Solar screens

Jeff Haeder
by Jeff Haeder
My west facing windows are tall but the existing screen only covers the bottom third where it opens. I'm looking into installing some solar screens (hopefully DIY) to cover the entire window. Yet I noticed my windows have any type of track or channel (?) to put a window screen. Any ideas on how to install screens if possible?
  11 answers
  • Replace the existing screening or install little rotating clips on the trim that slide over new panels. They are pretty easy to complete - 4 corners, 4 tracks, screen & spline...
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jun 22, 2015
    Why do you want a full screen? Is is to provide sun protection for the entire window? If so, there is a simpler less costly way to achieve that end. Many of our home's windows are on the west side and those rooms have, until we did what I'm about to suggest, been soooo warm. I had had experience with a solar film that is applied to the inside of the window's surface and thought it might be beneficial on these problem windows, too. And before you get all "no, no window-tinting film on my windows" crazy, remove the vision of dark car windows from your mind immediately. This product is NOTHING like that. It is made by a company called Gila (pronounced "heela"), like the lizard found in the U.S. southwest. The film comes on a roll, in a variety of widths and a number of different appearances. The one I have used both here and at my other home, is nearly invisible to detect when looking at the window or when viewed from the outside. The stuff is easy to cut and apply and has made a tremendous difference in the temperature of the rooms that have film on the windows. The film has been on our windows for over 5 years now and shows no evidence of peeling or cracking, in spite of the fact that the sun really beats on it. I wash the windows as if there is nothing on them and treat them as I would any plain piece of glass. I bought our film at Lowe's and I noticed that it is available at as well. Guess I sound like a commercial but this product really, really works and is worth the time and money. The rooms on the west side of the house are more comfortable, the carpeting and furniture are less susceptible to UV damage and I also suspect our AC and heat run less often.
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    • Debi53 Debi53 on Jun 22, 2015
      @Swan Road Designs Thanks for sharing this. My daughter needs this & I am sending her this info.
  • Jeff Haeder Jeff Haeder on Jun 22, 2015
    I just researched and found the casement clips. Do you suggest making screens the width and height to fill the space all the way to the would wood trim? I also saw a video that they screwed the clips into the outer metal edge of the window? In this case the window was surrounded by brick. My next question is that I have three large windows next to each other (see pic). Would I do a large screen with cross supports? Or could I screw clips somehow to make 3 smaller screens?
    • @Jeff Haeder You would never be able to create one large screen using traditional DIY materials & if it got a rip in it... With that if you can find 2 or 4 double sided bars you could create a single unit with 3 to 6 panels ensuring the screening would be tight enough if not possible you could make 3 smaller screens with one slightly larger (or two depending on how you want to do it) placing the left & right tight against the window with the larger one overlapping them As for solar tint - yes it works but may cause issues when it comes time to sell
  • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Jun 23, 2015
    I also have the window film. We love it! On the South side of our house we have a large arched window. I tried doubled layer drapes, blinds and the only thing that actually worked is the film. At one point I even doubled the film to help with the heat. As a matter of fact I installed this on the tops of all my inside windows.This has helped with our bills, heating and cooling, plus privacy and discoloration of items in the suns path. From the outside no one knows this is there. Then again who cares? As long as I can see out, that's all that matters to me. Purchased at Lowes, check out your options, they're numerous!
    • John Wilder John Wilder on Jun 24, 2015
      @Barbara Valenti Barbara the better solution is to add a solar screen outside your filmed window which doubles your retardation of solar heat gain and makes your house so much cooler thus saving you on AC costs
  • Shauna Shauna on Jun 23, 2015
    Can you maybe frame out a screen and attach just outside of window frame?
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    • Shauna Shauna on Jun 24, 2015
      Wow! Really??? I had no idea! You mean I had a great idea??? Yay \o/. I finagle around my house all of the time.
  • John Wilder John Wilder on Jun 23, 2015
    Solar screens block out 90% of the heat and solar radiation that fades your fabrics and carpets and saves about 20% of your AC bill. You either cut screen frame or have someone do it for you and then install 90% solar screen covering the entire window frame from the outside. WE use self tapping screws to install it on the frame You can also use velcrow if you are afraid of drilling. Some states and electrical companies will even give you a tax credit or rebate for installing these highly efficient screens
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 23, 2015
    I have a lot of windows, solar screens on all of them. They attach outside the window. I love them. I had film, these are so much better.
  • Msi1170121 Msi1170121 on Jun 23, 2015
    You don't say whether you have double pane Windows, but if you do, check your warranty. My Windows warranty says not to add film, if you do, it voids the warranty. I also have west facing Windows. The heat coming thru the Windows made the rooms unlivable, so I had solar screens made for them. Boy, what a difference they make!
  • Barbara Valenti Barbara Valenti on Jun 24, 2015
    Well, maybe true but there is no way I am doing anything else to these windows. I guess to each his own. I just thought I was helping you by giving you advice on what we did. I live in a small garden home with not many windows so I think we are good for now. My gas and light bills are far under a hundred dollars amonth. So I feel I am well insulated. Good luck to all!
  • Melinda Dading Melinda Dading on Nov 27, 2017

    On the website there are tons of DIY videos that will help you with this. There's a page for Solar Screens that has DIY videos that are very useful. It's worth taking a look.

  • Yolanda Salvador Yolanda Salvador on Nov 27, 2017

    We recently moved to Austin TX and used for our solar screens. They made solar screens for all of our windows. We used their dark 90% solar screens for the front of our home that faces West, and the 80% solar screens for all of the other windows. We really were just looking to get the solar screens for the front of the home, but we asked for two prices, and to get all them done was such a good deal, we did them all. These solar screens make a huge improvement in our home. Austin is HOT, and the solar screens help considerably toward keeping our home cooler.