Discussing Solar Window Screens
Solar window screens can help lower your home energy bills. They’re added to the exterior of your home windows, much like a regular window screen. They significantly reduce the amount of exterior heat that can be transferred through your windows from the outside, without blocking views from inside the home.
Solar screens increase home energy efficiency year-round by:
- Increasing shade. Solar screens create a cooling shade buffer zone between the solar screen and the exterior window, effectively preventing outside heat from entering the home.
- Reflecting light. Solar screens diffuse direct sunlight, keeping homes significantly cooler in the summer months.
- Absorbing heat. Solar screen material is especially designed to absorb and disperse heat and prevent it from entering the home.
- Deflecting wind. Similar to traditional storm windows, solar screens form a protective barrier from winter winds, keeping exterior window glass warmer in the cold winter months.
Solar screens are similar to traditional window screens, but provide greater protection. Solar screens allow the same visibility from inside the home as traditional screens, although airflow may be somewhat restricted due to the thickness of the material. Solar screens can prevent 65 to 90 percent of harmful UVA rays from entering your home. Much like traditional window screens, solar screens offer daylight privacy but don’t provide privacy when interior lights are on inside the home at night.
Solar screens are more energy efficient than window films and awnings. Window film is applied to the interior surface of a window to reduce heat transfer but is actually incompatible with most double pane windows and can even damage sealed thermal pane windows, which can adversely impact their warranty. Unlike solar screens, other window shadings such as blinds or insulated drapes do nothing to block, reflect, or absorb solar rays before they pass through your window and into your home. Awnings don’t offer total protection from the sun’s rays either and can by pricey and require additional maintenance. Although both window films and awnings can help to keep a home cooler in the summer, neither are as energy efficient as solar screens.
By reducing both heating and cooling costs, solar screens typically pay for themselves within a short period of time. In addition to direct cost savings, solar screens offer these additional benefits:
- Prolong the lifetime and increase the efficiency of air conditioning systems by reducing their workloads
- Protect curtains, carpets, hardwood floors, furniture, and other items from heat and sun damage
- Qualify for a 10 percent federal tax credit
- Typically last for 20-30 years