Save Energy and Money with a Solar Shade

If it is time to replace window coverings in your home and you are open to new innovative ideas and saving money; have a look at solar shades.  You might be interested in learning just what a solar shade is and how it works. Will you really save money in the long run? These versatile shades can be purchased for interior or external uses. Window treatments provide many great options for decorating each individual room and do help to control lighting. Solar shades also come in many decorative styles and sizes, but they provide several benefits that you might not be aware of.

Even though you will want to use these for interior decorating purposes, the primary purpose is to block out the sun. These shades can be used in just about any window where you already have the regular shades, assuming the depth of the window is correct. The difference between a regular shade and a solar shade is solar shades block out harmful rays from the sun. They also block out almost 90 percent of heat from the sun. Think about how much money you could save on high electric bills during the summer months if you block out the heat from your home.

Save on Cooling

These shades are constructed with special fabrics that cannot only block lighting in a room, but the fabric still filters air into the room. They do cost more than traditional shades. But, if you can reduce the heat in a room by as much as 25% during hot summer days it might be worth the extra couple of dollars. In the long run, over the course of a summer you should realize significant savings on your cooling bill.

Protect Interior Furnishings

Unlike typical shades, you will enjoy the added benefit of protecting your home furnishings. A solar shade blocks out UV (ultra-violet) rays in each room where it is installed. It may not be any obvious benefit right away, but over time you may begin to notice that other furnishings within a room are not showing as much wear, fading, discoloration or cracking due to destructive UV rays when you are using solar screens or shades. Continued sunlight exposure on carpeting year after year begins to degrade carpeting quality. Wood furniture pieces, paintings and upholstered articles such as sofas and chairs can last a bit longer when not exposed to UV rays.


A solar shade is easy to maintain with just a light dusting now and then. A mild solution of warm soapy water made with dish detergent is sufficient for deeper cleaning if necessary. Use this solution with a sponge and always clean in the direction of the fabric. Follow manufacture cleaning recommendations when available and leave shades open for thorough drying.

Another big advantage of solar shades are the privacy that they provide. When using window treatments such as regular shades or drapes for example, you can only see out when they are open. The neat thing about solar shades are even when they are closed you can see outside, but your neighbors cannot see inside. There is no need to fuss all day long closing and adjusting blinds when you can see outdoors whether they are closed or open.

Types of Solar Shades

These are constructed of a variety of materials including polyester, PVC and fiberglass. Sun blocking capabilities will be determined based on the tightness of the weave selected. The smaller the weave size (density) restricts more light from entering a room as well as affecting shading qualities.

When selecting a solar shade you will see varying degrees of openness factors for the weave size ranging at 1 percent up to 30 percent. Shade values are also represented from 50 percent to 80 percent. Choose larger weave sizes with large values for openness if you desire a better view outside the window. However, larger weaves can allow people outdoors to see into a room at night.

You can find great selections of both loose and tight weave solar shades in several varieties of styles and colors. Weave patterns provide texture and color additions great for interior decorating. In addition a solar shade can also be purchased in subtle tones and beautiful natural colors.

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