What Are Solar Window Screens?
Solar screens are a cost effective sun-blocking product that helps to reduce the amount of solar heat gain and harmful UV rays from entering through windows or doors of a home or business. They are available in a variety of woven mesh patterns, colors and widths ranging from 65% to 97% heat blocking options. Solar screens can be used in fixed frames or in retractable sun shade systems.
How to Choose Solar Window Screens?
When choosing solar window screens, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, it is important to determine how much sun your property receives to choose a screen that will be able to effectively control the amount of sunlight entering your living space.
You should also decide how much light and heat you want to block. This will determine your outward visibility with the understanding that the more sun and light blocked, the less visibility you will have.
Installing solar screen material in a frame for your windows or choosing to use it in a retractable sun shade system is also important. Replacing existing window screen with solar screen is more cost effective and, in most cases, can be an easy DIY project.
What Are the Benefits of Solar Window Screens?
Solar window screens provide several benefits for homeowners and businesses. By blocking most of the sun's rays, these screens reduce heat gain in the summer months making your home or business more energy efficient and more comfortable.
Solar window screens reduce harmful UV rays, therefore, protecting your furniture, floor and furnishings from fading due to direct sunlight exposure.
Daytime privacy is also an important benefit of solar screen. To learn more about this feature, jump over to our blog here.
Phifer SunTex®90 Dark Bronze window screen. Check out our SunTex 90 Case Study blog here.
How Long Do Solar Window Screens Last?
Solar window screens are designed to last for many years. Most solar screen materials have a manufacturer’s warranty which can range from 1-10 years depending on the product and brand. Additionally, screens that are properly
installed and maintained may last even longer than their provided warranties.
Phifer's American-made Solar Window Screen Fabrics are known for their performance and durability and come with a full 10-year product warranty.
What Type of Solar Screens Are the Best?
The type of solar screens that are best for you will depend on the primary features you prefer. If you live in a hot and sunny climate, products with higher percentages of protection may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler climate with less sunlight, you may want to consider lower percentage protection with better outward visibility.
Solar Insect Screening blocks up to 65% of the sun’s heat and SunTex® 90 blocks up to 90%.
Are Solar Screens the Same Thing as Privacy Window Screens?
No. Solar window screens are designed to block out UV radiation and reduce heat gain, whereas privacy window treatments provide a total barrier between the inside and outside. Good examples of privacy screens would be 100% blackout shades or window film.
For reference: Phifer SheerWeave® interior blackout shades. Photos courtesy of Draper Inc.
Which Is Better: Solar Screens or Solar Shades?
Solar screens and solar shades both offer protection from UV rays and reduce heat gain. The main difference between the two is their application. Solar screens are fixed within a frame and remain in your window or opening. Solar shades are mounted on a roller system and are retractable. Both can be used indoors and outdoors. Ultimately, the choice comes down to what your specific space requires.
Phifer SunTex®80 fabric in an exterior roller shade application. Photo courtesy of KJ Custom Screens.
Do Solar Screens Make Your House Dark?
Solar screens will appear darker than standard window screens when viewed from the outside. They will also reduce light inside your home or office since their primary feature is to block sunlight and glare. Solar screens will let in more or less light depending on their UV blockage percentage.
How Much Do Solar Screens Cost?
The cost of a solar screen will vary depending on the size, style, and materials used. Generally speaking, average-sized windows range from around $50 per window to over $100. Retractable screen systems can range from $1,000 and up depending on motorization, design, size and number of shades needed. Professional installation is also an additional cost that should be considered for either option.
Where Do I Buy Solar Window Screens?
Solar Screens are available through boutique screening retailers, big box home improvement stores and local installation shops. They can be made to order using your measurements or constructed as a DIY project.
At Phifer, we try to make it easy for you to find and buy our solar window screens. Click here to buy now.
How About Installing Solar Screens?
If you are a talented DIY expert, making your own or replacing your existing window screen fabric with solar screen is not a difficult job with the right tools and materials. Otherwise, installing solar window screens is typically a job best left to professionals. It’s important to keep in mind that professional installation will ensure reliable performance and safety.
Do I Need to Clean My Solar Screens?
Yes, it is important to keep your solar screens clean in order to ensure that they are providing the maximum amount of protection against UV rays and reducing heat gain. Regularly wiping down the screens with a soft cloth or using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment can help prevent dirt and dust from building up.
For more information about the occasional cleaning of your screen material, click here.
Solar window screens offer a great way to protect your home from the harmful effects of the sun and help to reduce utility bills. Solar screens are also good at keeping most insects out and are pet resistant! Solar screens come in many different styles, materials, and price ranges.