Reducing Solar Heat Gain

Retractable Screens Can Help to Reduce Solar Heat Gain During Hot Months

I didn’t care as much about solar heat gain and reducing it in the summer months until we recently had a power outage for over a week in the Midwest. I think the outage caused people to think more about blocking the sun out to reduce heat gain inside their home. I know my close friend had towels and material blocking every door and window during the outage to beat the heat as much as she could. And it seemed to have worked so well that she continues to use window and door coverage to lessen the work her air conditioner has to do.

Interior and Exterior Shading

Solar heat gain is the internal gain of a home or building from the sun; approximately 40% of unwanted heat comes through windows. Of course, doors with large openings for sunlight would contribute largely too. Interior screens work to prevent this solar heat gain, but exterior screens are seven times as effective at keeping you cool as interior shading methods[1].

How it’s Measured

While looking through solar heat gain information, I learned that a number is attributed to this concept, called the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) which is expressed as a value between 0 and 1. The higher the number the more sunlight that can pass through, whether it is a window or a window screen. So, if you’re looking to reduce heat gain, you would benefit from a lower coefficient. Screens are often referred to as a percentage, like our 80% and 90% solar screen, which is the opposite of a coefficient; the percentage refers to the amount of solar kept out.

What it means for Retractable Screens

Considering exterior screens are your best bet, by far, to reduce solar heat gain, retractable screens give you the best of both worlds. If you’re experiencing 95 degree summer weather, drop your screens to block the sun. If the weather turns cooler and you want to enjoy your view or don’t want the screen down all the time, then just retract it back into the housing for an open space.

Stoett offers solar screen for every product, from the StowAway™ door screens to the PanoramaLite™ porch and patio screens.  The more solar protection you gain in a screen, the less air flow you will receive through the screen mesh. It’s simple- the higher the sun blockage, the tighter the fibers are woven. See the 90% solar screen below in desert tan color.

There is a lot to gain, or should I say very little heat gain when retractable screens are professionally installed on your home’s openings.

[1] Phifer Incorporated;