Sun screens are often the least expensive window-shading option that preserves a view through the window. Sun screen fabric is stretched over an aluminum frame like an insect screen. But the screening is a fabric that absorbs 65% to 70% of solar heat before it enters the home. Most of that heat is released to the outdoor air and never enters the home.Sun screens must be installed on the exterior side of your windows to be effective. On fixed or double-hung windows this means they can be attached to either the window sash itself, or to the exterior trim. On out-swinging units such as casement windows, they must be attached to the sash so the window can still open.
If you want to remove your sun screens in winter to increase light and solar heating, install rotating metal screen clips for fastening them to the window exterior. Most homeowners choose to leave their sun screens in place year round and prefer to drill holes and fasten the sun screen with screws.
Sun screens reduce the solar heating of insulated glass units which tend to fail on the sunny sides of many homes. Sun screens also slow down solar damage to drapes and indoor furnishings. Many homeowners have used sun screens to enclose porches and car ports, creating a cool zone against the walls on the home’s sunny side.
Professionally installed sun screens cost $4 to $7 per square foot. If you measure the sun screens yourself, order them from a dealer, and install them yourself, they cost between $3 and $5 per square foot.