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How Do I Choose the Best Window Sun Screen?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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The best window sun screen depends on your individual needs for privacy, sun blockage, and budget limitations. Manufacturers offer a number of different screen colors and mesh sizes for you to choose from, but each home is unique in its needs for sunlight and heat control. These screens slightly alter the outside appearance of the home, creating a darker window surface from the perspective of those looking in from outside.

A basic window sun screen stops sunlight from striking the window's surface, preventing harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from entering the home. The screen's mesh is closely entwined, creating a barrier against light and heat. Homeowners enjoy the lower energy bills during the hot summer months, while still retaining an appealing view through the windows. Shades and curtains do not need to be closed all summer for blocking heat and light; the window sun screen provides the shielding.

Privacy is enhanced with a window sun screen. You can see clearly out the window, but outsiders cannot see easily through the mesh. Screen manufacturers have screens that are dark or light in color, such as gray or beige. A darker screen choice will provide you with the most privacy, especially if the mesh is closely woven together. Homes close to a busy street may find the best privacy with tightly woven, dark screens.

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The screen's intricately woven mesh blocks the sun from passing through the window. A tightly woven screen will stop more sunlight from entering the home, whereas a looser mesh allows more sunlight to infiltrate. You can install tightly woven mesh screens on the south side of a home where more sunlight occurs. In contrast, north-facing windows do not need as much sunlight protection, calling for a looser mesh screen.

The main drawback to a tightly woven mesh window sun screen is the visibility limitation. The tighter the weave is, the more difficult it will be to get a clear view to the outside. You can try different mesh styles on the window to decide on the best personal choice.

Tightly woven window sun screens are also more expensive than those with a looser weave to the mesh. As the owner, you must therefore decide on a balance between cost and home comfort. In addition, you can take the screen's cost consideration and compare it to a typical summer day's energy bill. Air conditioning systems are highly expensive to run on a daily basis. The screen's initial cost may be comparatively smaller than the electric used to combat summer heat.

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