Curious about how to increase energy efficiency for your tiny home? Consider energy-saving window film!
In the US alone, the average person uses 41 percent of their energy on space heating and 35 percent on lighting, electricity, and appliances. But because of their small size, tiny homes need far less energy. Tiny homes have a reduced environmental impact, which is one reason the tiny house movement is so popular. But did you know you could be doing, even more, to make your home energy efficient? Using window film is an easy way to upgrade your windows with minimal hassle. Discover the many benefits of window films and learn if they’re right for you.
The Benefits of Window Films
Now that you know more about the different types of window films, what about the benefits? Other than the advantages mentioned above, there are many positives to installing window film on your windows at home.
Blocked UV Radiation
UVA rays account for about 95 percent of the solar radiation that makes it to Earth. And don’t think you’re entirely safe indoors. UVA radiation can penetrate window glass, which means sitting near a window increases your chances of skin damage.
One of the benefits of a window tint film is that certain types filter out some of that harmful UV radiation. Don’t think that installing tinted windows means that your home will be completely dark.
Many people worry that window films will make their house too dark, but window films still let light through. Think of window films like sunglasses; they block the glare and tone down harsh light. Additionally, there are a variety of different tint levels to pick. The darker the tint, the more UV radiation the film blocks, but some tints are barely noticeable.
Reduced Heating and Cooling Costs
Whether you’re on-the-grid or off-the-grid, heating and cooling your tiny house costs you money. But did you know that having energy-efficient windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs? Heat gain and heat loss through inefficient windows account for 25-30 percent of residential energy use. This means your heating and cooling systems have to work harder to keep you comfortable because much is lost through the windows.
But installing window film can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This is because films like solar film block UV rays to keep your house cooler in hot weather. Meanwhile, insulating films reduce heating costs in colder climates.
Decorative films add an extra layer of privacy to your home. Depending on where you live, this could be worth the investment solely for the peace of mind it provides. Tinted privacy window film protects against prying eyes during the day. This means you can enjoy the view from outside without worrying about installing blinds or curtains for privacy.
How Much Do Window Films Cost?
Depending on the type of film you choose, window tinting usually costs between $5 to $8 per square foot. Installation costs can range between $300 to $700 or more. Keep in mind that installation will likely cost less for tiny homes because there are fewer windows to treat. Depending on the number and style of windows you have, as well as the type of film you want, your costs could vary — plan on asking for an estimate before finalizing your choice.
You should also leave the installation to the professionals. Although it costs more, this is a tricky job. Professional installation also comes with a warranty, and it lasts longer.
What Are the Different Types of Window Film?
Before you decide on installing window film, you should understand the different types on the market. This way, you can choose which one fits your needs best or if you might want to combine different types. The three main types of window films are security films, UV-blocking, and decorative films.
Security film adds an extra layer of protection to your windows. Its primary purpose is to keep the glass from shattering if something hits the window. People install security film to protect their home or business against theft. But burglars aren’t the only reason to install it. Security film also gives your windows extra protection in the event of a storm. It keeps your windows from shattering if something hits the glass.
Solar radiation, or UV rays, can also enter through your windows. Solar film protects you and your home against this solar radiation. UV light contributes to color fade, which can damage your furniture. It can also overheat your room, which can make your home uncomfortable.
In a tiny home, window placement is essential. Not only does it help make your space look larger, but it also creates better airflow. But even with proper window placement, glare from the sun can cause real problems. Solar film can correct this problem.
Decorative film is the last type of window film. It comes in many colors and styles, but its main purpose is to provide privacy. A window privacy film is best for areas like the bathroom. Not sure which type is best for you? Read this article by ESP Window Tinting and Graphics for more information on window films.
Are Window Films Right for Your Tiny Home?
Installing window film in your tiny home is a great way to enjoy the many benefits listed in this article. Not only do you save money on your energy costs, but you can also enjoy the added privacy window films provide. But it’s important to note that installing films can void your warranty. If you have a window warranty, wait until it expires before installing.
If you’re ready to tint your windows, contact a window company for an estimate. Ask to learn about the different styles and options out there so you can find the perfect fit for your tiny home. Of course, you can always look for low-cost alternatives on Amazon or at home improvement stores.
by Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Expedition cofounder