Solar screens are an inexpensive way to control heat and light inside your home. However, there is another option that many people do not consider. Tinted windows also control heat and light intake inside your home the same way solar screens do. Below is a comparison of solar screens and tinted windows in order for you to make an informed decision on which is best for your home.
Obviously, price is one of the most important factors people look for when upgrading their home, especially to the extent you would with a big project like window renovation. Solar screens are cheap. They run anywhere from $40-80 per screen. However, tinted film on windows will cost around $100-200 per window and sometimes higher than that if you have larger than standard windows.
As far as price goes, solar screens win.
The next most important thing people consider when upgrading their home is how it looks! Unfortunately, by many accounts, solar screens are rather ugly, especially from the outside looking inside the home. It might not look as bad with darker window frames, but with white or off-white window frames, the contrast will look less than ideal. It also makes your home look completely dark inside. However, no one can see the film tinting on the window from the outside. Your home looks largely unchanged.
Tinted windows are mostly better when it comes to aesthetics.
Solar screens are a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. It's similar to putting together furniture - simply take the contents out of the box, follow the directions, and you will have your solar screens installed without much hassle or expense. However, tinted windows must be installed by an expert in the industry. Trying to install the film yourself will cause you to have air bubble trapped and crooked film. Therefore, there is another added expense to installing the film tints versus the already cheap solar screens.
Solar screens definitely win in terms of ease of installation.
4. Durability & Life
Solar screens tear easily in bad weather, and some cheaper screens start fraying very early after installation. It is likely you will need to replace your solar screens once every 5 years and sometimes sooner. Film tinting lasts for 15 years or more and does not show any signs of decay until at least 10 years. Even then, it is rare for anyone to notice signs of wear and tear.
Tinted windows win the durability and lifespan category.
Solar screens are typically good for high sun trajectory in the summer months when the sun is shining. However, film tint is a year-round solar rejection tool with a trajectory for winter, summer, spring, and fall.
In the contest of effectiveness, tinted windows win.
According to the tally, tinted film windows have more pros than cons in comparison to solar screens, but it ultimately depends on how you weigh each factor. If cost is important, you know that solar screens are the way to go. If durability is important, then tinted film on your windows is a better option. Regardless, do what is best for your home and whatever serves your purposes best. Consider contacting Desert Shutters and Shades / Solar Screens for more information, or if you have specific questions.