In our continuing effort to cut the temperature in the house and reduce our electricity usage rate, we’ve added a new tool: the solar screen. The basic concept is similar to the reflective film, in that the idea is to reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that get into the house in the first place, making less need for air conditioning.
Instead of a film that is applied to the inside of the window, however, this is a tight mesh screen that goes on the outside.
It blocks your view a bit; it’s easier to see in than out, at least during the day, but let’s face it–you’re looking through a screen. Also, in the winter, we’d actually like the heat to come in.
So John’s solution was to build a removable frame with the screen stretched over it. That way we can install it when the weather is hot and remove it when it isn’t.
Verdict? Both work, but the solar screens don’t have that cheesy reflective coating. The screen material we bought at Home Depot wasn’t wide enough to cover the entire bay window, so right now it’s sporting a seam where two sections overlap. We’ll order a custom size later, but first we need to get the other windows covered.
More frame-building seems to be in John’s future.