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Window Treatments and Window Tinting Glossary


3M Window Film (also called 3M Window Tint or 3M Glass Film) – is the premier window tinting product for cars, trucks, homes, office buildings and other commercial structures. 3M window films increase the heat reflectivity of the window, reducing heat transmission (solar gain) through the glass.

Auto Glass Tint – applied to the interior of the car windows, car window tinting reflects more of the sunlight and reduces heating and glare. Glass tinting makes your car more comfortable and increases your ability to see in bright sunlight.

Auto Window Tinting – the process of applying tinted window film to a car window. Car tint is applied to reduce the amount of sunlight and heat entering a car or truck. Auto window tinting makes the car more comfortable and improves visibility by reducing glare.

Awnings – An awning can provide shade and reduce light transmission through windows; but awnings are expensive, require maintenance and deteriorate over time. For most applications, window tinting can be a more cost-effective method for reducing light transmission and energy costs.

BlindsWindow blinds are a type of window treatment made of slats of wood, plastic or metal that can be rotated to alter the amount of light they transmit. Venetian blinds and roller blinds are common types of window blinds. Modern window blinds like TimberVue Express are extremely attractive and can reduce energy costs.

Car Window Tinting – a method of reducing the amount of sunlight and heat entering the car through the window glass. Car window tint is applied on the interior of the automobile or truck window using an adhesive specially made for this application. Improper application or the use of inferior window film or adhesives can lead to bubbling or discoloration. To get the best results and value, contact a professional car window tinting company like Shades of Texas Window Tinting.

Commercial Window Tinting – Window tint application to commercial buildings can reduce solar gain and energy costs substantially. The reduction of sunlight creates a more comfortable work environment, while limiting temperature fluctuations and glare. Commercial window tinting can be a highly cost effective way to reduce air conditioning costs for your business.

Curtains – Window curtains are decorative window coverings, but do not provide the same energy efficiency as window tinting or energy efficient window shades or blinds. More energy efficient home and office window treatment solutions would include window tint film, window blinds and shutters.

Energy Efficiency – the ability of your heating and air conditioning systems to keep your building in a comfortable temperature range with a given amount of energy. If your HVAC systems can do this with a small amount of energy, they are energy efficient. Window tinting, shades and blinds can contribute to energy efficiency by limiting radiation into and out of your building.

Energy Efficient Windows – infiltration and radiation of heat through windows is commonly the leading source of heat loss for a building. Energy efficient windows – particularly those coated with 3M Window Film – can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs due to heat radiation.

Federal Energy Tax Credit – The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided for tax credits of 30% (up to $1500) to homeowners who have energy efficient windows installed. Homeowners can obtain this federal tax credit by filing IRS Form 5695. More recently, the Economic Energy Stabilization Act of 2008 extended these tax credits to 2009 and 2010. 30% tax credit up to $1500.

Glass Tinting – Installing tinted window film can significantly reduce glare and heating in cars, homes and office buildings. Home and business window glass tinting is a cost-effective method of limiting solar radiation and reducing energy costs. Glass window tinting also reduces the fading of fabrics on furniture and floor coverings.

Glass Tints – available in several colors and degrees of light transmission, window glass tint and auto glass tinting are a low cost method of keeping your house, car or office cool while reducing glare.

Home Window Tinting – a popular and cost-effective method of reducing sunlight entering your house. Professionally installed home window tint like 3M Prestige window film can reduce both optical and infrared light transmission, and substantially lower home energy consumption.

ShadesWindow shades provide an aesthetically pleasing and adjustable way to control the light entering your home or commercial building.


Shades of Texas Window Tinting – a leading provider of window tinting and window treatments for Central Texas homes, cars and commercial buildings. Shades of Texas has been an Authorized 3M Window Film Dealer/Applicator for more than 20 years, and is the largest 3M window tint dealer in the Austin area.

Shutters – Window shutters are an excellent way to reduce the sunlight entering your home or office, and can also increase the effective R-value of your exterior walls. Like window blinds and shades, window shutters can be adjusted to vary the amount of light transmitted through a window.

Solar Shades – control the amount of light that passes through the windows of a home or commercial building. High quality solar shades like Rio Natural Woven Wood Shades from Shades of Texas are a highly decorative and cost-effective way to reduce sunlight and energy consumption and cooling costs.

Window Coverings – a broad category of products including awnings, window blinds, curtains, window shutters, drapes, window shades, glass tints and window films. Window coverings can be both decorative and functional – controlling light and reducing energy costs. For more information on our window shades, shutters and window blinds, visit our  Austin Window Treatments and Round Rock Window Treatment Examples pages.

Window Film – applied to the interior surface of the window, window film increases the heat reflectivity of the window glass and reduces the amount of light and heat transmitted into the interior of the building. High technology window films like 3M window film can block 79% of the sun’s heat, increase building security and block up to 99.9% of UV rays.

Window Tint Laws – State laws that govern the permitted location and levels of transmission of auto window tint. Typically state tint laws require more transmisivity through the windshield and front windows, less through the rear side and back windows. There is considerable variation from state to state; so it’s best to have your car window tint installed by a professional window tinting company.

Window Tint Percentages – the percentage of light that is transmitted through the window. Zero percent means the window is completely opaque (no light transmitted) and 100% means all light is transmitted (none is reflected). The window tint percentage is also known as the Visible Light Transmission (VLT). State tint laws govern the permissible window tint percentages.

Window Tint Removal – improperly installed window tinting can bubble or change color, creating an expensive and unsightly mess. It’s important to have your car window tint or home window tinting applied by a professional window tinting company like Shades of Texas. An Authorized Dealer/Installer of 3M Window Film, Shades of Texas has more than 20 years of experience in window tint installation.

Window Tinting – a popular and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of sunlight passing through a building or car window. Applied to the interior face of the car window, auto window tint keeps the car interior cooler while reducing glare. Commercial window tint makes offices and commercial buildings more pleasant, and can reduce the cost of heating and cooling.

Window Treatments – designs and products that accentuate windows and/or control the amount of light and heat that pass through windows. In addition to curtain rods, valances and other decorative enhancements, window treatments also include products designed to prevent or limit the amount of sunlight and heat passing through the window. Popular window treatments include window shades, venetian blinds, vertical and horizontal micro-blinds, solar shades, window tinting and plantation shutters.

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