Interested in exterior sun shades? Here's everything you need to know!

Phantom Screens / October 26, 2020

Exterior sun shades are a great addition to your window, door or patio. No matter if your existing window shades are looking dingy or you have an exterior space you want to turn into a functional all-seasons bonus room, retractable screens are a convenient and attractive choice for sprucing up your property. 

If you’ve been hesitant to make the change to exterior solar sun shades because you need to know more, we’re here to help. Here are some of the most important things to know about these unique screens to help you with your research:

They are ideal for openings both large and small

An exterior solar screen can be custom cut to fit any opening. This is perfect for your windows or to turn a large opening, like an outdoor patio, into a space you can use all year long. The cable guide system means the shade screen can be mounted to the exterior of the building, making them easier to install even in areas with open corners with no posts. No matter if you’re lounging at home or spending time relaxing in your patio shade, these screens will keep you protected from sunlight and glare yet disappear out of sight when not in use so you have an unobstructed view of your landscape.

They are convenient to use

The Washington Post recently highlighted homeowners’ new desire for technology to be seamlessly integrated into a home’s design. This is, in part, due to the younger generation of digital natives purchasing homes, but this new need for technology in the home is also because it offers convenience that appeals to homeowners of any age.

With the touch of a button, you can deploy these motorized outdoor shades — no need to use a beaded chain like you would have for the drop shades in your home. Simply use the remote control, wall-mounted switch or even your smartphone to control your UV blocking screens to block the sun and control the airflow and privacy of the space.

They provide privacy and sun protection

On the topic of privacy, these exterior screens are perfect for enclosing and enhancing your outdoor space for some additional seclusion. Homeowners much prefer the privacy of their backyard as opposed to their front porch or lawn, according to survey findings summarized by Real Simple. However, some people may want their backyard oasis to feel a little more secluded than they already are.

Exterior screens can instantly enclose your space better than patio blinds for some added privacy and sun protection while you relax or entertain. Unlike fences or other partitions and shading solutions, they are instantly out of sight when not in use. Similarly, since they are recessed into the space, there’s no bulky cassette valance to look at like you would with traditional roller shade.

They can control the interior climate

Homeowners are well aware of just how costly it can be to cool or heat their homes. The Department of Energy estimates that air conditioners, in particular, use about 6% of all electricity produces in the U.S., costing homeowners $29 billion annually. 

The tightly woven and light filtering mesh of the sun shades is perfect for reducing heat gain. Better yet, sun sensor controls can be set to automatically lower your screens during warmer times of the day so when you come home you can enjoy a cooler space. These smart controls combined with the right materials can help you save on air conditioning costs, improve climate controls and overall maximize the energy efficiency of your home.

They are durable

These exterior sun shades are built to last. Made out of extruded aluminum components and fiberglass or polyester mesh, they are incredibly durable. And since the screens are retracted when not in use, they are typically in their housings during cold or wet inclement weather conditions that help them avoid being damaged by strong winds and debris. 

This also means that screen maintenance is minimal. All you should do is clean the screens once or twice a season to eliminate any small dust particles that may cling to the mesh. Simply mix a mild detergent with water and gently wipe them down. Make this a part of your spring and fall cleaning routine when you’re tidying up the rest of your home and yard.

It’s important to note that while these screens are built to last, it’s always best to keep them retracted when there are very strong winds. Sensors can help make this easier by retracting the system when strong winds are detected. This will mitigate the chances of the mesh being torn.

They are easy to install 

How many days of your summer are spent trying to fix your pergola, awning or other shade solution just so you can enjoy your backyard? Exterior sun shades are a breeze for our professionals to install. After consulting with your local rep about the purpose of the screens (for instance, light reduction), the opening needing to be sealed and the style that matches your home, our installation experts are on hand to help create your ideal all-seasons patio or sunroom

They come in a variety of styles 

An added bonus for homeowners who choose sun shades is that they are functional and attractive. The screens themselves come in a variety of colors, from clean white to tans, browns and black. If you opt to have the housing and slidebar of your motorized screens to have a wood grain finish to match the trim of the rest of your home, you can. As you can see, there are multiple shade options available to match the style of your existing architecture and paint.

Mesh is a popular material among homeowners. The tightly woven mesh can still provide privacy, shade protection from harmful UV rays, but is more durable than fabric. If you desire more airflow in your outdoor space, you may want to consider a mesh type with more open weaves. 

Now that you know all about how easy it is to add a stylish exterior solar shade to your home, what are you waiting for? Contact the team at Phantom Screens today to learn more about our unique wall and window coverings to begin planning your redesign.