Assessing the Value: Are Solar Screens Worth It?

Are you questioning whether solar screens are worth the investment? They’re an effective solution to reduce energy costs, offering excellent value by preventing excess heat from entering your space.

However, they may not be for everyone. Determining their worth depends on your specific needs and situation. Are you routinely battling glare and heat? Then, they may be a great investment.

Still unsure? Reach out to professional solar screen installers. They can help assess your situation and determine if the value of solar screens is right for your home or office.

What Are Solar Window Screens?

Solar window screens are a contemporary type of energy-efficient attachment for your home windows. They are devised to control daylight, glare, and solar heat gain.

Providing privacy and thermal comfort, these screens are as versatile as they are practical. Unlike traditional window treatments such as curtains or drapes, solar screens offer an advanced solution for energy consumption concerns.

How can these screens be so effective? Here’s a simplified explanation:

  1. Controlled Daylight: By diffusing bright light, these screens prevent sharp glares and make the room comfortable to inhabit.
  2. Solar Heat Gain Management: In summer, they restrict the amount of heat entering your home, thereby reducing air conditioning costs.
  3. Privacy Maintenance: Besides their shading qualities, the screens also obstruct sight from outside, promoting greater privacy.

You might wonder now whether solar window screens match your existing architecture. Luckily, these screens have tremendous aesthetic versatility. From classic to modern buildings, they can complement any architectural style.

These energy-efficient coverings can be compared with insulating shades or louvered blinds that you can find in efficient window treatments. Each has unique features designed to conserve energy and improve the quality of life inside your home.

The remainder of this article dives further into what makes solar window screens stand out from conventional options. Further topics include their environmental impact and the process of installing them on your house’s windows.

Solar Screen Pros, Benefits, and Cost Savings

Solar screens have emerged as one of the most cost-effective solutions for window treatments. For self-installation, a solar screen for an average-sized window can cost less than $50.

Professional installation may come up to around $7.50 per square foot. However, considering the alternatives like complete window replacements, this is a more affordable choice.

A Temporary yet Efficient Solution

If you’re seeking a temporary yet effective solution to control sunlight and heat in your home, solar screens prove to be an excellent choice.

Added Privacy with Solar Screens

Another advantage of these screens is the added privacy during daytime. But remember, with internal lights on at night, this feature diminishes substantially.

Versatility of Solar Screens

The appeal of solar screens also lies in their versatility. Solar screens are not only intended for windows but can also be used for doors and porches.

With proper use, solar screens become a practical and cost-efficient solution for managing heat and light in your home while also ensuring some degree of privacy.

Solar Screen Cons and Problems

Solar screens, while beneficial in many ways, can present certain drawbacks. Let’s explore some common issues related to window treatments like these.

Limitations on Light and Heat Control

Certain discussions on Houzz highlight potential problems with solar screens. A notable complaint is their limited ability to control heat and light.

Users note that while they can block heat, solar shades do not perform well in insulating rooms. This might be a disadvantage in colder seasons when warmth retention indoors is crucial.

Variety and Quality Concerns

Not all solar screens are created equal. Differences in material, construction, and design can drastically affect a screen’s performance. For instance, solar shades often use mylar, which is popular in offices and restaurants but might not suit everyone’s home decor.

Quality concerns accompany the plethora of options available too. Subpar craftsmanship and disappointing brand experiences can sour the appeal of solar screens for some users.

Brand-Specific Issues

A particular brand of white solar shades, Sunlera by Blinds Chalet, has come under scrutiny at Houzz. Users have expressed concerns about the product quality, specifically the brackets’ strength and the hemming process.

Dissatisfied users recommend avoiding this brand entirely due to these issues. Such feedback showcases the importance of carefully researching brands before making a purchase.

How to Choose Solar Window Screens?

To select the best solar window screens, consider your specific priorities. If cooling your home and lowering electric energy costs are essential, opt for 80% solar screens.

These screens allow an adequate amount of natural light while maintaining outward visibility. If daytime privacy is a concern, 90% solar screens might be a better option for you.

“Remember that while 90% solar screens provide more privacy, they may make the home slightly darker.”

In the search for maximum heat blockage, again the solution lies in 90% solar screens. However, these screens may somewhat hinder your outside view.

When it comes to color choice, darker ones, like black or dark bronze enhance the outward view, similar to sunglasses lenses. Light colors have little impact on heat blockage.

In essence, your selection should balance considerations for light control, privacy, energy cost saving and outward visibility.

Do Solar Screens Make Your House Dark?

Solar screens do not necessarily make your house dark; they adapt shading depending on the type of fabric.

Their primary roles include:

  1. Glare control: By reducing harsh sunlight, they offer comfortable indoor lighting.
  2. Heat control: Solar screens act as a barrier against excessive heat.
  3. Natural light management: They provide optimal levels of natural light while maintaining privacy.
  4. View-through: Despite blocking sun rays, you retain a clear outdoor view.
  5. UV protection: The screens block harmful UV rays protecting your furniture from fading.

With various styles and colors available, you can choose those that fulfill your specific requirements.

Dark solar screen fabrics are excellent for glare control, making them a good choice for home offices or media rooms.

If heat management is more critical to you, then consider opting for light fabrics.

You can also select high-performance fabrics that offer the advantages of both previously mentioned types if you prefer a balance.

To address the concern of darkness, selection plays a key role. Light-colored solar screens reflect more heat and allow in more visible light, thus having less effect on room brightness.

How Much Do Solar Screens Cost?

The cost of solar screens can significantly vary based on factors such as size, quality, and installation requirements. Obtaining a clear picture of the cost involves understanding these determining elements.

Solar screens have different pricing structures; customized screens tend to cost more. They are primarily charged based on their size and material used.

The type of frame used also contributes to the overall price point. While standard frames are more cost-effective, specialty frames can increase the expenses.

Moreover, the installation process might involve labor costs, depending on whether it is a DIY task or requires professional help.

Quality should not be compromised for the sake of cost. It’s essential to keep in mind that investing in durable solar screens has long-term benefits.

Factor Description Average Cost
Size Larger size implies higher costs $60 – $100
Quality Durable materials incur higher prices $80 – $120
Frame Type Standard or specialty frames alter costs $40 – $80
Installation Professionally installed screens include labor charges $20 – $50 per hour
*These ranges are estimates and actual costs can vary.

Local market prices might vary, so it’s crucial to seek quotes from multiple suppliers. Check out this thorough investigation on solar screen costs from Consumer Reports for additional data.

How About Installing Solar Screens?

If you’re considering solar screens for your home, there are several factors to weigh in. The first consideration is accessibility and availability of materials. Typically, the most vital components are the framing and screening material.

  • Determining the availability of these resources is essential. While some home improvement stores carry a selection, you might need to explore hardware shops and glass services for specific sizes or robust frames.
  • Assessing the window type is also crucial. If dealing with single hung windows, full screens cannot be accommodated since only the bottom half of these windows operates.
  • Evaluating existing screens: If full screens are currently installed, you could consider replacing the old screen with solar-friendly ones. Remember, this plan rests on the window type and where the screens fit on your window.
  • Checking out manufacturing options: Direct orders through manufacturers can be a feasible route if specs on window sizes are readily available. You can often find sizing information hidden somewhere on your windows or frames.

Keep in mind that installing solar screens could involve technical challenges. For example, some window frames have spring clips or exterior lips that complicate screen fitting.

To mitigate these issues, having an actual screen handy might aid understanding of your framing system. 

Please note that making solar screens from scratch can seem tedious at first but gets easier once you hit a rhythm. You’ll need basic tools like a hacksaw, measuring tape, straightedge, pliers, and spline rolling tool.

For further information from real people who faced similar challenges, consider checking the following DIY forum discussion.

Your Solar Evaluation

After assessing the benefits, you’ve seen that solar screens have the potential to significantly lower your energy bills. Not only do they block harmful UV rays, they also help regulate indoor temperatures, saving on cooling costs.

However, their upfront cost may seem steep. You need to consider if the long-term energy savings justify this initial investment. It’s important for you to weigh your specific needs and circumstances before deciding if they’re worth it.

Remember, choosing solar screens is not just about saving money but also about reducing your carbon footprint. They are a deciding step towards sustainable living. Make your decision wisely.