Window screens are a vital part of every exterior home window treatment – in the spring, summer, and early fall months. In cold weather, they are often replaced with storm windows to help protect your house from the cold. There are also combination screen and storm windows that can be left on a house all year long.
A seemingly simple device, the window screen is basically a frame with a mesh screen. Screens on windows offers a homeowner many benefits including improved air flow, pest and lighting control, energy efficiency, visual appeal, and security. Let’s consider each of these.
A closed window may let light in, but it keeps air out. This may be fine if the air is very hot. But for mild weather, you want to use window screens to let the air in. With a screen in place, breezes can circulate throughout your house providing some refreshing ventilation. Air movement also helps remove heat and stuffiness from inside the house.
Window screens allow homeowners to open the windows in their house without exposing the interior of the home to the insects that are flying around outside. Because the screen itself is constructed of mesh woven in a grid pattern, it stops flying and crawling bugs from entering a house while still letting air and light in. By varying the size of the mesh grid (how large the holes are), even tiny pests can be kept out of the house.
Depending on the tightness of the mesh weave and the material used, window screens offer differing levels of light control. When selecting window screens you need to think about the lighting level you want and need for each room in your house. For example, you may want more light control from your screens in your family or living room so you can watch TV without glare. However, you may want your screens to let more light into your kitchen — especially when you are cooking there.
There are specifically designed window screens, called solar screens or solar shades that can help to keep excessive solar heat from heating the home. If you can reduce the temperature within your house, you can reduce the need to use air conditioning and fans to keep the home cooler during the hotter months. This, in turn, can reduce your energy bill.
Window screens can also be used as a home beautifying element. A screen material such as copper bronze will oxidize and provide a desirable patina that can enhance the visual appeal of your home’s exterior.
To protect your home you can install security window screens that are made of coated steel instead of the usual fiberglass or aluminum material. These screens are resistant to being cut or someone pushing against them to force entry. They also protect against flying objects such as rocks and golf balls.
There are also window alarm screens that have detection wires in the mesh. If a burglar tries to beak in through the security screen, the alarm will go off.
Where to Place Window Screens
Window screens and screen mesh can be used in many different areas of a home. Ready-made and custom built window screens are available that can fit different types of windows – both large and small.
Window screens are also appropriate for patios and porches. By screening in these areas in you can see the surrounding landscape and enjoy the fresh outside air without the flying pests.
There are also screens for the doors in your home. These include screen doors that slide to cover sliding glass doors.
The mesh itself that is used for window screens can also be used in other areas of your home. For example, a frame and mesh pool cage can be built over your pool to keep out both insects and falling leaves.
Another use of window screens on a frame would be for a greenhouse. This would allow your plants to get the light of the sun while protecting the plants from bugs that would eat them or a baseball flying in from the neighbor’s yard.
If you like fresh air and want to keep out insects, consider the benefits of adding a window screen to the windows in your home.