Three Questions to Ask When Buying Solar Shades

Traditional Solar Shades in Dark Iron 10%
Traditional Solar Shades in Dark Iron 10%

The six extra weeks of winter are almost over, and we cannot wait for warmer weather. (That’s saying a lot given SelectBlinds is based in Arizona.) As you’re getting ready for more sun, consider incorporating solar shades into your home.

Solar shades operate like roller shades; however, the material is often less dense than rollers. This means solars can be fully lowered and still provide an outside view (more on that later). Other features include:

  • UV Protection: Solar shades reflect light and can block up to 95% of harmful UV rays. They keep furniture from being damaged while also reducing the glare on screens.
  • Energy Efficient: In the hot weather months, interior solar shades can reduce incoming heat by 30 to 70 percent, which will help decrease energy costs.
  • Kid Friendly: All our shades are available with a Cordless Lift, which is the safest style for homes with young children. Some solar shades have an option to upgrade to Motorization.

To match the right shade to your lifestyle, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Where is the placement of the shade?

Lifestyle Motorized Solar in Pearl 3%
Lifestyle Motorized Solar in Pearl 3%

A basic but important question. Are these shades going inside or outside? That will determine if you need interior or exterior solar shades.

Both are made of durable PVC materials, but exterior solar shades are generally constructed from weather-proof materials. Interior shades are moisture and mold-resistant, so they can be in rooms regardless of humidity.

2. What level of openness do you want?

Left: Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars in Black 3%; Right: Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars in Black 14%
Left: Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars in Black 3%; Right: Classic Exterior Sheer Weave Solars in Black 14%

Openness refers to the tightness of the fabric weave, which is an indication of the percentage of light that can penetrate through. Our blinds range from 1% to 14%.

A low number, or low openness percentage, means the fabric is tightly woven. The low percentages (i.e. 1-5%) block out more UV rays and offer more privacy. With a low openness, the outward visibility through the shade is limited.

A high openness percentage (i.e. 14%) has a looser fabric weave, which means there’s more visibility and still a decent glare reduction.

Tip: Lighter colors for interior or exterior solar shades can block more glare, and darker colors improve your visibility to the outside.

3. Should you add a layer?

Designer Series Fashion Solar Screen in Balboa 4%
Designer Series Fashion Solar Screen in Balboa 4%

Remember, solar shades reflect light. During the day, it blocks a view into your home from the outside while allowing you to see from the inside out.

The effect is reversed during the evening. The solar shades reflect the lights in your home, which blocks your outward view and allows visibility from outside the home.

So, should you add a layer for privacy? It’s really up to you!

If the solar shade faces your backyard, privacy may not be a big concern. If your solar shade faces a street and you want privacy, consider layering curtains so that you can close them at night and block visibility from the outside.

Now that you know the basics, get ready for the first day of spring and order free Solar Shade samples! Call or chat with one of our Design Consultants to learn which solar shade is best for your home. Call (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!

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