If your vehicle’s interior overheats when it’s warm outside, window tints are an excellent solution. Window tints are relatively easy to install, relatively affordable compared to other heat reduction solutions, and are available for just about every vehicle on the road.
What Are Car Window Tints?
Car window tints are thin pieces of laminate film that you can apply to your car windows. When you apply tint to your windows, it darkens them. Applying tint to your windows has many benefits, including:
- Keeping the car’s cabin cool (heat reduction).
- Protecting you from UV exposure.
- Providing you with privacy or security.
- Cutting down on glare from the sun.
- Enhancing your car’s appearance.
Types of Window Tints
There are six common types of window tints. Which tint is ideal for you depends on your specific needs.
Dyed Window Tints
Dyed window tints are relatively inexpensive compared to other types. This type of tint uses multiple layers of dye to block the sun’s rays. The dye is capable of absorbing solar heat and preventing a portion of that heat from entering your vehicle. While it can block some heat, dyed window tinting doesn’t offer the same level of protection as other tints. However, if you’re also looking for a tint that provides privacy, a dyed window tint’s opaque appearance makes it an excellent option. Keep in mind that dyed window tints will fade over time, and you’ll have to replace them.
Metalized Window Tints
Metalized window tints help reduce heat by reflecting it away from your car. This type of tint uses tiny metallic particles that are almost invisible and embedded in the film. By reflecting the sun’s rays, metalized window tinting can reduce glare and block harmful UV rays. Not only does a metalized window tint reduce heat, but it also strengthens the windshield. Windows with metalized window tints have higher shatter-resistance than windows that don’t. Compared to dyed window tints, metalized window tints also have higher scratch resistance.
Hybrid Window Tints
Hybrid window tints use dyes and metallic particles. This combination gives you the benefits of dyed window tints and metalized window tints. The result of combining dyes and particles is that the tint isn’t too dark or too mirror-like. Instead, hybrid window tints have a nice brightness without being too reflective. Hybrid window tints are capable of giving you privacy while reducing heat and blocking UV rays.
Carbon Window Tints
Carbon window tinting has a distinctive matte-finish appearance that can really enhance your car’s appearance. Thanks to its carbon content, carbon window tinting can block up to 40% of the infrared rays that can cause your vehicle to get too hot. Blocking infrared rays doesn’t just reduce heat, it also prevents upholstery from fading. You can enjoy the benefits of carbon window tints year-round because, while it cools your car in the summer, it can also keep it warm in the winter. This insulation helps your car save energy. Carbon tinting is also more durable than other types of tints.
Crystalline Window Tints
If you want to tint your windows without making them dark, crystalline tints are an excellent option. They can block UV rays and solar heat without using dark film. In fact, when you apply crystalline window tints, you won’t even notice it when you’re driving.
Ceramic Window Tints
While ceramic window tints are pricier than other types of window tints, their high quality makes them worth the cost. Ceramic window tints contain ceramic particles, which are known for having nonconductive properties. These particles can block up to 50% of solar heat and 99% of UV rays. Plus, unlike metalized window tints, ceramic tints won’t affect your radio or cell phone. Ceramic particles don’t block signals the way metallic particles do.
How to Choose the Top Car Window Tint for Heat Reduction
When choosing the top car window tint, there are some factors to consider. These include:
- Price – How much are you willing to pay for your window tints? Setting a budget is an easy way to narrow down your options.
- Legality – Some states ban dark tint, while others ban reflective tint. Other states have restrictions on the percentage of your windshield that the tint can cover. You should consult your state’s department of motor vehicles before purchasing window tints. In some cases, clear crystalline tints might be your only option.
- Quality – If you want a window tint that lasts, go with carbon or ceramic tints. These higher-quality tints don’t fade as fast as other tints, and they have higher scratch resistance.
- UV Blockage – You want a tint that is good at blocking harmful UV rays. Not only will such a tint protect your car’s interior, but it will also protect you. Window tints with a reflective quality will prevent rays from getting trapped in your car.
- Pre-cut Vs. Rolled – You can purchase rolls of tint and cut them to fit your car windows, or you can buy custom-fitted window tints. Keep in mind that pre-cut tints are more expensive.
- Visible Light Transmission – Manufacturers label window tints with percentages indicating how much visible light they let into the car. The lower the percentage, the darker your car’s cabin will be. Tints with lower percentages can be a hazard when driving at night.
- Heat Dispersion – To find out how much heat a tint actually disperses, combine the tint’s UV, visible light transmission, and infrared ratings. This will tell you the tint’s total solar energy rejection (TSER). The higher the TSER, the better a tint can reduce heat.
How to Replace/Install Window Tints
Disclaimer: The guidelines in this story are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting repairs.
Prepare the Car Windows
Before you apply your window tint, you’ll want to remove any stickers or decals that are on the windows. Then wash the windows with some soapy water. After you make sure that the windows are free of dust and debris, dry them off with a rag.
Measure and Cut Your Tint
If you’re using rolled tint, you’ll have to measure and cut your tint. Before you measure, determine which side has adhesive on it. Cut a manageable slab of tint off the roll and press it against the window. Cut off the excess tint until the tint fits the window.
Adhere the Tint
Spray the window with water. Then peel the backing of the tint and press gently. Keep pressing until all of the water bubbles are gone. Make sure the tint edges are smooth.
Where to Buy the Top Car Window Tint for Heat Reduction
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