Best Solar Screens for Windows

If you’re feeling the burn in your home or business, it’s time to look into solar screens! While everyone loves some nice sunshine, too much is a problem. For example, it’s easy to jack up the power bill keeping a residence cool when sunlight pours in from every other window. Other times unwanted glare or light can be troublesome when working or attending to various activities around a job or house. Sure, it’s tempting to crank up the AC, but why not try something more practical for shading needs?

That’s where solar window screens come in. A simple but effective solution – these flexible screens help protect against excess light while still allowing for proper visibility. The reduction in light keeps things cooled down and the material is flexible enough to fit any window and its required dimensions. So, if things are too warm, a screen is right for you.

But easier said than done – what’s the best solar window screen? What kinds are there? Well, we’re here to help with a handy breakdown of some of our favorite picks for 2019. All are guaranteed to provide an affordable, practical solution when looking to shield against intensive sunlight (or light in general). If you want some ideas or potential options, our comprehensive list will help!

What are solar screens?

Solar screens are rolls of material used to – as you can imagine – protect against the sun’s rays. Similar to the solar filters used to protect cameras, they’re typically used for interior residences or small business locations for a variety of reasons. Like we mentioned, they’re often designed for reducing electric usage by keeping interiors cool. Or, they can add a layer of privacy if desired, while maintaining adequate visibility.

Solar screens are made with a variety of materials and are typically sold in rolls for effective installation. They’re similar to full solar shades and blind sets.

How much do exterior solar window screens cost?

Of course, it’s not only about what solar screen best fits your situation. Cost is a factor, so you may wonder what the total investment is. This, however, is tricky to answer, primarily because all businesses, locations, and places of residence have different needs and specifications. Solar protectors generally come in rolls, but, depending on the requirements of a location, one or several are needed to provide protection.

However, single rolls can start anywhere from $20-50USD depending on the material, specifications, and uses. For the most part, you can expect an inexpensive investment. But, larger buildings – such as a business – may need to spend more in order to fully shield their location. Luckily, they’re quite a bit cheaper than solar curtains.

DocaScreen Standard Window Screen Roll – 36” x 100’

Windscreen4less Brown Sunblock, 95% UV Block Shade Fabric Roll 8ft x 25ft

Gale Pacific, USA 302245 Coolaroo Shade Fabric

The Top Solar Screens of 2019

With an idea of what solar screens are and how they’re used, let’s dive into our list! These will cover a variety of needs, suited for outdoor, indoor, residential, and business applications.

DocaScreen Standard Window Screen Roll – 36” x 100’

Editor's Pick

Our first choice is a versatile, reliable section that’s suited for most common house interiors. It’s inexpensive and made of durable material, so you won’t need to make a heavy investment but still get quality in return. It’s ideal for repair jobs, new installations, and more, suitable for a variety of installations like interiors, sun rooms, patios, or anywhere it can be installed.

The fine-mesh pattern means two things: it blocks out excessive sunlight and keeps pests at bay, great for exterior sections of a home residence. The material is easy to cut, shape, and place where required without fussy problems like crinkles, and it can be fit to a variety of dimensions and space sizes.

In total, a single roll extends to 100 feet. Perfect for window/spaces of up to 36 inches in height. Material is charcoal colored and made of fiberglass. An excellent basic option if you’re not looking for anything too fancy, but still need the job done.

Windscreen4less Brown Sunblock, 95% UV Block Shade Fabric Roll 8ft x 25ft

Most Popular

Our next pick is another economical option for those looking for some solar protection but don’t want to break the bank. This solar screen is ideal for outside installments like patios where it can shield from sunlight most effectively, providing ample shade. We say this, because the dense cloth doesn’t grant a lot of visibility, so it’s not recommended for interior windows.

That said, it’s an excellent way to keep cool, especially on days with hot weather. It’s important to stay at a safe temperature and avoid lengthy exposure to the sun’s UV rays, so this shade cloth provides a handy solution. This is also ideal for protecting stock and animal enclosures to shield against overheating, along with the complications occurring because of high temperatures.

This solar screen protects with a dense polyethylene that’s non-toxic and GSM compliant, capable of block 95 percent of UV rays and an estimated 74 percent of sunshine. The material is easy to shape and mold for various purposes. Comes in multiple colors for user preference.

Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade, No Valance, (8' W X 8' L), Walnut

The next choice is a little different. While the previous solar window screens were for that – windows – this handy option is better for providing general shade. This is because the sleeve rolls out instead of requiring a fitted window installation.
This, however, grants a great deal of versatility for users, since they can fit the roller wherever is needed. Living rooms with a large window? Easy. Outside patios to protect against the direction of the sun? No problem. The dense weave provides ample protection (though has limited visibility) and the material is weather resistant, preventing excess moisture and mold.

The protector is held by an aluminum rail and operated with a crank – though it should be noted this is not rust resistant. It also comes in a variety of colors with dimensions from 4 x 8 to 8 x 8.

This we recommend for anyone with sensitive skin who like some outdoor ambiance, but want to reduce their total exposure to sunshine. This is approved and supported by the Melanoma International Foundation.

Gale Pacific, USA 302245 Coolaroo Shade Fabric

Best Value

One of our best value options, this shade fabric is also from Coolaroo and great for exterior installations, patios, and areas which could use a little more solar protection. For instance, if you have any outdoor pets or animals, this can help them stay cool when the sun is too hot.

The fabric is dense and thick to protect against harmful UV, but, this means it has low visibility, so we don’t recommend it for interior windows.

However, thanks to the fabric thickness, the solar screen protects against 90% of UV. It’s also weather resistant and easy to clean, avoiding problems like moisture build up or moldy residue. The design also allows for venting and “breathing,” so you’re not blocking off breezes or cool air. Essentially, it’s perfect for keeping exterior areas at a safe temperature.

It has multiple size options suited for different needs, starting at 6 x 15.

Reflective Window Film Mirror One Way Daytime Privacy

Our last choice is focused on businesses and interiors which are looking to avoid hefty power bills by reflecting sunlight. This solar window screen is unique, fitted for windows and businesses which utilize glass panels in its structure.

The UV/solar blockage is accomplished by fitting the one way “mirrors” into the appropriate dimensions, reflecting light and keeping interiors cool. Because of this, less power is needed to keep said interior at a comfortable temperature.

One of the nice traits about this solar screen is its “adhesion,” using static cling to stick to surfaces. It uses no glue or excess material, so it can be easily installed or removed. It won’t damage glass either. Additionally, the material increases privacy, acting as a “one way” mirror, good for businesses or places of residences who wish to keep their interior hidden.

Great for places looking to reduce sunlight in general, cut into power use, and improve their security/privacy. Material is easy to cut and modify for any size and purpose.

How can I protect myself from the sun?

How can I protect myself from the sun

Now that we’ve picked out some of our favorite solar screens for 2019, we should address why they’re so important. Namely, because of the sun!

Sunshine is great and provides us with essential vitamin D! But, as with many things, too much sunlight can be a problem – especially because of UV rays (ultraviolet). Complications like sunburn and skin irritation occur after too much sunlight, and in worse cases, can lead to skin cancer.

Solar window screens are part of the solution, providing you and friends with ample shade on the hottest days. But even these handy materials aren’t enough to give you complete protection outside, so, it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind when planning a day. There are a variety of ways to guard yourself from harmful UV, so we want to give you some pointers along with our list of solar screens.

Sunscreen

That’s right! One of the simplest but most effective ways to give your skin a layer of protection is with sunscreen. And don’t misunderstand – sunscreen should be applied any time you expect to spend a long time outside. Most may assume it’s only for beaches, but that’s simply not true. Clear days – especially around noon – create lengthy exposure, and for the fair skinned this can wreak havoc.
Sunscreen should always be taken for long outdoor activities, like hiking, sports, walks, swimming, outdoor work, or any time there’s an expectation to be out for long hours. SPF 15 at minimum is recommended for protection.

Hats and Shades

Hats provide your head with protection, as you can imagine. Wide brimmed hats are best for bright conditions, keeping your sensitive facial skin shielded from too much sunlight. We recommend wide brimmed as they cover sensitive areas you don’t usually consider – like the scalp, nose, ears, and forehead.

Shades too are highly recommended to reduce strain and irritation on the eyes. Also, though shades are comforting, don’t be tempted to look at the sun. It can still cause a lot of damage!

Protective Clothing

Clothes protecting your skin is a must when in the sun for longer periods. That’s why if you’re at the beach it’s recommended to not spend longer than 45 minutes in the water or exposed.

Though it seems strange that longer clothes are better in the sun – since it feels hotter – they’re ideal for keeping you protected. Dark colors absorb more light and attires which resist sunlight are the best options. A way to check for this is to see if light shines through your choice of fabric. This doesn’t mean you’re completely protected – and you should still use hats/sunscreen when out for long hours, but it’s an extra step to shield skin.

Hours

Around 12-4PM is when sunlight is at its highest intensity. Take frequent shade breaks during this time if you’re out and about and always get out of the sun if you notice burning or irritation. Getting under one of our selected solar screens for example is a convenient solution.

Hydrate

Sunlight isn’t the only problem – it’s staying sufficiently cool and hydrated. Failure to do so can lead to issues like heat sickness and dehydration. During bright times of the day, be sure to have water on hand. Flavored drinks like Gatorade are also good for replenishing lots nutrients.

Skin Check

Even with all the best intentions and protection, skin irritation, sunburn, and even skin cancer are possible. If you routinely spend time in the sun, especially on a daily basis, it’s very important to routinely check yourself for possible skin problems (at least once a month).

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States – however, it’s easily treatable when caught. Detecting early signs means recognizing the symptoms or potential spots of irritation.

Typically, cancerous moles/skin areas look like as follows:

  • Mole-like growths that are irregular, very dark in color, black, and have distorted ‘rims’
  • Waxy, pale areas
  • Red, scaly, irritated patches which don’t heal
  • Sores which don’t heal

Any of these could be a potential sign of cancerous problems. Don’t panic! It’s not a guarantee, but excess exposure to the sun could lead to these problems It’s why we recommend covering up and utilizing solar window screens to protect yourself.

How do solar screens protect me?

How do solar screens protect me

Aside from keeping you cool and providing much needed shade, our choices do more than just cool down an interior (although they do that very well, as pointed out by researchers at Texas A&M University and Harvard University). If you’ve noticed, our picks reduce exposure to UV (ultraviolet rays). This is important, because UV rays are what cause the various health problems like sunburn and skin cancer. You’ve probably heard them used in regards to tanning beds or lamps (we don’t recommend these either).

UV is a type of radiation, which slowly breaks down cells and causes mutations. Those cellular mutations can build up and eventually lead to cancer and problems in the body. That’s why it’s so important to use protect via sunscreen, long clothing, and utilize shade.

Solar screens are part of that protection, reducing the amount of UV, even absorbing it (or reflecting it). Naturally, that keeps you protected from the harmful radiation, reducing risk for problems.

Conclusion

When the season is hot and the sunlight strong, you need to find shade – and nowhere is that better than by using a solar window screen. These protective materials can cut down on power usage by keeping homes, interiors, and businesses cool – or offer a covered respite on the hottest of days. (To add even more protection to your home, consider one of these sun-powered solar attic fans.)

Whether you want to cut down on power usage, provide some security and reflection to your business, or just want to reduce irritation on the skin by blocking out UV rays, there’s something in our list for everyone. Consider grabbing a solar screen if you want more shade or want an effective solution for rising power bills.

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