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, but it also destroys furniture and harms 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?
Table of Contents
- What Are Solar Screens?
- Operational Model
- Installation of Solar Screens
- Cost Implication
- Advantages of Sun Screens
- Are Solar Screens Limited to Windows Only?
- Disadvantages of Solar Screens
What Are Solar Screens?
A Solar Screen is a unique window screen mesh 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; they also reduce 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 solar screens are 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, include:
- It blocks heat from the sun and UV rays
- The solar screen absorbs the heat
- It dissipates the heat with the airflow via the screen
Installation of Solar Screens
Often, people who install window attachments do it 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 costs. Hence there is a need for proper installation to get the best of it.
When installing solar screens, it’s best to have them near a glass pane and just next to an adjacent wall, reducing 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. Custom-made screens are usually more expensive than regular, all-purpose ones. Also, the installation point is another factor that determines the cost. Usually, solar screens for doors are more costly 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 difficult. It’s not impossible, though, but it will cost quite a lot. Solar screens are ideal because they prevent sun rays and heat from entering the home. It can reduce the atmospheric temperature by 15 degrees, making the air much cooler. During winter, you can detach and replace it with shades.
Reduction in Cost of Energy
Studies have shown that having a solar screen 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 the sun’s glare while filtering out destructive UV rays. This helps 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 don’t know what’s 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 to dam health consequences. Solar screens prevent this from happening and block 95% of harmful UV rays while absorbing heat from the sun.
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Are Solar Screens Limited to Windows Only?
The simple answer to this is no, as there are many other areas where solar screens solve heat problems. They can also be used in the following areas:
- Patio shading
- Screened-in porches
- Gazebo shading
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, making the home look drab and gloomy.
The screens also affect the home’s interior as it often darkens it, thereby making you spend more on lighting to brighten the house rather than use natural sunlight. 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 a 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 install the solar screen on the window’s interior as they are better protected this way; however, this depends on the area’s weather trend.
Solar screens are usually thick. This sometimes inhibits or stops the airflow when you open the windows for ventilation. This, in turn, leads to stuffiness and can make one feel claustrophobic.
If you ask what solar screens are, 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.