If you are seeking a cost-efficient solution to cut down on your home’s energy expenses, then solar screens may be the answer. According to U.S. Department of Energy’s research, around 25% to 30% of a household’s heating and cooling energy use can be attributed to heat gain and loss through windows. By installing solar screens, you may substantially decline this figure, leading to considerable savings on your utility bills.
Solar Screens Defined
A solar screen is a unique window screen designed with a special fabric or material that helps block the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Crucially, while reducing heat gain in your house and subsequently helping solar screens save money, they also offer a clear view of the outside world.
How Do Solar Screens Work?
Solar screens function by reflecting, absorbing, and dispelling a substantial percentage of the sun’s heat before it penetrates your windows. The screens are made from a mesh-like material woven with PVC-coated polyester yarns. These threads are strong, durable, and resistant to stretching or sagging over time.
Benefits of Solar Screens
Possibly the most significant advantage of solar screens is their ability to reduce heat transfer, thereby lowering your heating and cooling costs. However, there are additional benefits too. For instance, they preserve your privacy during the day without depriving you of an exterior view. They also protect your furniture and interior décor from fading due to UV exposure.
Cost Savings Potential
The financial savings from utilizing solar screens can be substantive. You may expect to see a reduction in cooling costs by up to 15%, according to Energy.gov. The actual savings will depend on factors like your geographic location, the orientation of your house, and the type of heating, cooling, and ventilation system you possess.
Installation Process of Solar Screens
Installing solar screens is quite simple and can be done without professional help. You just need to measure your windows correctly, order the correct size, and attach them to your windows per the manufacturer’s instructions. They are typically installed on the outside of windows but can also be mounted from the inside.
Types of Solar Screens
There are two primary types of solar screens: solar screen panels and roll-down solar screens. Solar screen panels are fixed permanently to window frames, whereas roll-down versions can be rolled up or down as needed.
Factors to Consider before Buying
Before purchasing a solar screen, some factors to keep in mind include the direction your windows face, your local climate, the cost vs benefit ratio, the quality of the material, and the percentage of UV rays it blocks.
Where to Buy Solar Screens?
Solar screens are available at most home improvement stores. You may also purchase them online from various retailers including internet marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Some manufacturers sell directly to customers and offer customized sizes to fit your specific windows.
Maintenance for Solar Screens
To ensure your solar screens last as long as possible, regular cleaning is paramount. This usually involves removing them from the window, spraying them with water and a mild soap solution, then rinsing thoroughly before reinstalling.
Potential Drawbacks of Solar Screens
While there are many benefits to solar screens, they do have potential drawbacks. For instance, their darker color may affect your visibility to outside views; they also reduce natural light in your home so you may need to use more artificial lighting.
Alternatives to Solar Screens
If solar screens do not fit your preference, other alternatives include window tinting films, thermal curtains or blinds, or low emissivity (low-e) windows — all provide similar benefits like reducing heat gain and preserving interior comfort.
Help the Environment with Solar Screens
It goes without saying that if you are reducing your energy usage, you are also contributing to a healthier environment. Using less energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production, playing a role in the overall fight against climate change.
Your Decision on Solar Screens
You are the only one who can determine if solar screens are right for you. Take the time to consider your requirements, budget, climate factors, and desired look for your home. Research the market thoroughly before making a calculated decision.
The Final Say
In essence, solar screens may significantly reduce your energy expenses! With their valued eco-friendly advantages, privacy features and UV blocking capabilities, they could be a worthwhile addition to your home. Be sure to contemplate all the relevant factors as you make this crucial home improvement decision.