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Angie's List: Window Tinting Can Lower Your Car's Interior Temperature

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- We all dread climbing into a vehicle that's been sitting outside in the summer heat - short shorts and leather seats are an especially bad combination.

But tinted windows are one way to help keep your backside from burning.

Window tinting has come a long way in the last 20 years. The old films are still out there, so sort through all the options before deciding which one to install on your vehicle.

"There's hybrid films that are semi-metal based and dyed. Then, there's metal films and there's even ceramic films," says Chris Brennan, a window tinting professional. "And as you go up towards the ceramic line, they cut out more heat and they're going to give you a better clarity on the film itself."

Quality tinting can lower your car's interior temperature by 60 percent.

Not surprisingly, tinting prices go up as the temps go down. A standard dyed-tinting job can be done for under $200. It's at least twice that for ceramic.

"If it's just for the looks, you know, pick the one that looks the best to you. If you're looking for the heat rejection, go for something that's going to give you the highest amount, usually your ceramic films," says Brennan. "And whatever you do, make sure you're getting a written warranty from the manufacturer and not just a verbal warranty from the shop."

The tinting will also drastically reduce the sun's UV rays entering your vehicle, which will also protect your interior from fading and cracking, but there may be limits to how dark your installer should go.

"Be sure they understand what the laws are in your area because there are laws typically about how dark that window tinting can be, and you certainly don't want to end up with a fine if your windows end up too dark," says Angie Hicks, of Angie's List.

Hicks says a tint job with high-quality film can last anywhere from five to 10 years.

A standard dyed film is likely good for a year or two.

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