Do Solar Shades Block Heat, Or Just the Sunlight?

The quick answer – yes they do block both. But you’ll want to keep reading because there are different types of solar shades that work better in various situations.

Solar screens are typically made of a polyester weave, and sometimes with PVC coating for more durability. Most solar fabrics are a simple basketweave fabric. However, our Exotic Collection is woven specifically to add style and design to the home.

Some fabrics can even be mounted outside on your porch or patio. However, exterior shades do also require special cord clutches and mounting hardware to resist exposure to the elements. Be sure purchase in our Exterior Solar Shades selection for exterior use.

Let’s take a look at some of the ins’n’outs so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Openness Factor

This number refers to the tightness of the weave of your solar shades. The higher the openness factor, the easier it is to see out of your solar shades. But, the tradeoff is you let more heat and UV light in.

For example, if you buy shades with an openness factor of 1%, 99% of UV light is blocked. It’s harder to see out of them, but they help you conserve more energy.

So you’re going to have to make a choice right away there. What’s more important to you – privacy or heat/UV light reduction?

Remember, we offer free samples of all our solar shades. You can order fabrics in several different openness factors. Tape them to your windows, stand back and choose the openness factor that works for you.



Dark Versus Light-Colored Fabrics

Another choice you’ll have to make is whether to use dark or light-colored fabrics.

Pros and cons of dark fabrics:

• Pro: They control glare well because the fabric absorbs more light
• Pro: You also can see out better because of the glare reduction during daylight hours
• Con: They do reduce cooling costs, but absorb more heat and light than light fabrics, so your costs don’t reduce as much as they could with light fabrics
• Con: The trade-off of being able to see out better is that darker colors also give you less privacy at night because you can see in better when the lights are on in the house.

Pros and cons of light fabrics:

• Pro: They reflect heat better than dark fabrics, reducing your cooling costs slightly more
• Pro: They provide more privacy at night than dark fabrics because they do not absorb as much of the light and, therefore, reduce the visibility when looking inside when the lights are on in your house.
• Con: They reduce your ability to see outside during daylight hours
• Con: They reduce the glare slightly less than darker fabrics.

There are a Couple Hidden Benefits of Both Too!

In case you’re wondering why you might want to block out UV light (besides keeping it off your skin), it also helps keep your furniture and carpet from fading over time. All solar fabrics reduce glare so you can see your television and other electronic screens better. They also save on cooling and heating costs by reducing the heat transfer (both ways).

So anyway, solar shades make good sense for your home. And now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of each, you can make a good decision for your own needs.

Browse our selection of solar shades and exterior solar shades here.