What are Different Types of Window Screens?

Sherry Holetzky

Most of us don’t give much thought to window screens, unless we need to use one and it is damaged or missing. When it’s time to replace window screens, you may be surprised by the many different and handy options that are currently available. While screens are most commonly used to keep insects from getting inside, they can be used for various other reasons as well. They can be made from a variety of different materials, such as aluminum, copper, fabric mesh, fiberglass, and solar screen.

Adjustable window screens are relatively simple to install into double hung window frames.
Adjustable window screens are relatively simple to install into double hung window frames.

Did you know that window screens can help keep out unwanted light and protect against harmful rays too? Solar screens can even help keep energy costs down and make your space more comfortable. Try the shade design that rolls up like a typical window shade.

Window screens can be used with multi-pane windows.
Window screens can be used with multi-pane windows.

You can also choose security screens, made from heavy gauge aluminum. Security screens can help protect your home or office against vandals and break-ins. These screens are built tough to protect against many types of damage.

Measure carefully before buying window screens.
Measure carefully before buying window screens.

You should always measure carefully before shopping for screens. You may be able to use standard sizes, but in some cases you will need to order custom screens. You may need custom sizes for oddly sized or shaped windows, as well as for French doors, sliding glass doors, and pet doors.

Adjustable window screens are the simplest to install. They don’t require much time or effort or any tools. Just slip into any double hung window frame and adjust to the appropriate width. The screen should fit snugly for best results.

Retractable screens are also quite handy and come in two general designs. The first style is much like your average window shade. It is pulled up and out of the way when not in use.

The second style of retractable window screens can be opened and closed much like the window. Open the window, press the slider bars on the sides, and pull the screen into place. Retractable screens are easy to replace with storm window panes during cold weather, and they can also be removed quickly in the case of fire. With so many innovative designs, you can find the perfect screens to suit virtually any need.

Screens may be added to windows to keep out mosquitoes.
Screens may be added to windows to keep out mosquitoes.

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Discussion Comments


I just got some custom window sun screens because my house is just flooded with light, but I'm not really sure exactly how to install them. Does anybody have any experience with window sun screen installation, and could you clue me in? I've only ever worked with aluminum window screens before, so I'm a bit out of my element.


I've been needing to buy some replacement window screens, and I've got the window screens themselves, but what kind of window screen hardware do I need? It seems like there's ten different kinds of little screws and window screen frames and knobs, so how do I know what kind my windows need?

This is my first time trying my hand at window screen repair, so I'd appreciate any help!


Huh -- I had no idea there were that many kinds of window screens. Those solar window screens sound pretty cool though -- I bet that would be great for people who live in really hot, sunny climates.

Unfortunately I don't really have that problem here in London...what I would give to need solar screens for my windows!

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