All About Solar Screens for Windows | Brennan DFW
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All About Solar Screens for Windows

Homeowners go to great lengths to protect their Texas property from the sun. With record-breaking high temperatures that frequently dip over the 100-degree mark through the summer, many homeowners are looking for ways to keep their homes cool. One measure often taken is installing solar screens. 

While solar screens may offer some heat-blocking benefits, these window-covering screens have a few disadvantages. Take a closer look at solar screens, why they are often installed, and their drawbacks.

What Are Solar Screens?

Solar screens – not to be confused with solar shades – are simply a specially designed type of window screen that gets installed on the exterior of a window and can block a substantial amount of heat coming from the sun.

The mesh used in these screens is usually made of some type of woven polyester, but the mesh is also covered with a protective coating meant to block some of the sun. Solar screens are designed to thwart or at least lower issues with heat transfer that results from the sun shining through the window's glass. 

3 Reasons Someone May Invest in Solar Screens

People invest in solar screens for several different reasons. Take a look at three of the most common reasons.:

To Control Temperature in Parts of the House 

In some situations, property owners realize that one part of the house is consistently warmer than the other due to excess sunlight on a certain side of the home. Installing solar screens is done in an attempt to keep that area of the house more temperature-regulated compared to the rest of the house. 

To Save Energy

Energy efficiency is always a big concern for TX homeowners, especially in the summer when it can take so much energy just to keep the air conditioner running and the house at a comfortable temperature. Therefore, many homeowners install solar screens in an attempt to reduce issues with heat transfer that can drive up energy usage indoors. 

To Prevent Glares

Solar screens are sometimes installed to control the level of sunlight and glare through the windows. This can be a concern for people who are sensitive to sunlight, have low visibility in bright light, or even property owners looking to protect indoor furniture and features from UV rays. The dark coating on the screen can offer shade over the window to reduce glare.

The Benefits of Solar Screens 

Solar screens are not totally in vain—they do offer some benefits, even though they may not be the most efficient way to control issues with heat transfer. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) does not offer ratings on solar screens. Nevertheless, it is easy to assume that blocking some of the sun with a thick screen would potentially lower solar heat gain. Take a look at a few other advantages of solar screens. 

Removable Design 

Solar screens slip over the exterior of your windows, and they don't require any permanent alterations for installation. Therefore, you can easily take off the screens in the winter when you want more sunlight or when you want to change them out due to damage. 

Affordable Option

Solar screens are relatively inexpensive with a price that runs between $50 and $100 per window (not including professional installation). Therefore, if property owners are looking for a low-budget way to deter sunlight and heat, solar screens may be an affordable option compared to new windows. Likewise, they can be a good temporary solution until new windows are installed. 

Can Band-Aid Old Windows

Solar screens can act as a band-aid of sorts for outdated windows. The dark exterior conceals the view of the windows from the outside of the house, which can be good if the windows are unsightly or in need of replacement or repair.

Drawbacks of Solar Screens

While solar screens can have their value, these screens can also come with quite a few disadvantages. 

Darkens Home 

Although some people may see this as a pro, many people don’t like how solar screens can darken rooms. Solar screens are so dark they can significantly block out natural light. Some people opt to only have their solar screens up in the hotter summer months and take them back down during the winter months.

Obstructs Views

The dark screens of solar screens can obstruct views through the windows and make it especially difficult to see outdoors during low-light conditions. Everything viewed from indoors will be viewed as if you are looking through dark sunglasses, even in the daytime. 

Changes the Look of Your Windows

Solar screens appear to be solid black when viewed from a distance. This obstruction can wholly alter the exterior appearance of a house, because the actual windows become impossible to see from the outside. 

Have the Potential to Blow Away

Typical solar screens are designed to be lightweight and easy to maneuver. Unfortunately, this lightweight design makes the screens vulnerable to the wind. The screens can be torn from their position and damaged. 

Alternative Solar Screen Options

Double-Pane Windows

Although they are a pricey option, double-pane windows are one of the most effective options. Double-pane windows can provide far more protection against heat transfer than solar screens. These windows contain two panes of glass, and the gas-filled space between the two panes slows the rate of heat transfer.  

Window Tints

Window tints are another option to consider for deterring sunlight and heat transfer. Much like solar screens, window tint is affordable. However, it does not cause a significant change to the outward home appearance and is less prone to damage.

Final Thoughts on Solar Screens

Solar screens can have a few advantages, but these implements do not offer the same level of protection against heat transfer as good windows. All in all, these implements should be treated as a temporary solution until a better option like new replacement windows can be an option. Are you ready to find the most efficient windows for your home? Be sure to take a look at the full collection at Brennan.

August 01, 2023
February 15, 2024

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