So how about that humid, near-90-degree heat last week? Wow! Don’t get me wrong – I’ll take this over trudging through snow in mid-February, but whew! Hot, hot, hot.

Summer sun has its cons, like turning your otherwise benign sedan into an oversized toaster oven, complete with thigh-scalding leather seats. You know what I’m talking about – when you climb behind the wheel only to rocket your knees into the dash and end up in an awkward yoga pose in the driver’s seat…

What’s a girl to do? I asked Auto Effects owner Ryan Hare, our local aftermarket car accessory guru, about the benefits of window tinting. I was surprised to find that there is more to window tint than making your car into a Beaver County Fast & Furious machine:

“But Ryan…I’m not a high school senior blasting dubstep down Third Street!”

Neither are many of the drivers that have their car windows tinted! Yes, of course, tint definitely increases the “cool factor” of a vehicle – and that’s the goal of most of the younger customers that walk into the Auto Effects showroom.

Us older Millennials still like to look stylish, but once there are infant carriers and booster seats in the back, we enjoy additional benefits of having the windows tinted: up to 60% heat reduction, 94% glare reduction, and protection from harmful UV rays. Our son can enjoy the view around Beaver County without being blinded by light, and he enjoys many cool, shaded naps in the backseat.

There are health benefits to blocking out 99% of UV rays (an advantage with whichever level of tint you choose), particularly for individuals that have conditions that require protection from the sun’s radiation. Ryan tells me that he has tinted windows for people with skin cancer/melanoma, MS, and other diseases to allow them to safely travel without dangerous exposure. Check out 8 Reasons why window tinting can benefit you and your family by Johnson Window Films. Ask about Auto Effects’ residential & commercial division, Window Effects, for options to protect your home and business, too.

“But isn’t window tint illegal in Pennsylvania?”

In short, yes. Pennsylvania’s regulations require that 70% of light passes through to the interior of the vehicle. Many vehicles have 20% factory tint on the rear windows (e.g. crew cab trucks, SUVs, minivans), and factory tint is exempt from the rule.

Ryan says that he has spoken with many local police officers, and that they have told him that they have more pressing issues to be concerned about than window tint. That being said, there is still a small chance that you could be pulled over. If that does happen, you can either pay the fine or have the ticket voided by the magistrate by having the tint removed.

“How do I choose which tint to get?”

Auto Effects uses Johnson Marathon Window Films in varying shades. My car has 35% all around, which is dark enough to look snazzy and be functional, but light enough that you can still see in the car. The most popular shades are 30% and 20% to match rear factory windows – our truck has 20% and it’s a perfect match. If you’re after an extreme look, go for the 5%. Remember: the lower the number, the darker the tint.

If you aren’t into the tinted look but still want the benefits, no worries! This year, Ryan has started offering a nearly-clear IR (infrared) window film that adds protection from UV rays without physically reducing the light that passes through.

“Why do I have to leave my car there all day? And how much does it cost?”

Ryan and his crew care about one thing above all else: quality. Each vehicle is different, and some take longer than others to properly apply the window tint. When you drop your car off, it is given undivided attention to ensure that there are no defects (i.e. bubbles) in the tint, the door panels are securely reinstalled, and that the tint is adhering to the windows correctly.

Good things come to those who wait, but if you must have your vehicle back by a certain time, let them know and they’ll do their best to accommodate your needs. Some customers travel a significant distance to Auto Effects for their excellent services – if you have to wait, you can relax in the bucket seats in the waiting room and take advantage of beverages, free Wi-Fi, & TV while they work on your car.

Pricing varies from $49.99 to $429.99, depending on your vehicle and which windows are tinted.

Auto Effects has been recognized for its exceptional tinting services for years – they applied the tint on my car 4 years ago, and it still looks as amazing as it did the day it pulled out of the shop! I’m not an unruly teenager (though you may in fact catch me bumping to Skrillex down the main street of Beaver nonetheless) – I’m your average working mom with a comfy kid in the backseat reaping the benefits of style and comfort from professional window tint.

Ella Parker
BC born & raised, Ella spent her childhood playing in the woods, and her teens exploring them on horseback. These days, when she’s not on duty as a vet tech, she is busy staying active with her beau and their young son.

She is forever curious and has a playful personality, but is also fiercely driven and dedicated to her passions!