Solar Tint Treatment for Windows
- As the Sun rotates around the earth, its rays provide solar radiation energy in varying degrees, according to the Energy Savers site. Places where the Sun is sitting directly overhead receive the strongest radiation effects, which can be felt through a window pane. As it moves farther westward, Sun rays start to slant and emit decreasing amounts of energy in its descent. Solar tint treatments take advantage of these solar effects by regulating the amount of energy that moves through the window pane.
- The amount of heat gain and heat loss can vary depending on the type of window used. A double-pain clear-glass window can take in anywhere from 10 percent to 27 percent in solar energy heat in the wintertime, according to the National Research Council of Canada. During the night time hours or on cloudy days, heat loss can be as high as 27 percent through the same set of windows. Solar tinting treatments are designed to adjust for high vs. low lighting conditions.
- Solar tint treatments can be added to an existing window pane or purchased, pre-made from the window manufacturer. These treatments are designed to maintain a window's natural visibility while maximizing the effects from solar lighting, according to the National Research Council Canada. Hot climates and cold climates may require different tint treatments due to how the Sun interacts within the environment. Homes situated in hot climate areas may benefit from low solar heat gain tints to reduce the amount of heat that moves through windows. High solar heat gain tints prevent interior heat from escaping, which may be more suiting for colder climates.
- Sun light contains short and long energy wavelengths. The long wavelengths contain infrared radiation, which carry the highest degree of heat, according to the Florida Solar Energy Center. Solar tint treatments designed for warm climate areas reflect these wavelengths while allowing shorter wavelengths to move through a window pane. By allowing the shorter wavelengths through, window visibility remains unchanged. In colder climates where heat conservation is preferred, tint treatments work to reflect heat energy back into the home while maintaining normal visibility.
- As many homes are located in areas where seasonal changes bring hot and cold temperatures, choosing one type of solar tint treatment over the other may seem counterproductive during certain times of the year. According to the National Research Council, energy savings can be realized with low and high solar gain treatments regardless of locale. As heating and cooling costs can vary from region to region, the most costly of the two may determine which tint treatment will reap the most in energy savings.