YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
One on One With
Expert Advisor for Commercial, Residential and Security
By Gina Dostler
Window tinting has evolved from a once silvery reflective state to a virtually clear film due to nano ceramic technology. The simple science of applying the sheets has also evolved into a more sophisticated process involving the evaluation of each window and its use to determine the perfect window application. Ziolo Centeno, president of Wintech Solutions, discusses the new-found virtues of having home or business windows tinted.
Q: What have been the two main reasons for using window films?
A: Fade protection and heat reduction. Air conditioning and cooling bills could be into the thousands per month for some of the bigger homes with heat gain caused by sunlight entering through windows. Yet, by installing window tinting, heat can be knocked down up to 80 percent, cutting cooling costs in half and fade reduction protects costly furnishings. And with the new nano ceramic technology that is non-reflective, a window looks like a window, keeping it virtually clear.
Q: Why is window tinting not really understood by homeowners?
A: Sun rot. For some heat reduction is solved by simply opening up windows to allow a cool breeze in. But what isn’t considered is the UV damage through sun rot, not just by fading. The sun’s rays heat things up at least 100 degrees. This effect on furnishings is outgassing, or the breakdown of materials that quickly degrades furniture, flooring and window coverings much faster. Keep in mind with the green movement well under way, many people are going green. Organic isn’t made to last and is more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s rays. Applying window tinting greatly reduces the affects. And window film itself has a negative footprint. Though made from plastics, the amount of energy and furnishings saved all around due to reduction in heat and rot gives the window film positive ratings in the green arena. It is something invisible but doing so much for you.
Q: What is nano ceramic technology and how is it better?
A: Let me take you a few years back. During the ‘70s when the energy crises began, the window film industry came out with silver reflective tints which were highly reflective. Soon a dyed film that absorbed heat and turned purple and bubbly was developed but the product didn’t last very long and didn’t look nice. Then spectra-select technology used silver, gold and other exotic metals to block out a lot of infrared heat, but was low on reflectivity and certain UVs still caused damage. From that point nano-ceramic came into the scene and it doesn’t use any metals or dyes. Think of the heat shields that were under the space shuttles, resisting high heat. Nano ceramic is more durable, heat resistant and non-reflective. Though a complicated process it basically involves nano flecks of titanium nitride on plastic. The film is optically clear, because there are no reflective components involved. The clarity of a window with nano ceramic tinting is like going from regular TV to HD.
Q: What are the health reasons?
A: It’s subtle but windows with bright sunlight shining through create a slight squinting that occurs from the glare. By reducing the glare, facial muscles relax and true colors are more visible. It’s like sunglasses that are polarized; the colors actually will pop out more and become more distinct, rather than fading out with glare and causing eye strain. Also, people who have sensitivity to light or skin issues benefit from the reduction of UV A and B rays as well as infrared heat.
Q: Safety and privacy are other features as well.
A: Yes, the film actually acts as a shield for glass fragments. Tempered glass can still shatter and fall to the ground. Putting a thicker form of the film will hold the glass intact under harder impacts than just having the tempered one. And privacy is another added benefit. With tinting, at about 4’ back from the window it is extremely hard to see in during the day. And we can make it where looking directly at the glass there is a frosted effect, yet by turning the head to either side one can still admire the beauty of outside. Perfect for when the beauty through the window might be compromised by privacy issues.
Q: What about warranty on the windows?
The warranty is actually in two parts. The material has a lifetime warranty as long as the owner installing the film still lives in the home. The second warranty is the glass warranty. There is a five-year warranty after installation of the window film. The option basically simulates your glass company’s warranty. Most are five, but some can be 10 and we honor that since many glass companies void their warranty with window tinting. And sometimes being the second or third person to own the house, there is no warranty on glass from the manufacturer. But with our glass warranty, customers can feel comfortable with the installation.
Q: You also do graphic overlays on glass.
A: Actually it was spun off from our customers asking us for solutions to their window problems. Our company, Visual Elements Glass Overlays, or VEGO offers a less expensive solution to creating etched or other glass effects such as frosting on shower doors, windows or creating designs. From colored glass, opaque, embossed textures to creating a chicken wire look to simulate glass on a historical building, we can create any look for a lesser price than the real thing. And it looks fantastic. We are always pushing the envelope on what we can do.