistant so you don’t have to worry about unsightly marks from cleaning. The combination of metal and a dark shade will reflect the sunlight away from your room and absorb some of the heat while reducing glare and rejecting UV rays. Heat wants to move to where it is cooler, and since the film absorbs heat, it blocks the heat outside from moving into your room.

Whether it’s a business or a home, your employees or family will be grateful to have a consistently cool space to work and relax in. You will appreciate being able to turn down the air-conditioning so you can save some money.

4 Reasons to Tint Your Home Windows

4 Reasons to Tint Your Home Windows

Window films offer a multitude of benefits for the home, such as improved energy efficiency, more privacy, and reduced glare from the sun. It can even serve as an added decorative element in your home. If you’re wondering whether or not your home would benefit from tinted windows, here are 5 of the top reasons to get tinted windows for your home.

Energy Efficiency

We discussed many of the energy-saving benefits of window tinting in this post. Essentially, tinted windows work to save energy by cutting out some of the natural sunlight that streams in through your windows, both absorbing it and reflecting it away from the home. This sunlight control makes for less heat entering the home, which in turns means that your air conditioner will not need to run as long to control indoor temperatures. Tinted windows, then, can be the perfect addition to the energy-efficient home.


As discussed in last month’s post, window tinting will also work to give your home privacy in a way that landscaping and fencing cannot achieve. Security films can allow you to see out of your home while preventing others from seeing in.


Window tints also protect you and your home from the dangers of broken windows. Most window security films are made with thick, heavy-duty polyester, which is bonded to the glass with strong adhesives. These films work to increase the strength of the glass and help it withstand the occasional blow from a stray ball or nearby tree branch. Moreover, a window film will help keep the glass of a shattering window in place, preventing shards of small bits of glass from entering the home, where they present the risk of being stepped on. It could even serve as an added precaution against intruders attempting to break in via the home’s windows.


Window tints can also add the perfect decorative element to your home. Tints are available in a variety of colors and textures, meaning there is a window tint to suit any home’s style. By working with different colors, tints, shades, and reflections, you can completely change the look of any room. Dynamic interior tinting can even change moods under different lighting conditions. If you’re curious about how window tinting can function as a decorative element in your home, be sure to contact our experts.

Making Your Home More Private

Making Your Home More Private

A home is designed to be a sanctuary and place of relaxation, so it only makes sense for you to ensure that it maintains a level of privacy that you are comfortable with. Yet outside of closing doors and adding window treatments to windows, many are unsure as to how they could be increasing the privacy level of the home. Beyond simple locks and window treatments, here are a few suggestions for making your home a more private place for you and your family.

Window tinting

Window tinting is an oft-overlooked option for increasing the level of privacy in your home, yet for you it is likely the easiest and most feasible option. Window tinting offers the advantages of not only cutting out glare and saving on energy costs, but also of preventing prying eyes from being able to get a clear view into the home when looking into your windows. As added bonuses, residential window tinting will also give your home added energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal. It can even prevent fading in carpets, furniture, and wooden flooring.

Structural elements

Most homeowners opt for fencing as their primary means of home privacy, but there are a great many other structural elements you can incorporate in your landscaping to help hide your space from the prying eyes of neighbors. A screened-in porch, for example, offers the luxury of spending time in the outdoors without completely being out in the open in your backyard. You can also incorporate additional, shorter fencing throughout your yard to enclose certain areas, or add pergolas or a lattice wall to offer a partial barrier. Stone walls or masonry walls are other great landscaping elements that you can take advantage of.

Plants and shrubs

In addition to fencing, trees, hedges, and other tall plants can offer an additional barrier between your home and neighbors. Trees planted along a fenceline, for example, can offer additional height in privacy where a fence might fall short. Some choose to plant privet hedges along their property line in the place of fencing, and still others grow rambling plants along latticework to add an additional layer of privacy to their landscaping. Plants also work tremendously well in landscaping when they are incorporated with structural elements; this helps to soften the hard edges that the structural elements create and makes for a more natural, private atmosphere in your yard.

How Car Window Tinting Works

How Car Window Tinting Works

The benefits of car window tinting are numerous. Drivers with tinted windows enjoy added security for belongings lying around in the car, UV protection, reduced shattering of glass, and protection against fading and cracking for fabric and leather seats. If you’re considering having your car’s windows tinted—as you should, of course—here is what you need to know about how tinting works and what the general application process involves.

The Material

Window tinting for automotive is made from strong polyester laminate and is treated in various ways to bring out the many benefits that window tinting offers. Polyester is the preferred material for window film because it is strong, retains its shape, and doesn’t shrink over time. It will also accept a variety of both surface applied and embedded substances, such as ultraviolet inhibitors, dyes, metals, and ceramics.

What Tints Can Do

There are a variety of window tints to choose from when it comes to your car, all containing different treatments and finishes. Window tints with a solar control treatment have been dyed or metalized and work by selectively letting in certain types of light from the sun and blocking out others. A solar control tint might reduce the visible light coming in, reducing glare, while blocking out damaging ultraviolet light and infrared light that contributes to excess heat in the car. Meanwhile, low-e (low emissivity) window films contain treatments that make car windows more energy efficient by reducing excessive solar heat gain. A dyed tint can also simply provide aesthetic appeal and privacy.

How It Is Applied

With window tints, one side of the polyester laminate has a scratch-free coating, while the other has a strong adhesive that allows it to stick to the window surface. Window tint is generally applied to the inside of car windows. Professionals will generally apply window tint to a car following a general method, which can vary somewhat depending on the company and what process it typically follows. First, anything surrounding the glass to be tinted such as a door panel or brake light is removed. Then the film is laid out over the exterior of a clean car window and is heat formed with the use of a heat gun to shape it to the curvature of the particular window. Then, it is left in place and trimmed to its proper size. Finally, the film is then installed to the inside of the car window with soapy water and a squeegee. The film will take 7 to 10 days to cure completely.

If you’re located in the Salt Lake area and are considering tinting your car windows, leave your car window tinting to a professional. Contact us today to discuss which window tinting options are best for you and for a free price quote on your car.

Decorative Window Films for Your Business

Decorative Window Films for Your Business

Most of us love the look of custom stained glass or etched glass windows. They bring in bright vibrant colors and can be a focal point of the interior or exterior decorating. Frosted or privacy glass is a necessity for windows on bathrooms and private offices. Many businesses could greatly benefit from skipping the traditional clear glass and adding the look of decorative or privacy glass. However, with the cost and permanency of decorative glass, most businesses are unable to enjoy these benefits. The costs involved, and often the landlords’ resistance, make replacing glass panes more hassle than they’re worth.

Modern window films can overcome this challenge for businesses. With literally hundreds of designs, styles, colors, and shapes, the perfect film for your specific need is easily obtained. These films can be installed over any glass, plexiglass, and even other surfaces.

Decorative window films can be applied to both interior and exterior windows and doors. They can be used to bring in more color, as with stained glass films, or they can add a frosted or a privacy look to the glass. There are even films that turn the glass into an etched glass design of leaves, trees, animals, or almost any design. These are often used on interior office windows in place of blinds or on glass office partitions. With decorative window films, you can have the benefits of light entering through the windows and avoid the need for blinds and other window coverings. Eliminating blinds and curtains also eliminates the need to frequently dust and clean your window treatments.

Decorative window films can be applied for one season or purpose, and then changed throughout the year as the need changes. For example, a permanent stained glass window with a Christmas feel would just look tacky to employees, clients, and passersby in the middle of August. The same goes for having a tropical feel on your storefront when it’s a blizzard outside (unless you’re a travel agency). With window films, you can change the film as you need to help promote business, or to boost the enthusiasm of employees. This flexibility also goes great with interior office windows or partitions. Some employees may need more privacy than others, and as employees are promoted, or replaced for that matter, you can custom create the perfect office conditions to fit the employee or their job duties.

A simple search on the internet may open your eyes to the vast styles and options that are available. Some may even call window films “wallpaper for your windows” because of the variety available. Look around and stop in or give us a call to discuss your specific needs.

Benefits of Window Films on Commercial Buildings

Benefits of Window Films on Commercial Buildings

Window films have made great strides in quality and usefulness in recent years. As these products have become better and better, they have become more and more popular. On commercial properties, the appropriate solar control glass film can reduce energy costs, maintain a more comfortable and productive environment, reduce fading of interior surfaces, lower harmful UV rays, and even increase the natural light deep into the building. Here are just a few of the benefits:

Energy Efficiency – Just like insulation in your walls and ceiling, solar control window films help better insulate your windows to reduce the solar gain by as much as 75%. This reduces air condition run time and lowers the load on the condenser.

Fast Return on Investment – With typical window shapes and sizes, the return on investment for most window films is approximately three years. However, in comparison to the cost of new window replacement, installing a window film over an older window is 10% – 15% of the cost of a new window replacement. Significant savings can be received quickly when applying films instead of replacements. Films are also a fraction of the cost of buying tinted glass in new windows.

UV Protection – Solar control window films block out up to 99.9% of all harmful UV rays, which can lead to skin disease and photosensitivity. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are also the leading cause of fading in interior finishes such as furniture, carpet and other flooring, wall coverings, artwork, draperies, paint and photographs.

Comfort and Productivity – Employee comfort is important for productivity. A large percentage of workers have trouble concentrating if the office temperature is higher than normal and report that tasks take substantially longer to complete in warmer conditions. By blocking much of the solar heat from entering through windows, films can help to reduce or eliminate the hot and cold spots in your building. The end result is more satisfied tenants and a more comfortable building. Window blinds can also be left open to allow in more of the natural light. Without films, building occupants often close the blinds to reduce the heat and glare, causing an increased need for the use of artificial lighting.

Safety – Glass windows with a film are safer because, in the case of a broken window, the film helps hold the glass together, instead of it flying through the building. In earthquakes, hurricanes, or even vandalism, the glass will stay together in one piece. The right films can also significantly reduce the chance of a smash and grab by thieves, because it takes longer to break through the glass.

Redirecting Films – These films utilize micro-replication to take the light that would normally hit the floor and redirect it up to the ceiling. This provides much more natural light in a room and has been linked to increased productivity and behavior; it also decreases the need for artificial lighting.

Why Your Home Windows Need Security Film

Why Your Home Windows Need Security Film

Many of us have played ball a bit too close to the family living room window, even though Dad warned (or sometimes threatened) us many times not to.  We knew that everything would be fine since we were so careful, until that one missed catch or misdirected kick sent a ball flying past us into the window.  CRACK!

Broken windows are not only expensive to replace, they are one of the main components of the exterior construction of a home.  Whether it be in the form of doors or windows, typical residential buildings have approximately 30% of the exterior walls in glass.  It can be scary, or at least worrisome, to many homeowners to have one third of their walls as weak as glass, knowing that a stray ball can easily open up the home to the elements outside.  

A random ball is not the only concern.  Burglars or other intruders may also see all the weak areas of your home that can easily be eliminated by a rock, hammer, or even their elbow.  Severe weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, or even just high winds can also damage the glass on your home.

Not only can a broken window let the outside in, it can also be quite dangerous.  Shards of glass could come flying inward when the window is struck by an object.  This flying shrapnel could easily slice the skin of anyone in its path.  If you’re lucky enough to not be in the way when it breaks, there is now broken glass all over the floor, couch, etc, waiting for someone to walk by.

There are stronger options such as tempered, or even bullet proof, glass that you can install in your home to reduce this hazard. But an even simpler solution may be a security film on your windows and doors.

Most window security films are made with thick, heavy duty polyester and bonded to the glass with strong adhesives.  This increases the strength of the glass and may stop it from breaking when struck by a stray ball or small tree branch.  This film can be applied professionally, or many companies also sell a DIY kit.  The film is applied to the interior of the windows, and if done correctly, is almost invisible.

When struck, the security film reduces the amount that the glass can bow.  If it does break, the film keeps all the glass intact.  Even when the glass is struck several times with a hammer, crowbar, or baseball bat, it takes a lot of effort to eventually break through.  Many intruders would give up and move to an easier target, instead of beating the window over and over again.

Not only are films great for increased security, they also can increase the energy efficiency of windows.  Picking the right film could reduce sun glare, and keep the house several degrees cooler.  When choosing security films for your home, make sure you consider the strength, quality, and manufacturer in addition to the tint, ability to block the sun, ease of install, and of course, costs.

The science of UV rays

The science of UV rays

Have you ever seen an older car with a cracked dashboard or steering wheel? Did you notice the seat upholstery was faded? These are effects of the sun’s UV rays coming through the windows. Wait, but didn’t you learn that you can’t get sunburn inside a car because the glass blocks UV light? A lot of tanned left arms and sunburned knees beg to differ. As well as science.

The science of UV rays

Ultraviolet light …

… Comes from the sun

… Has shorter wavelengths than visible light

… Is split into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC

UVA has the longest wavelengths from 320-400 nm (nanometers). This is the light frequency used in tanning beds. Glass lets in UVA which penetrates skin more deeply than UVB and is responsible for tanning.

UVB has shorter wavelengths from 290-320 nm. It is responsible for sunburns. Glass lets in about 10% of this light frequency.

The UV rays break down the molecules in fabric dyes causing a bleaching effect. This is called photodegradation. The Florida Solar Energy Center published that “Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is the single largest contributing factor in fading of fabrics” whether it is in sunny, hot climates or colder, cloudy ones.

UV rays on your car

So glass does not block out all UV light, and that light creates a bleaching effect on upholstery that are under its glare too long. It can also cause your dashboard and steering wheel cover to crack. This is how window tinting protects your investment. Instead of soaking up the sun’s rays, it reflects back the UV light, keeping as much as 99.9% of it out of  your car. That is going to make a big difference to the life of your car interior.

UV rays on you

For yourself, both UVA and UVB wavelengths “play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers,”  says the Skin Cancer Foundation. 10% of sunburn causing light builds up as you spend time in your car driving through heavy traffic or over long trips. UVA is dangerous too since it penetrates deeply into your skin, causing skin cancer and wrinkles.

So really…get some tinted windows

It is normally said that glass naturally blocks shorter UV wavelengths (below 300 nm) which cause sunburn. That’s why many people think car windows prevent sunburn and should prevent fading. In fact, glass only blocks about 90% of the shorter wavelengths called UVB. And it still allows longer wavelengths, called UVA, through. Take a look at any older car that has been out in the sun a lot and you will see that sun does affect the interior. Science discoveries may be changing every year, but your car and your skin speak for themselves.