Effectiveness of a Solar Screen
Solar screens are made to do more than keep the bugs out; they are made to keep the sun's harmful UV rays out and the air conditioning bills down. Like standard window screens, solar screens are made to cover the entire window regardless of shape. They can be custom ordered to match any window, or you can purchase a kit to create your own. So, how effective are they at achieving their proclaimed benefits?
Reducing the Sun's Rays
Depending upon the grade of screen installed, a solar screen can block up to 80 percent to 90 percent of the sun's light instead of letting it through to the window glass. At the peak of summer, up to 230 BTUs per hour can hit each square foot of window. A BTU is a British Thermal Unit, the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. A solar screen operating at 80 percent efficiency would block 184 BTUs per square foot from reaching your windows each hour.
By blocking the majority of the sun's energy, the solar screens alone can reduce the temperature of a room by 10°F to 15°F. This means less use of the air conditioner during the summer months; consumers have reported a 15 to 25 percent reduction in their energy bill after having solar screens installed.
Privacy & Visibility
Solar screens are like sunglasses for your home. It's hard to see through the screens from the outside, just as it is for someone to see your eyes through dark sunglasses. You can see out through solar screens, however, with only a slight tint to your view. Glare from the sun's light is dramatically reduced to almost nothing, which some consumers report enables them to see outside better with the solar screens on. Glare reduction also means that you no longer have to adjust the curtains to remove the glare from your 60 inch flat screen TV.
Not only are you protected from the sun's harmful UV rays, but so is the chair you keep next to the window. Solar screens help protect your furniture, drapes and flooring from fading caused by overexposure to the sun.
Many homes have a south facing room that turns into a sauna during summer months. Oftentimes the door to the room is kept shut to help keep the rest of the house cool. Solar screens can be applied to the windows in just that one room to lower its temperature up to 15 percent. This will enable you to more comfortably use that room no matter what time of year it is.