How to Get the Most From Your Solar Shades

Solar shades let you reduce glare and heat, without blocking the view.

Chicago City View from Urban Oasis Bedroom

Chicago City View from Urban Oasis Bedroom

Ever wanted to reduce the amount of harsh sunlight streaming through the window without sacrificing the view? Welcome to the world of solar shades.

Sun shades are available in a wide range of materials and colors, including sleek fabrics and textured weaves, making them a good fit for any decor.

Choose darker colors to preserve the view; lighter colors to maximize temperature control.

The Openness Factor

Sun-shade fabric is available in three openness levels, also called the openness factor. The openness factor is the tightness of the weave, which reflects how much sunlight filters through the fabric.

A low openness factor (three to five percent) blocks more sun and affords more privacy, but it also blocks more of the view.

Sun shades with a medium level of openness (seven to 10 percent), both preserve the view and provide protection from harmful UV rays.

A high openness factor (11 to 14 percent) reduces glare and gives the best visibility.

Since approximately 25 percent of a home’s heat is lost through the windows, these solar blinds can help make the home more energy efficient. Not only do they reduce thermal load, they also balance hot and cold spots, making the home more comfortable overall.

Three Operating Systems

Solar shades can be raised or lowered to protect windows from sunlight when needed. There are three types of operating systems: cordless (raised manually), continuous loop (with a looping cord or chain) and motorized.

Motorized solar shades come with batteries, and many with a remote control, that allows you to raise and lower them easily. This is particularly helpful on windows that are difficult to reach.

Tip: If your window has operable cranks or handles, select a reverse roll. In a reverse roll, the roller shade comes of the front of the roll rather than the rear, so it will clear the handles.

Patio Sun Shades

Made with components and fabrics designed to stand up to outdoor wear and tear, exterior solar shades let you enjoy your porch or patio year-round.

These solar screen shades are especially helpful on south- or west-facing windows, particularly in warmer climates.

Imagine being able to enjoy a meal on the porch without the sun’s bright heat and glare.

Cleaning Solar Shades

Cleaning sun shades is a snap. Vacuum them regularly to remove dust. For spot removal, sponge with a mild detergent and blot dry. Do not use strong spot removers or detergents, especially on dark fabrics.

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