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.

The pros of residential window tinting

Usually when you think of window tinting, you think of car window tinting. Did you know that you can also add value to your home, as well as increasing your safety, comfort, and style, by tinting your residential windows? A seemingly simple process of applying a transparent sheet of film to glass can have tremendous benefits and impact on the curb appeal, privacy, and security of your home, as well as help you save money in the long run on heating/cooling costs and protect your furnishings from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Benefits of residential window tinting

  • Enhances home safety and security: Applying a thin film on your windows adds a layer of protection that can help prevent your glass from shattering if an unfortunate or harmful impact occurs, either due to an accident, a natural occurrence such as a tree falling, or an attempted home invasion. 


  • Prevents heat loss and gain: Residential window tinting can help your home’s glass surfaces reject infrared heat, which can cut down on your cooling costs during the summer. The added insulation provided by an applied layer of window tinting film also helps keep heat from escaping your home during the winter. 


  • Protects interior furnishings from fading: Your home’s upholstery, carpeting, curtains, and any other fabric surfaces will fade if exposed to UV light. Residential window tinting can drastically reduce this exposure, thus reducing the severity and rapidity of fading.

Types of residential window tinting

In addition to car window tinting, Autobahn Window Tinting offers several residential window tinting options. These products are supplied by Hüper Optik and described below.

Hüper Optik Ceramic Series:

This is the most popular window film among central Arkansas residential window tinting consumers. A wide range of options exist in this series, allowing you to customize your residential window tinting package to fit the specific needs of your home. This product offers energy rejection rates of up to 65% and infrared rejection rates of up to 86%. This is a nano-ceramic technology patented by Hüper Optik since 1998 and innovated upon since then. Customers who choose this product can count on a crystal clear view that is unobstructed by haziness or blue-toned hues.

Hüper Optik Select Series:

This is the highest performing non-reflective window film we offer, with energy rejection rates of up to 72% and infrared rejection rates of up to 98%. This is a multi-layer film that uses nano technology to allow very fine particles of silver and gold to allow the most amount of light to pass through your windows while rejecting the maximum amount of heat without increasing the visual reflectivity of the glass.

Hüper Optik Fusion Series:

This option offers a fusion of green technology and energy efficiency, with energy rejection rates up to 77%. This reflective film helps you enhance privacy and energy efficiency of your home.

Autobahn Window Tinting offers specialists who can help you customize a window tinting plan to fit your home. Call today!

Skin Protection for Inside your Home

Am I safe inside my home from UV rays? 

The windows in your home can put you at risk for unknowingly exposing your skin to harmful UV rays. The UV light divides into three classifications: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Of the three classifications, UV-A and UV-B are associated with sunburns and tanning as well as tanning beds. UV-C, however, does not even penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Standard window glass, according to the International Ultraviolet Association,  will allow UV-A to pass through while nearly 100% of the UV-B is blocked. Therefore, damaging UV-A rays can penetrate your home and damage your skin. Some of the damaging effects include freckling, rashes, premature aging, and even skin cancer.

How does window film help?

Window film can help block damaging UV rays from entering your home. Our Window films block 99.9% of UV light. You will be able to have peace of mind in your home; you will have no risk of sun damage to your skin when near your windows. Our window films also give you the ability to reduce the amount of heat, light, and fading as well as making the glass safer if it breaks

Is it a necessity?

We think that offering your family the peace of mind that comes with applying window film is 100% a necessity. Being able to relax in your home and not have to worry about sun exposure is crucial for having a happy, worry-free lifestyle. Protecting yourself and your family has never been easier.

Stay Tuned!

Stay tuned for our next post! We will take on “Glare Reduction and Aesthetics” in the home and how our window films can help reduce light and update your home!

Fade Control for your Home

What is fading? 

Fading is the gradual change in color. Fading can happen to upholstery, hardwoods, carpeting, artwork, wall paint, and more. Navy blue, dark green, dark red, brown, and black will appear to fade faster because of being deeper in the color spectrum than white, tan, or other lighter colors. Darker hardwood floors and furniture will fade much more quickly and drastically than lighter options.

What causes fading?

The three major contributors to fading are UV, Visible Light, and Solar Heat. These factors damage and break down the colors of your floors, furniture, and paints- causing irreparable damage.  The contribution of fading for UV is 50%, visible light contributes about 25% to fading, and solar heat contributes the remaining 25%. The sun is the ultimate fading source, but we can’t necessarily get rid of it. However, certain window films minimize the suns effects of fading and still enjoy natural light and views.

What reduces fading?

In regards to UV, a film that blocks 99.99% is key when it comes to fade reduction. When blocking nearly all of the UV, the fading slows by 50%. Visible light is the next key component in preventing fading. We offer window films that block as much as 95% of visible light, though the darkest that we recommend for a home is 85% light block. Huper Optik is the most optically clear window film on the market; even at our darkest architectural film, there is no obstruction to your view. We always recommend at least a 50% visible light transmittance when trying to reduce fade because it slows the fading by at least 12.5%. Solar heat is the final component. Other films cannot compete with the heat rejection of Huper Optik. We can block more solar heat at lighter options than any other product on the market. Your home will not only be more protected against fading, but it will also be a more comfortable temperature.  

Stay Tuned!

Stay tuned for our next post! We will take on “Skin Protection” in the home and how our window films can help reduce the chance of anyone in your family from getting skin cancer later in life from the sun damage unknowingly received through your windows.

Everything You Need to Know About Heat Rejection for your Home

How is Heat Rejection measured?

Total Solar Energy Rejection (TSER) measures the heat rejected by window films. The heat entering through the window is comprised of several different components- 44% visible light, 53% infrared radiation, and 3% ultraviolet energy. The TSER takes into account each part to create a total percentage of heat rejection. The higher the rate, the higher solar energy deflected. 

Most window tint shops use Infra-Red Rejection (IRR) as a guide to the level of heat rejection. However, IRR only covers a fraction of TSER, slightly over 50%. Internationally, TSER is used as a guide for window film standards because it is a more accurate way of measuring heat rejection. The IRR is not an accurate representation of how the window film will perform. For example, if a technician tells you a film blocks 60% of infrared, it only blocks roughly 30% of heat.

Why do some films have higher stats than others?

The majority of window film brands claim that their product is the best. Brands attempt to skew numbers and statistics to mislead the consumer. Often, when a brand of window film only has information about the IR rejection, it is most likely performing subpar. IRR is a number that can be manipulated to read 97-99%, which is very rare for a film to do unless it’s Huper Optik. 

The IR Spectrum for window film covers a wide range (780nm-3000nm). Window Film Manufacturers will pick one small section in that spectrum to measure IRR, usually 900nm-1000nm. They claim that they block 97% of that IR between the two numbers on their selected range. Seems wrong, right? Well, it is. Installers will also use that number alone as their “Heat Rejection.” At autobahn, our top-performing film, Huper Optik Select Drei, blocks 98% of the IR on the full IR spectrum and has a 72% TSER. 

If a company tells you their film blocks 97% of the heat, It will benefit you to call someone else for a quote.

Why is it important for energy savings

The Total Solar Energy Rejection impacts home energy savings. The higher the TSER percentage means that more heat is kept out of your home. Therefore, your AC will use less energy when cooling your home- saving you money. We have seen temperatures reduce by up to 15 – 20 degrees Farenheight with our window films. That results in massive savings for our customers. 

Stay tuned for our next post! We will take on fade control in the home and explain how our window film can help to minimize it as well as keep your furniture and flooring in great shape!

Don’t forget to check out our Residential or Commercial pages for more information on our products!

Reduce Carbon Emissions with Window Film

What are carbon emissions?

Carbon emissions are the leading factor in greenhouse gasses, making up roughly 82% of the greenhouse gasses present in our atmosphere. They are created through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees, and other biological materials.

How does energy affect carbon emissions?

Heating and cooling your home or business takes massive amounts of energy which is created by electricity. Electricity is often made through the combustion of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity was the second-largest source of CO2 emissions in the nation. As you can see electricity, something that we take for granted is a huge factor when it comes to our environment.

How can we use window film to improve the world around us?

One cost-effective and straightforward way to improve not only your home environment but also the world around us is to install Huper Optik Window Film to your home or business. Huper Optik Window Film is a product that can give you a range of benefits. One of the most important benefits is the energy rejection it provides to help your AC work better while cooling your home. This saves you not only money but also electricity which can contribute to lowering carbon emissions. We can provide maximum energy rejection at lighter shades with window film that won’t impair your views. When it comes to reducing carbon emissions, the most effective way is to reduce electricity, which will, therefore, lower fossil fuel consumption.

Will any window film help?

Window film is a tricky thing to get right. Researching products is very important. The phrase, “you get what you pay for,” often applies in the window film industry. The better product will be more expensive, but with the price comes better benefits, extended warranties, and peace of mind. At SunStop, we are trained to know what type of window film can be applied to the specific glass type. Other companies tend to overlook glass type, and this can lead to glass breakage and voided warranties.

Since we started this business, our goal has been to find the absolute best product, not the most well-known brand. We educate our customers so they can make a decision based on facts, not misleading information. That’s why we use Huper Optik Window Films. Their patented products are the highest performing window films in the world, and no other products can compare.



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