You’re sweating out another scorching summer day, your AC’s working overtime and those energy bills are climbing. You’ve wondered about solar screens but aren’t sure they’re worth the investment. This article’s for you.
We’ll explore what solar screens are, how they work, and weigh their pros and cons. We’ll also look at costs and compare them to other options.
Your comfort and budget matter. Let’s find out if solar screens are right for you.
How Do Solar Screens Work?
When you’re considering ways to reduce your home’s heat gain, understanding how solar screens work can be a game-changer. These screens, installed on your windows, block significant amounts of heat and light from entering your home. The secret lies in their special solar screen fabrics that absorb and dissipate solar energy. This results in a cooler, more energy-efficient home.
However, not all solar screen installations are equal. The effectiveness in reducing heat gain can vary based on the quality of the screen and the installation process. High-quality screens will block more heat and light, enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.
Solar Screen Cons
Despite the benefits of solar screens you’ve just explored, you’ll also need to consider a few potential downsides before making your investment.
One of the major solar screen cons is their aesthetics. Solar screens can darken your home, potentially increasing your energy bills due to extra lighting costs. Reduced natural light can also negatively impact your health and mood.
Additionally, their durability is questionable as they may be susceptible to damage in storms. The solar screen cost might seem attractive initially, but remember to factor in potential replacements or repairs when calculating your overall investment. Also, warranties may not cover such damage.
Lastly, if you enjoy natural ventilation, the thickness of these screens can inhibit airflow, potentially increasing your energy costs further.
How Much are Solar Screens?
You’re probably wondering, ‘how much do solar screens cost?’
Well, the cost can vary based on a few key factors.
These include your location, the number of windows you plan to cover, the size of those windows, the quality of the solar screen material, and the type of material, whether it’s 80% or 90% screens.
Depending on where you live, the cost of solar screens can vary significantly. In hot climates, like Austin, solar window screens are a popular choice due to the intense sun. Hence, the competition in these areas tends to drive prices down.
If you’re in a warm climate location, you’ll likely find a wider range of options for screens for windows at competitive prices. However, the cost can rise if you’re in a cooler climate with fewer suppliers.
Regardless of location, remember that the type of solar screen material you choose will also affect the price. High-quality materials designed for hot climates may cost more, but they’ll likely offer better durability and performance.
Number of Windows
When deciding whether to invest in solar screens, it’s crucial to consider the number of windows in your home as this directly influences the overall cost. Solar sun screens, unlike regular window screens, are designed to block heat and glare, improving your home’s energy efficiency.
The more windows you have, the higher the initial cost will be due to the number of solar shades needed. However, remember that covering all your windows can actually lower the price per screen, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run. Make sure to factor this into your budget and consider the potential energy savings over time.
Also, ensure your window warranty isn’t affected and that the sun screens fit well within your window frames to avoid any additional costs.
Size of Windows
In assessing the cost of solar screens, your window size plays a significant role. If you’ve got large glass patio doors or oversized windows, you’ll need more screen material, which bumps up the price. Screens for smaller windows start around $29, while larger sizes can cost $80 or more.
Even though larger screens are pricier, they’re still a cost-effective solution. Remember, solar screens are an energy efficient way to reduce indoor temperature. By blocking solar heat before it enters your home, they ease the load on your air conditioning unit, leading to lower energy bills.
Solar Screen Material Quality
Beyond the size of your windows, the quality of the solar screen material you choose also plays a key role in determining the cost.
The investment in high-quality fabrics like the polyester weave of Phifer Suntex or Twitchell Textilene ensures durability and consistent performance over time. These materials effectively balance the natural light entering your home, helping maintain a comfortable temperature.
Inferior materials may fade and tear over time, compromising their effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, beware of unusually low-priced screens that may use subpar materials.
The mesh screen quality also affects the screen’s function as an insect screen. Therefore, consider the longevity and performance of the solar screen material quality when calculating the overall cost of this investment.
Type of Material (80% vs 90%)
Your choice in the type of material, specifically between 80% and 90% solar screens, significantly impacts the overall cost and effectiveness of your investment.
The 80% screens are cheaper but block less summer heat than the 90% ones. While both offer ample daytime privacy, the 90% material reduces outward visibility more.
However, they’re more effective in reducing heat and glare, providing a cooler environment and potentially lowering your energy costs. But remember, the 90% screens are more expensive not just in material costs, but also in labor costs due to their denser weave.
Time of Year
Considering the time of year when you’re planning to invest in solar screens can also significantly impact the cost. During summer months, the demand for solar screens increases, which can drive up prices. However, you might find discounts and incentives in late fall and winter, making your investment more affordable.
Remember, the visibility and color combination of your screens can vary. Darker screens offer better heat blockage but might reduce visibility. The price range of solar screens depends on many factors, including the time of year.
So, you’ve considered the seasonality of purchasing solar screens, now let’s delve into how much this investment might actually cost you. The answer to this largely depends on the size of your windows and the quality of the screens.
Typically, polyester screens can range in prices from $50 to $125 per screen. The difference in cost can also be attributed to the labor involved in installation.
However, the number of windows you wish to cover can influence the price, with prices per screen decreasing as the number increases. Remember that the color of the screen can also affect the price.
Online vs Local Contractor
When it comes to figuring out the cost of solar screens, you’ll find a significant difference between purchasing online and hiring a local contractor.
Online, you can buy an average-sized screen for around $55, while a local contractor may charge about $7.50 per square foot.
The disparity in price is due to factors like location, number of windows, window size, and material quality. For instance, states with warm climates often have lower prices due to increased competition.
If you’re covering all your windows, expect a lower price per screen. But remember, larger windows and high-quality materials will cost you more.
However, it’s essential to weigh these costs against the potential benefits, like reduced heat transfer and increased privacy.
So, are solar screens worth the investment? That depends on your specific situation. They can certainly help cut down on summer heat, reducing energy costs.
However, they do have drawbacks like obstructed views and potential installation costs.
Weigh your options, consider your budget, and think about your long-term goals.
It’s your home, your comfort, and your money.
Make the decision that makes the most sense for you.