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Old 07-13-2007, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,461,611 times
Reputation: 1706

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Solar screens are definitly better in terms of keeping heat out of your house. Tint is on the inside of the window. The sun hits the tint and reduces the amount of UV rays and such but heat is still making it's way to the inside of the window. You will notice some reduction in heat in that room but not that much. Solar screens are on the outside of your house and the heat absorbed by them doesn't enter your home. See the difference?
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
9,504 posts, read 19,506,212 times
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Our house has solar screens on it, and they REALLY make a difference! Our utility bills are a lot lower than our neighbors' bills,a nd we tend to keep our house cooler than they do! Also, if you're going to be on a corner lot, the creens also cut the visibility of people outside looking into your windows. That could add a little more privacy and let you keep the window curtains open without having to worry.

Personally, I have never seen a home with film-tinted windows that didn't look tacky. The film also doesn't last very long in the Texas sun, and it often turns purple and chips/peels. Yuck.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:27 AM
 
Location: TX
5,412 posts, read 14,042,971 times
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To those of you that got solar screens, did you put them on all windows or only the ones that face east and west?

Most of my windows face north and south, so I don't think solar screens would help much. My frosted bathroom window faces west and it gets pretty warm in there in the late afternoon into evening. But I don't think there's much I can do about that; perhaps tint it?
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
103 posts, read 623,417 times
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We did find a place that does custom screens...so, if we EVER move (the sale of our current home fell through, so NOW we have to start over)...we will follow this route and have the screens made with divided lites.

Now, as it stands...we are stuck in our current home. *sigh*....
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Katy, Texas
1 posts, read 17,995 times
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Default Solar Screens vs. Tinted Windows

Another option that I've heard of is retractable shade screens. They work a lot like an inside window shade, but are mounted on the outside of the window and can be lowered or retracted as needed. I understand that many manufacturers provide automatic controls for these products. I haven't actually seen these though, and they are probably more expensive than fixed solar screens, but they might be an interesting alternative.

Here are a few web sites that might have these screens:
Home Page Retractable Shade Products
Retractable Solar Screens, Patio Shades - Pacific Shades Sun Control Las Vegas
Retractable or Sliding Screen for Doors, Windows, Garages: Sun Screens: Do It Yourself
Shade screens and patio shades, rolling shutters and retractable awnings & more.
Textilene®: Solar Screens: Sun Screen: Outdoor Fabric: Window Screen: Patio Shades: Coolaroo Commercial 95 Shade Cloth
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,461,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf7 View Post
To those of you that got solar screens, did you put them on all windows or only the ones that face east and west?

Most of my windows face north and south, so I don't think solar screens would help much. My frosted bathroom window faces west and it gets pretty warm in there in the late afternoon into evening. But I don't think there's much I can do about that; perhaps tint it?
Our Home's window's are mostly facing North and South like yours. Because we are in the northern hemisphere the South side of the house will see significantly more sun than the North side. So we thought of just putting solar screens only on the two windows facing south. Also those rooms on the south side are always significantly warmer than any other part of our house. We have neighboring homes and fence that shade the few windows facing East and West so they aren't even a factor.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:37 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 36,242,086 times
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I've had both and I will take the tint over solar screens anyday. For starters my dad actually owned a company back in the 80's in the DFW area making and installing the sunscreens aka solar screens so I've had PLENTY of experience w/ those. Our current home that was built in 99 has the tint and it is AWESOME.

1. There are NO problems at all w/ condensation or moisture getting "trapped" w/ the tint. We even have the bathroom windows tinted minus the glass block window. In 8 years there has not been one single problem w/ moisture collecting or getting "trapped". All of our windows are double pane and tinted.

2. Turning "purple" or "peeling" - Have not experienced that at all. But then we did not do it ourselves as it was done by a reputable company that deals w/ 3M tint products and comes w/ a warranty. Still no issues at all w/ the sun fading it or them turning colors or peeling and we have windows facing every direction possible and no issues w/ the "Texas sun" ruining them. Now if you go buy some cheap plastic type tint stuff like what used to be around for cars that stuff peels and turns colors but not the products used nowadays. Oh, there is a tint that does turn a "purple" color that is on highend cars (Porsche for one) but it turns purple on purpose to better insulate the car.

3. The tint also offers privacy. We have french doors across the front of our home that are tinted and you can NOT see in them at all. There are varying shades and levels of darkness to pick from so that can make a difference. Our master bedroom faces the backyard w/ a wall of windows looking out to the pool area and w/ the shutters open even at night you can not see in them. The windows upstairs in the gameroom do not have any kind of window treatment other than the tint and you can not see in those either.

4. Window tint looking Cheap and tacky?????? No, as a matter of fact they look great and it is done by most high end custom builders as a standard feature. The solar screens that scream "HERE I AM" look tacky to me. You can see those a mile away whereas unless you look you won't know if a house has tinted windows or not. Also you better check if you have an HOA if they will allow the screens as some don't. And some people doing this project DYI should not. I've seen PLENTY of crappy, tacky, cheap screen jobs by people. They don't know how to stretch the screen material properly, the frames warp (they take more of a beating from the Texas sun than anything else and can fade and break), are not installed properly, etc.

5. Energy efficiency of tint. Yes, it does help A LOT! One of our neighbors finally tinted their back windows that faced northwest and got a lot of afternoon sun. These windows were the full two stories tall. That room dropped in temp dramatically as did their electric bill. His comment, "we should have done this YEARS AGO".

Drive around the higher end neighborhoods and look at the windows. You won't see any sun screens but you will see PLENTY of tinted windows. When you pay to have beautiful windows put in you don't want to cover it up w/ sun screens. I could not imagine covering up my french doors and leaded glass details w/ sun screens, YUCK! But the tint does not take away from those features one bit.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:00 PM
 
Location: TX
5,412 posts, read 14,042,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjones96 View Post
Our Home's window's are mostly facing North and South like yours. Because we are in the northern hemisphere the South side of the house will see significantly more sun than the North side. So we thought of just putting solar screens only on the two windows facing south. Also those rooms on the south side are always significantly warmer than any other part of our house. We have neighboring homes and fence that shade the few windows facing East and West so they aren't even a factor.
You're right. However, the south side gets more sun in the winter than in the summer (due to the earth's tilt). And of course the extra heat that sun generates is much more welcome in the winter than in the summer.

My family room has large windows facing north and I've never seen direct sunlight enter that part of the house. Obviously, the ambient light gives good lighting during the day.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:15 PM
 
27,447 posts, read 44,947,050 times
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momof2DFW--I would think that in most high-end nieghborhoods the windows have E2 glass which has factory installed UV/solar tint with gas between the two panes...and not tint installed after windows go in...

not saying that what you had to say about tint vs screen is not valid--just that at least the newer high-end homes have windows w/tint already done...
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Kansas
3,855 posts, read 11,461,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulf7 View Post
You're right. However, the south side gets more sun in the winter than in the summer (due to the earth's tilt). And of course the extra heat that sun generates is much more welcome in the winter than in the summer.

Yes but it's hot here in Texas about 9 months out of the year!
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