The Difference Between Solar & Exterior Solar Shades

The truth is that these shades offer very similar benefits, but they each go about it in their own way. There are some benefits and drawbacks to each style.

Here’s the low-down:

1. Solar Shades

When most people use this term, they refer to shades inside their home that block UV rays. They work particularly well in colder climates, as they won’t be harassed by the snowy, windy weather.
During the summer, they keep the sun out and your cooling bills down. In the winter, you raise them up, let the sun in, and get lower heating bills.

Interior solar shades, like their exterior counterparts, also do an excellent job of reducing the sun’s glare.

2. Exterior Solar Shades

These shades attach to the exterior of your home just like a custom awning. Exterior solar shades work best in climates where it’s warm year round.

They do an awesome job of protecting your privacy. You can easily see out, but it’s hard for passers-by to see in.

They even block the sun from ever entering your house, making them good for keeping your cooling bills low. Speaking in numbers, they reduce the sun’s heating of your home by about 80%. Interior solar shades have a 30-70% effectiveness.

You might also like exterior solar shades because they don’t affect the interior décor of your home. They also rock at eliminating the sun’s annoying glare.

Smart manufacturers use Velcro to secure the bottom of these shades so they don’t blow along with the wind and get damaged. High-quality, durable PVC and polyester yarns should also be used.

A Word of Caution!

You have to be somewhat careful because some blinds manufacturers will use interior materials on exterior solar shades. Guess what? They wear out much faster than they should, and you end up paying more in the long run.

Always ask the manufacturer about the materials they use to make your exterior solar shades.

So That’s What These Shades are All About…

And here’s a few odds and ends on both. Exterior solar shades generally work best on patios, decks, and south-facing windows. Lighter colors in both types of shades block more UV rays, while darker colors make it easier for you to see outside.

And one thing you’ll want to know as you browse both kinds is their openness factor. The lower this number, the better the shade blocks UV rays and protects your privacy. The higher it is, the easier for you to see outside.

An openness factor of 5% has high UV blockage and low visibility. You can find much higher percentages like 10%, or even 20% or more that give you better visibility.


So that’s how interior and exterior solar shades compare. Happy