Solar screens and shades are a great feature to add to any home. That’s because they can effectively block out the glare from the sun without blocking the view. Retractable solar shades/screens are one of the most popular types.
There are basically two types of retractable solar shades/screens.
- Mechanical retractable shades and screens
- Manual retractable shades and screens.
These two types differ only when it comes to the mechanism used for moving the shades. Mechanical and manual versions are available both for solar shades that are used inside your home and solar screens that are for exterior use.
By moving the shade or screen with either method you only let in the amount of sunlight that you prefer – giving you the benefits of filtering the sunlight and reducing indoor heat, which in turn can result in energy savings.
Mechanical retractable shades/screens use:
- A motor usually hidden inside a housing
- Long electrical cord for power
- Remote control
When going up and down, the solar screen typically glides along cables or tracks. The remote control lets you unroll the screen to different lengths including all the way up or down.
This is an excellent solution for homes that have many windows that face the sun or large picture windows. By using mechanical retractable shades, a homeowner no longer needs to manually drop or retract the shades for each window. One remote control can operate many shades.
Mechanical units are also great if you have a second story window because with the remote control you won’t have to run up the stairs every time you want to bring the screens down or lift them up.
What’s more, mechanical units let you operate your exterior solar screens without having to go outside. This is great when the outside weather is very hot.
Automated retractable systems are available. These let a homeowner just enter the right settings on the control box and the screens or shades that are tied into the system will retract according to the homeowner’s preferences.
Manual retractable shades, on the other hand, are a cost effective solution for homeowners who are looking for a shading solution for their homes. These solar shades can be retracted or dropped with a hand crank or pull chain.
Manual retractable shades are perfect for homes that only have one window that requires a solar shade, such as a large bay window. They are often found on outdoor window screens used in patios, terraces and even garages.
The great thing about manually operated shades is the fact that these are easy to install. Compared to mechanical retractable shades they have fewer parts so need only a few measurements and a little manual labor in order to be set up properly. This can save the cost of an installer.
A Shade or Screen to Suit Your Preference
Retractable shades and screens come in various colors and materials. This means that there is definitely an interior solar shade or exterior solar screen available that will meet your specifications and preferences.
There are also many companies that offer customized retractable shades and screens for customers. You can contact any available company and have them check out your windows or patios to give you a quote on the customized solution they can offer.
For more information about solar shades, read Solar Window Screens and Shades.