The sun can be scorching at times, so much so that you feel it even in your home. It not only peels off the painting on the walls, it destroys furniture, and harm our health. Most times, to counter the effect of the heat from the sun, we spend so much on a cooling system.
What if I told you there was a way out of this? Unbelievable right? Well, it does exist, the secret to a more efficient and cost-effective cooling system is in solar screens and with many asking “what are solar screens?” we have put together this article to answer all your pressing questions. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
What Are Solar Screens?
A Solar screen is a unique window screen mesh that is specially designed for sun control. It is an effective means of controlling the sun's glare, harmful UV rays and heat. It acts as a blockage, preventing the sun from penetrating through your window. Solar screens help to reduce the cost spent on cooling systems; it also reduces the load on your home's air conditioning. Besides, it helps to reduce the sun glare, and prevents fading of your home's furnishings; they are pest resistant and highly durable.
Solar screens are composed of unique window screen mesh, this mesh is often made of polyester weave, but sometimes they are coated with PVC for added durability. They are usually installed outside the windows, hence blacking them out.
Although the use of solar screens is not the most efficient means of reducing heat transfer through windowpanes and glass, they do help with solar heat retention coefficients.
The mesh material in the solar screen cools as well as protects, it does this by reducing heat and UV rays in three ways, they include:
Installation of Solar Screens
Often, people who install window attachment do for its aesthetics, they barely bother to look at the functionality. But according to the Department of Energy, screens are a simple yet effective way of saving energy cost, hence there is a need for proper installation if you are to get the best of it.
When installing solar screens, its best to have them near a glass pane and just next to an adjacent wall, this reduces the rate of heat loss and heat gain. There is a need to ensure all the windows facing the south, west, and east are well covered; covering windows facing north is not a necessity as the amortization of solar energy of the north windows takes time. However, if the window receives a lot of sun glare, then you may have to cover it too.
The amount to be spent on solar screens depends on some factors. One such factor is the size of the screen and its features. Screens that are custom made are usually more expensive than regular, all-purpose ones. Also, installation point is another factor that determines the cost. Usually, solar screens for doors are more expensive than those for windows.
Advantages of Sun Screens
There are many advantages to using solar screens, some of these pros include:
Cools the Home During Hot Summer
Creating a cool environment in your home during summer can be such a difficult task. It's not impossible though but it will cost quite a lot. Solar screens are ideal because they prevent sun rays and heat from gaining entrance into the home. It can reduce the atmospheric temperature by 15 degrees, hence making the air much cooler. During winter, you can simply detach and replace it with shades.
Reduction in Cost of Energy
Studies have shown that having a solar screen in the home reduces the money spent on various cooling systems, this is because the interior space is much cooler, hence you wouldn’t need to spend so much. It can reduce the cost spent on electricity by 30 to 35%.
However, note that solar screens are not a replacement for air conditioning as an outdoor HVAC will not cool a hot refrigerant in your home. Therefore, solar screens and air conditioners are best used together, this way your home is cooler and you spend less.
Solar screens block sun's glare while filtering out destructive UV rays, this helps to protect your valuable items and furniture, ensuring they last longer and are in good condition. Some of these items include paintings, drapes, floors, walls, couches, and so on.
Provides Daytime Privacy
Installing a solar screen on your window protects you from the prying eyes of neighbors and other intruders during the day. Solar screens have excellent outward visibility without compromising your privacy and safety. It is made in such a way that it makes it nearly impossible for those outsides to see what's going on inside the home. It can be likened to dark sunglasses, even though others can't see what's on the inside, you can see everything.
Reduced Light Penetration
Having to be subjected to constant rays from the sun is not ideal or safe as it has damming health consequences. Solar screens not only prevent this from happening, it also blocks 95% of harmful UV rays while absorbing heat from the sun.
Are Solar Screens Limited to Windows Only?
The simple answer to this is no as there are many other areas where solar screens are used to solve heat problems. They can also be used in the following areas:
Disadvantages of Solar Screens
Solar screens do have some cons and disadvantages. One of such is that it doesn't look appealing, this is because the screens are usually very dark thereby making the home look drab and gloomy.
The screens also affect the interior of the home as it often darkens it, thereby making you spend more on lighting to brighten the home rather than just use natural sunlight and it’s been proven that reducing the home's natural light penetration from the sun harm one's health. One such health impact is the reduction of endorphins and serotonin; when this happens a person’s, mood is affected as such person is prone to sadness.
Furthermore, solar screens tend to be blown away by strong winds and storms, they can also get damaged when there's a disruption, especially when not securely fitted. However, some manufacturers have taken proactive and precautionary measures by advising their customers to have the solar screen installed on the interior of the window as they are better protected this way; this however depends on the weather trend of the area.
Solar screens are usually thick, this sometimes inhibits or stops the airflow when you open up the windows for ventilation. This in turn leads to stuffiness and can make one feel claustrophobic.
If you are one of those asking what are solar screens, I hope this article has provided valuable information? So, don't get all cranky and sweaty during summer when a solar screen can do the trick. It’s comfortable, cool, and cozy while also protecting you from the damaging effects of UV rays.