Solar Shades vs. Solar Screens: What’s the Difference?

Solar Shades vs. Solar Screens What's the Difference

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Learn the Pros and Cons of Solar Screens and Solar Shades for Your Patio or Porch

graber solar shades for patios

Northern Colorado gets more than its fair share of sunlight, which many people love. Yet, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can make outdoor spaces like covered porches and patios too hot and uncomfortable. Solar screens and solar shades are excellent for blocking the sun, but which option is best?

Solar shades vs. solar screens is a long-standing debate among people who enjoy the benefits of a covered patio. Consult this guide from our team at Galaxy Window Coverings to learn the advantages and disadvantages of these patio coverings if you’re unsure about which option you’d like for your home’s outdoor space.

What To Know About Solar Screens

A solar screen is a system that a professional mounts onto a patio or porch frame to fill in all the open space. Each screen has a tight polyester weave with a PVC coating, which is perfect for blocking UV rays and deflecting sunlight. Because of this, your patio will feel cooler during summer. 

Solar screens are also great for adding privacy to your outdoor living space. From inside your porch or patio, you can clearly see out and enjoy your views, but neighbors and passersby can’t see in. You can also enjoy your scenic views without the glare from the sunlight. 

These coverings aren’t without their disadvantages, though. Since the woven fabric of a solar screen is so tight, it could prevent you from seeing outside as clearly as you’d like. It can also keep your patio dark because it blocks much of the sun.  

What To Know About Solar Shades

When determining your stance on the solar shades vs. solar screens debate, it’s worth noting that both options are great for blocking the sun and its UV rays from a patio. Still, solar shades let you raise or lower the covering to let in as much natural light as you prefer. 

These shades are durable enough to prevent your patio furniture and household surfaces from fading due to prolonged exposure to sunlight. You can explore many colors, materials, and opacities to accommodate your preferences. 

Enjoying outside views is easier with a solar shade. Despite being opaque, you can still see through them or open them to get an unobstructed view. Unfortunately, you might not have as much privacy if you leave your shades up or turn on your patio lights. 

How To Choose Between Solar Shades vs. Solar Screens

Solar screens and shades have benefits and drawbacks. Here are the factors you should consider before installing either for your outdoor living space:

  • Intended Use: If you want to use your porch or patio throughout the year, solar shades are a better option. You can raise or lower them as you like, unlike solar screens that you must take off the patio framing in the winter.
  • Ease of Installation: For either patio covering option, you should hire professionals to install them. Still, solar screens are usually easier because they require fewer components than solar shades.
  • Retractable Operation: Choose solar shades if you want the convenience of controlling your patio covering.

Regardless of your stance on the debate of solar shades vs. solar screens, you can get the option you deem most acceptable for your patio from Galaxy Window Coverings. Proudly serving Northern Colorado, our team has almost 30 years of experience providing top-tier exterior solar shade and screen solutions in addition to our premium interior window coverings.

We boast a large selection of window coverings in many opacity levels, colors, and styles. Call (970) 227-2075 or schedule a free consultation with our Galaxy Window Coverings team.

solar screen for patios