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What Is a Solar Screen

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In today’s eco-conscious world, homeowners are constantly seeking innovative ways to reduce energy consumption and enhance the comfort of their living spaces. Solar screens represent a pivotal advancement in window treatments, offering a blend of functionality and environmental stewardship. RD Shades, a leader in providing premium quality blinds and custom window solutions, is here to guide you through the ins and outs of solar screens, ensuring your home is equipped with the best in window treatment technology.

What Is a Solar Screen?

A solar screen is a specially designed window screen that provides effective protection against the sun’s rays. Made from durable, synthetic fabrics, these screens are engineered to block out a significant portion of solar heat and ultraviolet (UV) light while still allowing for visibility and light penetration. This innovative window treatment is a game-changer for homeowners looking to enhance their living environment.

How Solar Screens Work

Solar screens function by absorbing and dissipating solar heat before it penetrates your windows. They are installed on the exterior of windows and act as a barrier against the sun’s energy, reducing the heat transfer into your home. This process not only helps in maintaining cooler indoor temperatures but also protects your interior furnishings from fading due to UV exposure.

Benefits of Solar Screens

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Energy Efficiency

One of the most compelling reasons to install solar screens is their ability to significantly reduce energy costs. By blocking out the sun’s heat before it enters your home, solar screens can decrease the indoor temperature by several degrees, reducing the need for air conditioning. This not only leads to lower utility bills but also contributes to a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with eco-friendly living standards.

UV Protection

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause harm not only to your skin but also to the interior of your home. Solar screens offer an effective barrier, blocking up to 90% of UV rays. This protection helps prevent the fading and deterioration of furniture, carpets, artworks, and flooring, preserving the vibrancy and integrity of your indoor spaces.

Improved Comfort

By maintaining a more consistent indoor temperature, solar screens enhance the overall comfort of your home. They eliminate hot spots and reduce the glare that can make rooms uncomfortable during peak sunlight hours, creating a more pleasant living environment throughout the day.

Glare Reduction

Solar screens are particularly beneficial for reducing glare on televisions and computer screens, making it easier to work from home or enjoy entertainment without the need for curtains or blinds that block out natural light entirely.


During the day, solar screens provide an added layer of privacy, allowing you to see out while making it difficult for others to see in. This feature is especially valuable in urban areas or neighbourhoods where houses are close together.

How to Select the Right Solar Screen

How to select the right solar screen

Selecting the right solar screen involves considering several factors to ensure you achieve the desired balance of light control, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal:

Material and Durability

The material of the solar screen plays a crucial role in its effectiveness and longevity. Look for high-quality fabrics that are resistant to fading, mould, and tearing. Materials such as PVC-coated polyester are known for their strength and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Energy Goals

Identify your primary objectives for installing solar screens. If reducing energy costs is your main concern, focus on screens with high solar heat gain coefficients. For UV protection, look for screens that offer high UV blockage rates.

Aesthetic Preferences

Solar screens come in various colours and patterns, allowing you to complement your home’s exterior design. While darker screens provide better visibility and glare reduction, lighter colours may blend more seamlessly with your home’s façade.

Expert Advice

Consulting with professionals can provide valuable insights into the best options for your specific needs. Their expertise can guide you through the selection process, ensuring you choose the right solar screen for your home.

How to Select Solar Screen Openness

The openness factor of a solar screen is a critical aspect to consider, as it directly impacts the amount of light and heat that is blocked:

  • Understand Openness: Openness refers to the density of the weave in the solar screen fabric, measured in percentages. A higher openness factor means more light and visibility, while a lower openness factor increases heat and UV blockage.
  • Consider Your Environment: The ideal openness for your solar screens depends on your geographic location, the direction your windows face, and the level of sun exposure your home receives. In hotter climates or for windows facing direct sunlight, a lower openness may be preferable.
  • Balance Light and Privacy: Choose an openness level that balances your need for natural light with your desire for privacy and heat reduction. A medium openness factor can provide a good compromise, offering adequate light filtration while still blocking a significant amount of heat.

What Type of Solar Screens Are the Best?

How to select solar screen openness

The best solar screens are those that align with your specific needs. Polyester-based screens with a PVC coating are popular for their durability and effectiveness in blocking heat and UV rays. 

However, the ideal choice varies based on your climate, window orientation, and aesthetic preferences. Custom solutions provided by experts like RD Shades ensure that your screens fit perfectly, match your home’s aesthetic, and meet your energy efficiency and UV protection goals.

Contact RD Shades for All Your Shading Needs 

At RD Shades, we pride ourselves on offering a versatile collection of window treatments, including custom-designed solar screens tailored to your preferences. Visit our window treatments store to explore our products and services. Let us help you enhance the comfort and efficiency of your home with our expertly crafted solar screens. Reach out today and transform your living space with RD Shades!


  1. How Long Do Solar Screens Last?

With proper maintenance, solar screens can last up to 15 years, depending on the material and exposure to elements.

  1. Do Solar Screens Keep the Heat Out?

Yes, they are designed to block a significant amount of solar heat, making your home cooler and more comfortable.

  1. Do Solar Screens Make My House Dark?

While they reduce the amount of light entering your home, solar screens are designed to preserve visibility and natural light.

  1. Are Solar Screens Expensive?

The cost of solar screens varies based on size, material, and customization options. However, they are a cost-effective solution considering the energy savings and protection they offer.

Serving Central Texas

Located in Austin TX

Customer Support

Mon - Sat: 9am - 7:30pm

Schedule your appointment today!