How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Windows

In general, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about your windows. They’re really the kind of thing you only think about if there’s a problem with them, and it makes sense… they’re meant to be looked through, not at!

However, all windows do have a lifespan. Your car windshield, for example, will most likely only last for five years or so, if you drive very frequently. Of course, your windshield could last a lot longer if you don’t drive as much, or if you just have good luck. But a car windshield that has sustained damage, like cracks or chips, will most likely need to be replaced pretty soon.

How long do residential windows last?

Luckily, windows in the home will most likely last for 15-20 years– which is good, since replacing windows can be quite an investment.

This estimated lifespan can differ depending on many factors, like the materials that the windows are made from, and your geographical location.

Windows that work perfectly in a climate that’s consistently warm might not work as well in a humid continental climate like the American Midwest. A humid continental climate is one that varies greatly between seasons, but gets precipitation all year.

Glass expands when it’s heated and contracts when it’s cold, and the climate in the American Midwest can change rapidly. These kinds of rapid change can cause stress on the glass, eventually resulting in damage or breakage.

What are some signs that I should replace my windows?

Even if your windows look fine, you might still be due for a replacement. There are a few telltale signs you should pay attention to that can let you know when you should start preparing to replace the windows in your home.

Change in energy bills

If you’ve been living in the same house for a while, chances are good that you know what to expect from your energy bills regardless of season. They’re probably a little higher when the weather is very cold or hot, but you’re used to it.

You should take note, however, if your energy bills are much higher than usual. This can be a sign that your home isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. While higher energy bills can be the result of many things– including a faulty or poorly maintained HVAC system– if your windows are 15-20 years old, they might be the culprit.

Windows that have passed their prime have typically lost the seal that’s necessary to, well, seal the indoors from the outdoor environment. This means that extra air can escape, making your HVAC system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.



If you’re relaxing at home and happen to feel a draft, or a mysterious breeze, chances are good that the seal on your windows has loosened up enough to allow outside air to enter the home.

Not only is this bad for your energy bills, it also means that unwanted visitors (like spiders, ants, and other insects) can easily enter your home.



If you notice that your windows look foggy or have collected condensation between the panes, this is a surefire sign that something isn’t right. The space between the two panes should stay dry, and if water is entering the space it means that there’s a problem with the window seal.

Call for a consultation

If you’re experiencing higher energy bills but aren’t sure whether it’s time to replace your windows or try something else, give the experts here at Autobahn a call. We’d be happy to give you a consultation to let you know whether residential window tinting will help block light and heat from entering your space, bringing your energy bills right back down where they belong.

What’s the difference between house and car window tinting?

You might think of auto glass tinting as a relatively new phenomenon– something that became popular for celebrities in the age of paparazzi, with the intent of creating privacy for the passengers inside a vehicle.

However, window tinting for cars and homes has actually been around since the mid-20th century.

The concept of window tinting has been around for just about as long as glass windows have existed– and the first recorded glass windows were used by the Romans in about 100 AD.

Windows are necessary to let in the light, which was especially important in the days before widely accessible electricity. However, sunlight brings heat with it. For non-air-conditioned spaces, additional heat brought in by sunlight can become unbearable.

This is true for both auto and house window tinting, and both types of window tinting serve essentially the same purpose: to block some degree of light from entering a space, while still preserving visibility through the glass.

How do car window tinting and house window tinting work?

Throughout the history of window tinting, people have tried a variety of methods– from painting windows to dyeing the glass itself.

Today, there are a handful of different window tinting methods that are popular for both cars and houses alike. These methods involve different materials, with different strengths and weaknesses, but all of them are essentially similar; window tint is made from thin sheets of material applied directly to the inside of the window.

How are home window tinting and car window tinting methods alike?

Though the requirements and legal limits for home and car window tinting are different, they work in the same way: a thin film of tinted material that’s used to block sunlight from entering the space, whether it’s a home or a vehicle.

There are some exceptions to this rule– for instance, some cars come with “factory tinting”. In these cases, the tint isn’t a separate aftermarket material applied to the glass. Instead, the actual glass itself is dyed, for the purpose of blocking light.

Typically, factory tinting only blocks about 15-25% of the light entering the vehicle. Aftermarket tinting is usually a higher percentage, depending on local tinting laws.

Car Interior windows tinted by SunStop Window Tinting

How is home window tinting different from car window tinting?

Though window tinting is essentially the same regardless of context, there are some differences in the materials that are used to achieve the desired level of tint.

Car windows are structurally different from typical home windows– in a car, the glass is usually curved to some degree. This means that special window tinting film that’s designed to shrink is used for cars, in order to achieve the perfect fit.

If car window tinting film were used on windows inside the home, it might actually cause them to shatter due to the shrinking effect, which would put unnecessary strain on the glass!

Additionally, the materials used for home window tinting and car window tinting behave differently in relation to light. Car window tint absorbs the light (and heat). The car’s movement creates wind, which is effective for cooling down the absorbed heat.

Meanwhile, tinted house windows reflect light back to the outdoors, preventing it from entering the space. Since house windows are static and there’s no reliable source of wind to cool down absorbed heat, the reflection is necessary to prevent extra heat from entering the home.

Ready to get your windows tinted?

If you’re ready to get your home or vehicle’s windows tinted, look no further than the experts at Autobahn in North Little Rock. Give us a call or reach out to schedule an appointment today!

The Differences Between Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film

Protecting the exterior of your car is probably a priority for you, at least on some level. After all, the paint job is the first thing people see when they look at your vehicle– and in some ways, isn’t a person’s car a reflection of them as a person, or at least of their priorities?

It’s hard to keep a paint job looking fresh, though. No matter what kind of climate you live in, there are environmental factors that can cause major damage over time. If you live in a temperate area, your car faces potential damage from ice, road salt, and UV exposure from the sun!

What can I do to protect my car’s paint job?

Getting a new paint job every few years isn’t feasible for most of us, but unless you never drive your car, it’s likely to incur some damage over the years.

Fortunately, there are some options available to you for protection.

One of these options is paint protection film.

As you might be able to guess, paint protection film (for brevity, also known as PPF) is a clear film that’s applied to the surface of your car in order to protect the paint.

It’s a pretty good option to keep your car’s paint protected from things like road debris and fading from UV exposure. After all, it’s a physical material that creates a barrier between your car’s paint and the outside world.

The second option is ceramic coating.

It’s also a clear material that’s applied to the exterior of your car in order to protect its paint job, and it does a great job protecting your car from the elements for years.

How does paint protection film compare to ceramic coating?

Both paint protection film and ceramic coating are popular options for protecting your car’s paint job for a reason, but how does one compare to the other?

Both options are great for keeping your car safe from road debris and even acidic and chemical contaminants– these can include things like acid rain, bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap.

The major difference between the two lies in the material they’re made from. A PPF is simply applied to the exterior of your car– while a ceramic coating is made from a material that bonds with your car’s paint job on a molecular level. That means it’s creating a true bond between the paint and the coating to both protect and strengthen it.

While both can protect your car from the elements, the chemical bond created by the ceramic coating is generally more effective.

As an added bonus, ceramic coating makes your car hydrophobic– which means that water will bead off of your car, further ensuring your paint job’s protection from the elements.

How long does paint protection film last on a car?

It depends greatly on the quality of the material and the quality of the installation itself. A professional paint protection film installation should protect your car for up to five years.

How long does ceramic coating last on a car?

Ceramic coating is a more permanent option than PPF just because of its chemical makeup. It’s bonded to the paint of your car rather than just applied to it.

In fact, a quality ceramic coating for your vehicle can last up to ten years.

The longevity of both PPF and ceramic coating depends on the amount of harmful environmental factors your car is exposed to. Obviously, if your car experiences heavy debris, tree sap, bird droppings, and UV exposure on a daily basis for years, its protective coating will wear out more quickly regardless of which option you choose.

Should I get ceramic coating for my car?

One of the reasons why people opt out of ceramic coating for their vehicles is the cost– a high-quality professional ceramic coating application can cost a bit more than people are prepared to spend on a protective measure for their car.

However, applying ceramic coating will ultimately protect your car’s paint for years! Since the paint color and quality of your vehicle are the biggest factors in resale value, it makes good sense to ensure that they look great! 

The increased resale value on your car is likely to make up for the initial cost of ceramic coating application.

If you’re ready to get your car looking shiny and gorgeous for years to come, choosing a ceramic coating is a solid choice. Give the experts at Autobahn a call today to schedule your appointment!

How Ceramic Coating Can Increase the Value of Your Car

Over the years, your car naturally goes through some wear and tear. If you’re driving every day, all year round, it’s inevitable that your car will experience some damage from UV exposure, snow, ice, salt, road debris, and more.

When it comes time to sell your vehicle, though, you’ll probably be looking at your car with a more critical eye than ever before. After all, the condition of your vehicle has a direct impact on its resale value. A vehicle that needs repairs, even just cosmetic repairs to the exterior, will have a lower resale value than a car that’s in pristine condition– that’s just how it works.

What lowers a car’s resale value?

There are two major factors that come into play when determining your car’s resale value. The first is its accident history, which can be looked up through the car’s VIN number.

When a car is in an accident, its value is diminished even if all necessary repairs have been made. While this can seem unfair, the diminished value is determined by aftermarket parts that have most likely been used to make the repairs.

However, even if you’ve gotten your repairs done at a dealership with all of the correct parts, you will still experience some loss in value. The quality of repair is a major determining factor in resale value as well.

The other major factor when determining resale value is current condition. Even a car that’s never been in an accident can have a disappointing resale price if there’s damage or visible wear and tear. For example, if your car’s paint job is faded, scratched up, or otherwise damaged, it’ll fetch a lower resale price.

How can I increase the resale value of my car?

The first piece of advice we can provide when it comes to ensuring the maximum possible resale value for your car is to seek quality repairs if you ever get into an accident. While you might save money in the short-term by getting repairs from a local garage, you might be stuck with lower-quality aftermarket parts that could give you future troubles and bring down your resale value.

When at all possible, you should go to a dealership for car repairs.

Our second piece of advice: detailing! If you detail your car before you sell it, the resale value will increase. Please note that detailing means more than a quick car wash and interior vacuum– it’s essentially examining your vehicle with a magnifying glass to address everything that needs to be cleaned, repaired, or restored.

A detail may also include repairs to the paint job, fixing cosmetic issues like scratches. You should know that a car’s paint quality and condition is one of the biggest factors in resale value– which makes sense, because it’s the first thing people see when they look at the car!

What else can I do to improve my car’s paint quality for resale value?

Ceramic coating is a great option for keeping your car’s paint looking like it’s brand new, even if your car is several years old.

Essentially, ceramic coating is a clear polymer coating applied over the car’s paint that does a great job protecting it from the elements and from daily wear and tear. Not only does it cover the paint, it’s chemically formulated to bond with the car’s paint to greatly increase the level of protection. As an added bonus, it adds a layer of shine, too!

Ceramic coating is a great way to increase the resale value of your car because it makes the paint look incredible– and lasts for years. It protects the paint job from virtually everything you can think of, from road debris to UV exposure to corrosion.

Can I apply ceramic coating myself?

This is an important question– and the answer is no. There are some DIY “ceramic coatings” available for home application, but ceramic coating is something that absolutely should be left in the care of a qualified professional.

If you want your car looking great when it comes time to sell it, ceramic coating is a no-brainer. For qualified professionals to apply a ceramic coating to your vehicle, look no further than the experts at Autobahn. Give us a call at 501-708-0903 to schedule your appointment today!



An XPEL Little Rock Representative will be in touch. For immediate assistance, give us a call!