Solar Screens

Friday, June 17, 2011

You can definitely tell summertime is here, it's HOT.  Our air conditioner and all the ones around us are officially on over time.  We've seen the solar screens on other homes and wondered if they really worked and if they were expensive.  We have done some investigating and here is what we've been told...

  1. Solar screens applied to your home will lower your energy bills and will not obstruct your view.
  2. And they are expensive.
We figured if we could get our hands on the materials we could make these ourselves and pocket the cash that would save us.  We found solar screen materials at Lowe's and Home Depot.  Home Depot had a bigger selection so we purchased everything there. However, the two large windows on the porch were too wide for the solar fabric at Home Depot or Lowe's so we found a local dealer and he sold us just the fabric for those windows.  I like that guy.

Putting the screen together is pretty simple, just measure your window, cut the metal framing material and assemble your frame.
Next, lay out your solar fabric {over your frame}, then lay out your spline {holds the screen onto the frame}, we found it was easier to start putting down your spline in the middle of each side of the frame.  Just seemed to help keep the material from wrinkling.  
Finish all four sides, then trim off the remaining screen.  This is where it got a little tricky.  How to hang them over the existing window without drilling holes.  We wanted a semi-permanent way to hang these without damaging the window frame or brick work.  

Yes, we used industrial strength VELCRO.  We put strips on the corners, sides, top and bottom.  Crazy I know, but it was worth a shot.

And, it worked!!!  We get some really, really windy days here.  The same day we got the first big window done a storm moved through with wind gusts up to 55-60mph and the screens didn't budge.  Woohoo!  So today we got busy and finished up most of the windows.  We still have the two large windows under the porch to do tomorrow but I couldn't wait to share this with you guys.

Here are the windows before the screens.

And here they are after...

There is a HUGE difference in the amount of sunlight that comes pouring into our windows now.  Even in the hottest part of the afternoon I can leave the blinds and curtains open to see outside and do not have the sun blinding me or the rays heating up the house. The solar screens are wonderful.  Love them.

PS .  On another note, after editing these photos I see how bad our front flower bed needs to be cut back as well as our crepe myrtles.  YIKES!

UPDATE:  (June 2013)  Here is another picture of the house with our screens still on with the original velcro!

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