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Are Solar Screens Worth It? [Should You Install Them?]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: November 5, 2022

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at some point: are solar screens worth it? In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of solar screens to help you make an informed decision.

Solar shades provide privacy by making it difficult for people to see inside during the day while still allowing you to see outside. However, at night when your lights are on and illuminating your home, people will see directly into your house.

Solar shades are made of an open weave fabric, which allows light and air to come in while still providing some privacy during the daytime. However, at night when your home lights are on, people outside can see in easily.

Table of Contents

What Are the Types of Solar Screens?

There are solar screens and then there are solar window screens.

Solar screens attach to the outside of your home and are most effective on south and west-facing windows – the windows that get the most sun throughout the day.

Solar window screens are placed on the inside of your windows and work year-round to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Both solar screens and solar window screens are made of a mesh material that blocks out the sun’s UV rays.

Solar screens also reflect some of the sun’s heat away from your home, making it cooler in the summer.

On the other hand, solar window screens do not reflect heat; however, they help to insulate your windows, making it harder for heat to enter your home in the summer and escape in the winter.

How Do Solar Screens Work?

Solar screens are installed on the outside of windows and help to block out solar heat and light.

They can be made from PVC coated polyester weave window screen mesh, but there are other durability options to consider as well.

Solar screens also help with reducing solar heat gain coefficients.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) rates windows based solar screens on how well they insulate but, sadly, they do not include solar screens in their ratings.

Nonetheless, as NFRC states, quality products reflect up to 74% of the damage that UV rays cause while protective films block up to 99% of the harmful rays of the sun.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Solar Screens?

The Cons of Traditional Solar Screens

Aesthetically, some traditional solar screens tend to make the houses look like large Elvis Presley wearing oversized black sunglasses from the 1970s.

These mostly prevent you from enjoying the sunlight and also require you to spend more money on lighting your home using electricity.

Likewise, very thick solar screens block some airflow if you want to open your windows for ventilation.

Also, reducing the natural light levels in your home has a negative impact on serotonin and endorphin production, which can reduce a person’s mood.

Solar screens installed outside on your window frame are an after-market addition to your windows, so they may not fit as securely as you would like and could be blown away or damaged during a storm.

Depending on your location’s weather patterns, some solar screen companies suggested installing indoor solar window screens and additional protection on your windows.

If you’re looking to reduce your heating and cooling expenses, insulation is key.

The Pros of Modern Solar Screens

Not only do solar shades provide excellent sun control and insulation, but they also allow you to see through them while still protecting your view.

Modern solar screens do what they are supposed to do. By installing them, you will control sun exposure. People want to save their floors, furniture, and art pieces from the UV rays that the sun emits.

Properly installed shades can play a big role in home energy efficiency. One type of shade to consider is an exterior-operated shade. These are more effective than inner window solar shades because they stop the heat before it enters your home.

Note that to maintain both privacy and sun control with solar shades, you should be aware of the fabrics’ opacity.

For example, a 1% opacity fabric will provide more privacy than a 5% opacity would, but it also decreases the level of view through during daylight hours.

If maintaining your view is a priority, then choosing the right fabric will make a big difference.

A lighter fabric reflects the sun’s heat better but also brightens the room and blurs the view.‍

Are Solar Screens Worth It?

So, are solar screens worth it? Do they really work? And should you install them? That really depends on a few factors.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of sun, solar screens can help to keep your home cooler in the summer, saving you money on air conditioning costs.

Solar screens also have the added benefit of protecting your furniture and carpets from fading because of sunlight exposure.

If you’re interested in saving money on energy costs, solar window screens might be a better option for you.

By insulating your windows, solar window screens can help to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round, resulting in lower heating and cooling bills.

Solar window screens are also less visible than solar screens, so if aesthetics are important to you, solar window screens might be a better option.

Ultimately, whether solar screens or solar window screens are worth it, it depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Can I Install Solar Screens Myself?

If you decide to install solar screens yourself, you’ll need to purchase a few tools, including a tape measure, level, drill, screwdriver, and utility knife.

You should also make sure you have enough screen material to cover all of your windows.

Most retailers sell solar screen kits that come with everything you need for installation.

If you decide to hire a professional installer, expect to pay between $50 and $100 per hour for labor charges.

In most cases, it will take one person about two hours to install solar screens on 10 windows.

How to Maintain Solar Screens?

Solar screens can last for many years if they’re properly maintained.

To clean them, simply wipe them down with a clean cloth dampened with water or mild soap and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage the surface of the screen.

You should also inspect them regularly for any holes or tears and repair them as necessary to prevent insects or other pests from entering your home through gaps in the screen material.

All told, solar screens are definitely worth considering if you want to save money on energy costs or reduce sunlight exposure in your home without sacrificing visibility or privacy.

Do Solar Screens Help in the Winter?

Not only do solar screens provide shade and temperature regulation during the scorching summer months, but they also act as an extra insulator for your windows against cold winter winds and heat loss.

Do Solar Shades Keep Heat Out?

Solar shades are a type of window treatment that can be used to reduce the amount of heat and light that enters a room.

They are usually made from a reflective material that reflects sunlight away from the window, and they can be adjusted to control the amount of light and heat that is allowed in.

Solar shades are effective at keeping heat out because they prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the windows, so the air inside the room stays cooler.

In addition, solar shades can also help to reduce the amount of UV radiation that enters a room, which can help to protect furniture and flooring from fading.

Final Thoughts

Solar window screens have many pros and benefits. They can reduce solar heat gain, protect your furniture and flooring from fading, increase your privacy, and reduce glare.

They are also effective at blocking UV rays, which can help to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Solar screens are also relatively low maintenance and can last for many years with proper care.

Solar window screens have a few drawbacks. They can be expensive to install, and they may need to be replaced more frequently than traditional windows.

Solar screens can also block out natural light, which may not be ideal for some rooms in your home.

However, the benefits of solar screens far outweigh the disadvantages, making them a wise investment for any homeowner.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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