As winter fades away, most Albertans start to think about how to make the most of the warmer weather that spring brings. It’s also a natural time to think about home improvement and extension, and fortunately Desert Sun Patios has just the idea to combine these two dreams! To enjoy the outdoors, natures’ beauty and fresh air without leaving the comfort of your own home; what could be a better solution than building a screen room in Calgary!
A screen room is a great compromise between a regular deck or patio and a full on sunroom. They provide overhead protection from the sun, as well as from bugs and debris through the big mesh screens. However, these screens allow for the warm breezes, sounds and scents to come into your screen room, making it feel like you’re sat outside in your yard. They are also incredibly easy to install, especially if you’re putting one directly on top of an existing deck or patio. Both of these garden structures provide the necessary foundations for your new screen room, so it’s simply a case of attaching the frames, adding a roof and putting in your screens. You’ll be sitting in your new outdoor indoor living space in no time.
New technology in screen room coverings means that you now have some further decisions to make when planning out your dream screen room plans. Screen rooms are covered with fabric that comes in two variations; one is a regular screen, made from tight mesh with gaps in between, and the other is a solar windscreen. Solar windscreens are made from a special polyester weave, and often come with a light PVC coating on the outside. This will make them look tinted or even black from the outside, which gives you an additional layer of privacy and security. This extra layer also makes them much more energy efficient than regular screen room covers. This will be particularly important if you’re planning on having a permanently open access to your screen room which can cause your home’s HVAC system to work over time to keep all the rooms at a comfortable temperature.
Solar screens help you significantly control the temperature inside your screen room as the solar screen can reflect the ultraviolet light from the sun, whereas the regular screen does not. By blocking more light coming into your room, the solar windscreen means that the sun’s rays don’t have a chance to heat up your screen room. However, they still let enough natural light in so you can sit out there during the day feel like you’re outside your yard.
The solar windscreen also blocks the wind from disturbing you inside your screen room, which is perfect for all the chinooks in Calgary! Due to the weather proofing technology of solar windscreens, you can connect your new screen room to your home’s HVAC system, allowing you to use the room year round instead of just during the warmer months. There’s something magical about sitting in your screen room during a wild snow storm, knowing that the weather can’t touch you. These UV light reflection and wind-blocking properties of solar windscreens make them quite different from regular screens.
Benefits of a Solar Screen Room
When you’re choosing whether to spend the extra cash to upgrade your screen room with solar wind screens, you need to consider the long terms savings and benefits that a solar screen room can bring to you and your budget.
To begin with, solar screens maintain a cooler inside temperature in comparison to the regular screens. This will give you significant savings in electricity costs and providing better efficiency of an air conditioning system or other fans meant for cooling. The physics principal here is that heat and light travel together from the sun, so by blocking the sunlight coming into your screen room, you’re also stopping the heat from that sunlight coming in as well.
There are solar screens that can even block as much as 90% of the heat coming in, but more heat blockage there is, the darker it will be inside. There is a balance to be had, as with all home improvement projects, between the aesthetics of the solar windscreen and the material benefits it provides. In this case, you want to find the solar screen shade that still allows for a light and airy screen room with the benefits of UV protection and temperature control. The helpful folks at Desert Sun Patios will be more than happy to discuss the different shades of solar wind screen with you, as well as putting you in showrooms that have each tint so you can see the difference that each type of solar screen will make to the light and comfort levels of your new screen room.
As mentioned above, solar screens have a special PVC coating and are usually made with a polyester weave that helps them achieve the heat-blockage, but due to this special coating, these screens are darker in colour, causing less visibility in comparison to the regular screens. However, this colour is darker both on the inside and the outside of your home, which gives you a double bonus. It is this darkness that blocks out the UV rays and keeps the heat out. Normally, you can get options for solar screens that block 70% to 90% of the heat. These solar screens that have a higher heat-blockage also have the added benefit of more privacy; the higher the heat-blockage, the harder it is to see into the screen room. Think about these options liked tinted windows in a car: even though most of the light is prevented from going into the screen room, you can still enjoy a clear view from the inside and no one can see in – perfect for screen rooms that are visible from the neighbour’s yard.
Protect Your Outdoor Furniture
Given the purpose of your screen room is to let as much light in as possible and create a space that feels like you’re outside, fabric fading is a major concern. The UV light reflection property of solar windscreens not only reflects the UV light to reduce the heat inside the screen room but also significantly helps with protection of your furniture, drapes, wall paintings and your flooring, preventing the fading away of these from sunlight. From a cost saving perspective, you’ll have to resurface your soft furnishings much less frequently, and from an aesthetic point of view, you’ll find that your brand new screen room looks vibrant and fresh for much longer, all thanks to the UV light protection property of your solar wind screens.
Privacy Benefits and Design Considerations
However, having a full set of dark solar wind screens can have its benefits. One consideration of using these solar screens can be its colour, as the solar windscreens are fairly dark and may or may not suit your overall taste in home design. The darker interior can be used to your advantage as it will set up a more cozy living space and the black screens will go with any lighting scheme that you choose.
Another benefit of the dark colour is the increased daytime privacy as well, even with the lights switched on at night. Lighting your screen room becomes a much more important set of decisions with solar screens, and many people find softer bulbs and shaded lamps continue the cozy feeling after the sun has set. After these factors are considered, your decision to go for a certain kind of solar screen depends upon the area you live in and your preferences for heat blockage and daytime visibility.
Pick and Choose
For most screen room designs, the fact they jut out from your house and therefore have two or three external walls can work in your favour. For example, if you have a south facing screen room, you may choose to only put solar wind screens on the long wall facing the garden, and keep regular screens on the side. It will still feel darker than your average screen room, but the lighter screens at either end will keep things feeling a little brighter. You can also mix and match from screen frame to screen frame, as most solar wind screens come in the same standard sizes as regular screens. While this may give your screen room a checkerboard look on the outside, the contrasts of different light levels may help to build different zones of your screen room; a lighter end for dining and entertaining and a darker end for more cozy relaxing on a couch or day bed.
The initial cost of the solar windscreen is usually higher in comparison to a regular screen, but in terms of benefits such as saving electricity, the solar screen can pay for itself over time which makes up for the higher upfront cost. They take the same amount of installation time, and are usually readily available for most common screen room window frame sizes.
So, if you’re someone looking to escape the heat while staying outdoors, want some daytime privacy and don’t mind that it will be a little darker inside your screen room, then a solar windscreen is the best option for you! Contact us today to get an estimate for your very own screen room.