What Are Solar Screens and How Do They Work?
Have you ever wondered about easy ways to cut your energy expenses and make your home more efficient? If you’re like most homeowners, the answer is probably yes. But finding useful answers to these questions is another story altogether. You’ve probably heard that new windows can make a difference – and this is true if your existing windows are extremely drafty. You might have heard about modern, more efficient HVAC systems. This can also make a big difference, especially if your existing HVAC systems are outdated and sucking up a lot of energy. You may even have researched solar panels as a way to offset your energy costs – especially if you live in an area where the sun is constantly shining.
All of these measures can make a difference toward lowering your energy costs – but none them are really a “cheap” or “easy” solution. All of them require a significant investment without any real guarantee on what the long-term results will actually be.
Here’s where solar screens come in. It’s worth saying up front that solar screens won’t do anything to reduce your heating bills in the winter – but when it comes to keeping your home cooler at a lower cost, solar screen are definitely worth looking into.
How does this work?
Solar screens are constructed out of a sophisticated type of mesh – usually this is a woven polyester mesh with a coating of PVC to make it extra durable. The screens themselves are usually installed on the exterior of the windows. The result is a significant reduction in the amount of heat transfer through the windows, which can lead to significantly lower cooling costs – without a big investment.
Are there any drawbacks to using solar screens?
That really depends on the person and the neighborhood. In some cases, people feel that solar screens detract from the aesthetic appearance of a property, due to their black appearance. Another possible issue is the weather. If you live in areas where high winds and precipitation tend to occur at various points through the year, solar screen installed on the exterior of your home can become damaged over time.
Some people also suggest that with a darker indoor environment, people spend more on lighting – although if you add up the cost of lighting and compare it to that of cooling, there’s really not much contest in most cases. And when you open your windows for ventilation, solar screens might inhibit the flow of air.
These are the common complaints against solar screens – but the truth is, for many homeowners, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. If you consult a professional who has experience and training with all types of solar screens, you’ll get a strong sense of what works and what doesn’t for your home. It’s also possible to install solar screens on the inside of your home to reduce the aesthetic change caused by exterior insulation. Finally, there are solar screens that can be mechanically raised and lowered for ultimately convenience.
There’s no doubt that solar screens can play a role in reducing your energy costs during warm weather – but finding the right solutions means finding the right professional!