Solar sun screens are made of durable, vinyl-coated fiberglass yarn woven in an open pattern to block up to 70 percent of the sun's heat coming through windows, while appearing virtually invisible from the inside. Unlike interior window treatments like drapes and blinds that block the sun's heat after it has entered the home, solar screens absorb and dissipate the sun's heat and glare before it even reaches the window.

As shown here, the majority of sunlight striking an unprotected glass window passes right through into the home, and a small percentage is reflected. Applying solar screens dramatically reduces the amount of sunlight striking the window -- most of the sun's heat is absorbed by the screen, reflected by it, or carried away by convective air currents created by the warm screen.

Solar screens are easily installed on the outside of almost any window, sometimes using the frames of existing insect screens. Unlike some other window treatments, solar screens work whether the windows are open or closed and can be removed in winter to let the sun shine in. If kept in place during the winter, the screen's fabric has the advantage of reducing wind chill across the window's surface, thereby reducing heat loss. Additional benefits include reduced fading of carpets, fabrics and other materials and insect protection when the windows are open.

Also, since solar screens do not come in contact with the glass, they avoid the potential of cracking, bubbles or streaking that may occur with some sun control products applied directly to the window. Solar screens can also be installed as shades inside the home, but once inside, they have lost the majority of their advantage -- screening the sun before it enters the home.

Solar screens come in a variety of designer colors including black, bronze, gold, gray, brown and light colors like white, cream and sand, making them an attractive enhancement to a home. The same solar screen materials used to reduce heat gain through the home's windows and doors can also be used to protect outdoor living areas.