Solar screens, also called solar shades, for windows are built to reduce the sun’s heat from getting into your home while still giving you the benefits of regular window screens – letting air in while keeping flying insects out. Why is it important to keep the heat out?
When the sun hits your glass window, it heats it up. The glass holds the heat in and radiates it inside your house. Your house then warms up. This may be fine in the winter, but in the summer it makes your house hotter.
By using solar screens, you can keep your house cooler and save the money it takes to pay for air conditioning or fans to cool your house down.
Solar screens work in three ways:
How they work
1. They create shade between the screen and the window’s glass.
2. They help stop the heat created by sunlight from reaching the window glass by reflecting sunlight off the screen.
3. They absorb the sun’s heat into the screen material. This heat is then dissipated by the air flowing through the screen.
Solar Screen Benefits
Following are some of the benefits using solar screens can provide you.
- Reduce the temperature inside your home. Solar screens can cool rooms up to 15 degrees. In hotter climates, especially during the summer, this can make the rooms in your home much more comfortable to be in.
- Reduce your energy costs. It stands to reason that if your house does not heat up as much, you can spend less to cool it down with air conditioning and fans. This, in turn, means you can save on your electric bill.
- Reduce glare. Glare is caused by sunlight bouncing off television and computer screens, among other surfaces. With less sun coming in, you will get less glare. This can be especially helpful in home offices and media rooms with windows facing the sun.
- Reduce fading. When the sun passes through unprotected windows, light and heat hits your home furnishings. Over time this can cause the rapid fading of the coloring of carpets, curtains, drapes, and furniture. Solar screens help prevent the overheating of furniture and fabrics, therefore enhancing the beauty and longevity of your furnishings.
- Provide daytime privacy. During the day, solar screens on your windows will make it more difficult for people walking by to see into your house. But even though people can’t see in, you will be able to see out.
Solar Screen Options
Solar screens are constructed with different densities, also called openness percentages, to provide different levels of blockage.
Most recommended solar screens are either 80% or 90%. 80% solar screens are built to block up to 80% of the sun’s heat. 90% solar screens are intended to block up to 90% of the sun’s heat. Variables such as the angle of the sun, cloudiness, and location of trees in your yard also impact how much light will come into your rooms.
The 90% solar screens, usually offered in black or brown, may restrict your view of the outside, but will provide greater protection from the sun’s heat and glare. You may want to use the 90% solar screens for rooms that get prolonged direct sunlight.
Solar screens / solar shades work well. However, they do cost more than typical window screens. What you need to think about is how long they will take to pay for themselves if you get the benefits that solar screens can provide.