When considering whether solar screens are right for your home there are several things to consider. The area in which you live and how your house is positioned in comparison with the sun are just a few. Some people are unsure if they will benefit from solar screen installation or are hesitant to make the investment. Here are a few considerations to help you decide if solar screens will work for you.
High energy bills
When you notice that your energy bill seems high or they increase substantially during the summer months you could be overworking your AC unit. This could be due to the amount of sunlight that is entering your home bringing more heat with it. Approximately 65% of the heat that enters your home will enter through your windows.
There are several other reasons for this such as poor insulation, the need for updated windows, etc. However, if this is not the case for your situation, installing solar screens can help decrease the amount of heat that enters your home meaning cooler interior and less work for the AC unit.
Adding sun screens to your home could help you save, on average, 30% or more on your homes energy bill.
East or West facing windows
Windows that face a rising or setting sun are bombarded with sunlight. Many people use blinds or curtains but these don’t allow you to take in your outdoor scenery. If the window faces something you want to be able to see solar screens are a great option. They will reduce the glare, UV rays, and heat from the sun. You are able to see out of the window while protecting your home and eyes.
With the direct sunlight on east and west facing windows comes an increase in heat entering those windows alone. Adding sunscreens to windows that just face east or west will help to decrease the amount of heat entering your home giving you great energy savings.
Want to increase home’s value or aesthetics
When looking to update your homes exterior while increasing its value, adding sun screens is a great cost-effective option. They provide a sleek look and help market your house as more energy efficient.
There are several options for your exterior windows or even pool areas when utilizing solar screens. Whether it is pull down shades or the normal window frame screens. Either way, you are putting more into your investment.
Picking a color that is aesthetically pleasing and compliments your exterior paint and design will be beneficial in giving a more pleasant and appealing look to your home.
Need for privacy
If you notice you have some nosey neighbors or you just enjoy a little more privacy during the day, then solar screens are a great option. The color and solar blockage percentage will have some effect on the privacy your screen will provide.
Solar blockage percentage is the openness of the screen, with most quality solar screens blocking 90% of solar rays. The higher the percentage the smaller the openness of the screen. With smaller screen openness comes less visibility inward and outward. Knowing what your preference is is important. If you enjoy still being able to view your amazing landscape then you may want to go with styles that have lower blockage percentages.
While there are several options for colors with solar screens, darker screens are better for outward visibility when inside your home and more privacy during the daytime. They also reduce more glare than the lighter colored screens.
It is important to note that during the day solar screens provide great privacy, however during the night if you have lights on in your house, the solar screen may provide little privacy as it will be easier to see inside your home.
The suns rays wreak havoc an anything that it touches. It can ruin anything it comes in contact with through discoloration and fading. If you have furniture, paintings, carpet, flooring, or any other household items you want to protect from the harshness of UV rays then solar screens are the way to go.
Most installed solar screens block up to 90% of the suns light leaving your belongings more protected. This equals more savings for you as you won’t have to replace furniture as often as well as less rotating of furniture to equal out the fading spots!
The sun’s glare is affecting interior comfort
When the sun is glaring through your windows while you are enjoying your favorite book or that long-awaited tv show, it makes it extremely difficult to actually enjoy or even see what you are doing. You have to position and keep repositioning yourself to keep the glare out or away from where the action is taking place. Solar screens are great to reduce glare and keep you free to see or read any time you please without distraction or squinting.
Those who suffer from migraines that are brought on by light could also benefit from this as solar screens will reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home. Providing you a darker environment to escape the oppression and pain caused by the sunlight.
Using solar screens can also be beneficial to your eyes. UV rays can cause eye damage with extended exposure. This is why doctors suggest people wear sunglasses, to help protect against the UV damage. Essentially adding sunglasses to your windows can be beneficial for your eye health.
Adding solar screens offers several benefits to you and your home. When considering whether to purchase solar screens for your home consider what your goals are how solar screens will help to achieve these. If you want to save money, add value to your home, protect your interior, and increase privacy then solar screens will be a cost-effective way to accomplish this. Many statistics suggest that after just 2 years the amount of savings you get from installing solar screens will have been enough to pay for themselves!
Many homeowners seek out ways to create privacy and seclusion within their home and their yards. Whether you are trying to avoid the nosey neighbors or just want to create your own personal paradise there are several ways you can improve the privacy of your home.
The information below is for informational purposes solely. If you are interested in custom shade screens for your property, please give us a call for a free quote!
Creating privacy in your House
If you are looking to just create and increase privacy within your home while leaving your yard open and clear of obstructions, there are several ways to achieve this. Most often it involves obstructing the view through your home’s windows.
Sunscreens are made of a polyester material that is PVC coated and placed on the outside of your windows to help decrease the sun’s harsh rays from entering your home. The added benefit is the privacy it creates. Neighbors and those passing by will not be able to see into your windows but you will still be able to see out. This is great for those who still want to enjoy the view of their great landscape from indoors.
Sunscreens also help protect your interior from fading due to the sun as well as decrease glare and the amount of heat entering your home. This will save you money on furniture, energy bills, and decrease the frustrated in dealing with not being able to see your favorite tv show or read your favorite book due to the glaring sun.
Sunscreens typically add value to your home giving you even more benefits. They often come in several colors to match the exterior of your home. If you are interested in custom sun screens, we invite you to contact us today for a free estimate!
If you like a Victorian, Cape Cod, Colonial, or Ranch style you may like the option of using wood shutters on the outside of your windows. These are attached to the outside of your windows to close when needed for increased privacy.
There are several types of shutters depending on your styling preference and how you want to utilize them. They include Bermuda, paneled, louvered, and board and batton. If you are looking for something similar but not made of wood each style comes in a variety of materials to give you the look and durability you are searching for.
Though shutters do provide great privacy for your home they can often be difficult to maintain depending on the material you have chosen. Make sure to keep in mind materials and how the weather in your area could affect them in the long term.
Usually using wood shutters offer little to no ability for you to see out of your home. If you are wanting to still take in the view of your yard this may not be the option for you.
At Stellar Sunscreens, we do not install window shutters and instead specialize in custom shade screens.
Another way to create privacy within your home is through the use of different window treatments. This includes window films and curtains. Many window films offer little to no ability for you to see out of them or for neighbors to see in them. While curtains provide the option of changing your privacy settings when you want.
There are several different types of window films on the market depending on the look you want. This includes a frosted look, privacy films, tinted, UV blocking, and many more. There are also electronic window films for smart windows. This allows the homeowner to change the settings on the window when wanted from being frosted to being clear. Traditional window films are fairly cost-effective, however, electronic window films are pretty pricey.
Many homeowners use curtains or blinds in their home to help increase privacy. These are part of a normal interior design, so they are easily available. Curtains are great for increasing privacy in your home due to a variety of materials and colors you can choose from. You can layer your curtains with different materials to give you more privacy options; from materials that are more or less see through to blackout curtains.
We do not install window treatments, but we have found that some of our clients use window treatments in additions to custom shade screens.
Creating privacy for your Yard
For those looking to create a more private space in their yard as well as within their home the following are some great options.
Trees and Plants
Planting trees or hedges around your yard creates a beautiful living fence. Many people choose to plant Evergreens to ensure privacy year round. Sometimes planting a long row of the same kind of tree may not be aesthetically pleasing to many people. If this is the case for you, consider planting several different kinds of plants. If they are plants that don’t last through the winter be sure to be strategic in planning where to put each plant to ensure you get privacy in the areas of your home and yard even during the winter months.
Creating beautiful landscapes to increase privacy often adds value to your home. It also gives you something amazing to look at when looking out of your windows.
Building fences is often another go-to way to increase the privacy of your home. This is a more physical and permanent, depending on fence material, way to increase privacy. There are several types of fences you can build, including metal wall screens, corrugated, wood, chain link, trellis, and stone fences.
Metal wall screens and corrugated fences are becoming more popular for those who enjoy a more modern or artsy style for their home design. Trellis and stone fences give a more rustic and colonial feel to the exterior of your home.
The type of fence you choose will depend on the level of privacy you want. If you just want to line your property but create no privacy, a chain link fence or trellis are your options. If you are wanting complete privacy with little to no ability for others to look in wood, corrugated, or metal wall screens could work better for you.
Make sure to check your local regulations when choosing a fence as some areas may have height restrictions.
To get the most private setting around your home try using several different privacy methods such as planting trees and shrubs as well as installing sunscreens. This will protect your home from the harshness of the sun’s rays, provide a beautiful view you are able to enjoy from inside your home, and keep out the wandering eyes of those nearby. Whatever your combination you are on your way to improving the privacy of your home.
When looking into window treatments for your home you have several options for the inside and outside. You will need to know your expectations and goals of the window treatments are in order to choose the right one for you. This could be to decrease the heat from direct sunlight, save money on energy, blocking sunlight that is causing damage to furniture or wood floors, or to add value to your home.
How much control over the treatment and their mobility are other factors that help pick the right window coverings. If you prefer to control how much sunlight gets into your home, or if you would rather just have constant shade; these are important considerations to make when making these types of decisions.
Let’s look into the different options you have for window treatments.
Note: At Stellar Sunscreens, we specialize in custom sunscreens, and do not install any other type of window treatment/shutters. The information below is to provide our clients with information on all of the options that exist for window coverings. If you are interested in sunscreens, please call us for a free estimate!
Outdoor Window Treatments
Solar sunscreens can be placed on either the inside or outside of your home. Solar screens can be fixed onto your windows or made into roller shades to allow more control of the screens.
These screens are used to block out UV rays, glare, and heat from the sun. TAs you can imagine, they are best for windows with direct sunlight, as it can help decrease the heat and glare entering your home.
Using a sunscreen for your windows can decrease a room’s temperature by about 12 degrees Fahrenheit. This will aid in lowering energy costs due to keeping your home cool. Additionally, it also adds value to your home.
When using solar sunscreens, there is still visibility when looking outside, through them. These are similar to an insect screen, but provide more solar protection and cooling effects. So they have limited effects on your ability to see the landscape and environment around your home.
Sunscreens help to protect your furniture, floors, and interior decorations from discoloration and wear from the sun’s rays too!.
Awnings are fixed or retractable shades placed above your windows to help block out some sunlight. Awnings are made from a variety of materials such as metal or synthetic fabric.
Awnings dont help to decrease the amount of heat that enters into your home from the sun. When using an awning, there doesn’t need to be ventilation holes in the awning to prevent hot air from being trapped underneath.
If getting fixed awnings on your home, keep in mind that though awnings can help reduce heat in the summer months it can also increase heating cost during winter. To decrease this possibility have your awnings angled in order to capture the winter time sunlight or go with a retractable awning to give you more control.
Window shutters are another kind of window treatment that offers a stable and solid covering. Usually, shutters will consist of horizontal rails and vertical stiles that are all mounted within a frame. They are placed on the outside of the window either hinged to the sides of your window or placed above to roll down onto your window.
The hinged shutters resemble old-time bar swinging doors that can be closed to provide privacy and reduce heat gain. These are usually made of wood or vinyl depending on your aesthetic.
Roller shutters are slats made of aluminum or plastic that interlock when rolled down to also provide privacy and reduce heat in your home.
Shutter usually do not provide visibility into or out of your home. This is perfect for those looking for security and privacy. These are also used for areas that experience intense storms as it can help protect the windows.
Indoor Window Treatments
Insulated Cellular shades
For homeowners who wish to retain and regulate room heat, insulated cellular shades are ideal. With these shades, you are able to keep warm without spending too much on heating bills, and at the same time, you get to maintain your home’s style and good taste. It’s one of those window covering treatments that are chosen by those who want energy and cost efficiency.
These shades resemble an accordion and will easily fold up or down to help provide shade in your home. Insulated cellular shades provide insulation for your windows, due to their honeycomb design that creates small air pockets that reduce the amount of heat to pass through.
These shades provide little visibility, if any, to the outdoors. The shades do provide protection from heat gain during the summer months and heat loss during the winter months. You can choose to go for single or double cellular shades, as both are highly recommended but if we must add, stay away from the triple cell if you do not want something that’s too heavy for your windows.
Using cellular shades on tracks is the most effective way to make sure you get maximum efficiency. You are also able to have some control due to being able to adjust these shades to cover any portion of the window at a time. Over time, they have also made their way to the list of the top options for indoor window treatments, especially if you prefer to achieve a sleek and minimal look.
Curtains and Blinds
Curtains are made of fabrics and sometimes lined with plastic to help reduce heat gain. Curtains’ ability to block out the sun’s heat depends on color and type of fabric used. They are the usual go-to treatment for those who do not like to try too daring window treatments, but at the same time, still remain to be a classic, yet elegant home décor.
Curtains come in a wide, almost endless variety of fabrics, patterns, colors, designs, and styles. Its versatility is among the many reasons why most homes still have curtains on their windows even now. A clear fabric curtain will provide little if any, protection from the sun’s rays, but a light to medium-colored blackout curtain will provide a sufficient amount of protection from heat gain.
To get the most out of curtains they will need to be installed very close to the window and reach at least to the window sill. Adding a cornice to the top of the window will help get the most out of your curtains. In order to get the maximum reduction in heat gain, the curtains must be closed with little to no sunlight getting through.
Blinds, on the other hand, afre another type of window covering that’s as timeless as curtains, but not quite as much. The term comes from a literal context – as they were invented to blind the sight of those who are inside and outside of a particular home. Through its help, one can maintain privacy without being too sneaky about it.
Most people who would choose blinds are the kinds of homeowners who like practicality and style in just one go. Window blinds can be manually or remote controlled depending on your preference as a buyer. Remote controls often work by simply rotating the blinds from an open position.
There are also several types of blinds that you can choose from, depending on your desired style and purpose. There are vertical blinds, Venetian, mini, micro, panel, and several others. The types of blinds have grown over the years, with manufacturers that are aiming to provide the best window treatment solution for all kinds of customers.
Blinds are vertical or horizontal slats usually made of wood or plastic. These do decrease heat gain and provide some added control over visibility and glare due to being able to adjust the angle of the blinds.
Window films consist of three layers that are applied directly to the glass; adhesive, polyester film and a coating to reduce scratches. There are several additional options you can choose from such as tints or UV blocking films.
Window films do help reduce heat gain and can be great in summer months. However, during the winter months it will continue to block the sun’s rays that would otherwise help in heating your home.
Window films also help with reducing UV rays that could cause damage to your interior decorations. Window films are great for people who do not want anything blocking their visibility.
Getting the window treatment that works best with your style and utilization is important. Combining window treatments is a great way to provide added protection for your home’s interior as well as decrease your energy cost. With several options adding value to your home it’s a win-win situation.
All you have to do is become familiar with the different window treatments available and how they work – and from there, shortlist your choices. Try to envision the kind of style and ambiance that you want to achieve for your home. From there, you can surely come up with the best window treatment that can greatly benefit your home décor and your satisfaction as the owner.
When summer hits things can start to heat up in your home which means feeling cranky and uncomfortable as well as spending more on energy bills. Keeping cool can be difficult, especially for those without AC. There are several things you can do to help beat the heat in your home as well as decrease energy spending cost.
Keep Blinds and Shades Closed
If you have a lot of windows that offer direct sunlight, you are losing a lot of cool air and gaining a lot of heat. Using blinds, sunscreens, blackout curtains, or shades could help lower your energy bills up to 30% by blocking up to 90% of the sun’s heat from getting into your home.
When using sunscreens on your windows the temperature in your home could lower by 12 degrees. This alone could make a huge difference in your home.
If you enjoy having natural sunlight and struggle to keep sunscreens closed or down, consider closing the sunscreens that are facing the sun directly while keeping the other windows open or slightly open. Keeping out the direct sunlight will give you the most benefit from your blinds while offering some of that natural light in.
There are several different window shade options for both inside and outside your home. Combining awnings with curtains could increase the amount of sunlight that is blocked, creating a cooler space for you.
Ceiling Fan Rotation
Most ceiling fans have two rotation setting, clockwise and counterclockwise. During the summer months, you want to make sure your ceiling fans are set to spin counterclockwise. This creates the windy breeze that will help cool you down.
If you stand under your fan and do not feel a cool breeze your fan is set to rotate clockwise. This is used during the winter months to create an updraft. The updraft essentially pulls the hot air that rises back down to be redistributed in the room. This is not what you want in the summer months.
When using a ceiling fan you are able to slightly turn down your thermostat saving you energy. If you want more savings make sure to turn your fans off if you are not in the room.
Ditch the Incandescent Lights
Some light bulbs give off a lot of heat. Incandescent lights being one of them. These light bulbs use 90% of their energy through the heat they give off. Though you may not notice a huge change in the room by doing this you are making a difference.
Many people are going to LED lights as well as CFL’s. These light bulbs give off little heat and are energy efficient saving you money in the long run. LED lights, in particular, have long lives meaning less time spent changing bulbs for you.
Get your Grill on
In the summer months, some people dread cooking. The thought of turning on the stove or oven when it’s hot could make you want to run off to the nearest restaurant. Though this is a great alternative to cooking, it can get a bit pricey.
Instead, head outside to the grill. Grilling your food will help keep your houses’ temperature down and still leave you with a cool place to escape the outdoor heat. Plus you get to show off your awesome grilling skills as well as fill the neighborhood with amazing bbq smells!
There are several things you can do to your home and landscape to help keep your home cool. Many of these options can also increase the value of your home as well. Which is an added bonus!
We have already talked about adding sunscreens and shades but what about new windows? If your windows are old or they have seals that don’t seal properly, getting these things fixed or updated will help keep your home insulated and cool.
Newer windows may come with window tints which adds to the cooling effect in your home by decreasing the amount of sunlight to enter.
If your yard is pretty bare, adding a tree or two can add shade to your home providing relief from the intense sun. You want to make sure you plant your trees on the sides of your house that gets the most sun. This is probably the most beneficial on the east and west sides of your home as that is where the sun rises and sets.
Adding vines or shrubbery may also help in cooling down your home though they are not as beneficial as adding trees to your yard.
If your home has an attic, checking the insulation is important. If your attic is not insulated you could be losing up to 20% of the cool air through your ceiling. Installing installation could greatly affect your energy cost.
It is also beneficial to be knowledgeable of how your home is insulated overall. Adding insulation throughout your home could help to keep your home cooler in the summer months and warmer in winter.
AC Unit and Duct
If you have an Ac unit, it is important to properly maintain it. This increases the life of the unit as well as ensures you aren’t spending a lot on wasted energy cost. It is advised people change their filters once a month as well as inspect your ducts. This can help decrease how hard your AC has to work to cool down your house. If you find any leaks in your ducts you will want to fix these to make sure your air is going and staying where you want it.
If it is time to replace your old AC unit looking for an energy efficient unit is the way to go. This provides efficient cooling ability with cost-effectiveness.
These five suggestions will help to keep your home cooler throughout those intense summer months and save you money in the long run. Staying cool and comfortable is important when trying to enjoy a relaxing day at home or entertaining friends and family.