Monday, March 26, 2012

Solar Shades

Amazon Sells Solar Shades

The warm months of summer are approaching faster than we want, especially in Texas. Last summer had to have been the hottest and driest summer that we've had in Austin, Texas since the early 1900's. Our lake was at record breaking low levels and the electric bills were off the charts.

Due to the heat, we received lots of calls from people that were trying to come up with economical solutions to cut their air conditioning bills. So many people were trying to cut the heat from coming through their windows. I'm not a real believer in the solar film which is applied to windows, but I was told that it did offer a little bit of relief.

Usually, my recommendation is for Solar Shades. I like an inside mounted shade, which really doesn't impinge on the view.  Shades should be installed as flush to the window as possible, to create the best reduction of heat or cold.

The shades are designed to filter the UV rays of the sun which really destroy so much of the contents in our homes. The sun can cause dry rot of fabric on window coverings, it bleaches fabrics on upholstered furniture, ruins area rugs, and can drive your electric bill way out of control.

The feature that I like the most about solar shades is that they actually don't block the view from the window.  People usually don't think about that feature.  Their usually so concerned with blocking the sun light and reducing the heat  that they will go to any length to deal with that, as their number one priority.

I remember installing motorized shades in our Houston home to block an incredible glare which came off of our swimming pool. The reflection of the sun from the pool would heat up our family room, even with draperies closed. When we put in the shades it was an immediate relief.

I actually liked the privacy feature, in the daytime, more than I had even considered. If the pool man was servicing the pool, or the yard men were working in the yard, I was able to run around in pj's or whatever and see out perfectly. Yet, no one could see in!! Definitely a very nice feature.

There are so many manufacturers which offer various types of solar shades. If you're thinking about purchasing shades, be sure and look at the specifications carefully. They are sold with different percentages of openness which effects the heat coefficient.

The open woven material permits various amounts of heat and sun to filter through the shades. Personally, I prefer a little wider opening, but if heat is the primary problem, I would serious consider going with the tighter weave.

Amazon does sell Solar Shades  but you need to measure and install yourself. It's very important to measure carefully. Measure each window in three places to determine the narrowest measurement on the width.  You need to use the smallest measurement when ordering the width. The length is just the opposite.

When measuring the length, it is best to use the longest measurement. It's best to have the shade a little longer, than too short. Shades will have a gap along the sides, but usually the window casing is thick enough to prevent too much light from coming through.

Well that's my thoughts on solar shades. I use them quite often on both high end residential projects, as well as on project which are on a very limited budget. If you have any questions you can submit to my email address:

Hope this was helpful!!


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