When people think of solar screens, they usually think of the various ways in which these can prove useful in the summer. After all, the most oft-touted usage of this item is as a shading system that can protect you from harmful UV rays and excessive heat, both of which are most commonly encountered in the hot summer months. As such, many residents with solar screens installed may be wondering how best to handle their screens in the winter. Should they be removed? The short answer is no. But to fully understand that answer, it’s best to go over the main reasons why solar screens are actually very useful in the cooler months as well.
- Protection From Any Harmful Effects of the Sun All Year Long
While the days certainly feel much colder in the winter, the sun doesn’t stop shining. That means that all the same potential hazards from the sun are just as present in the winter as they are in the summer. Solar screens can serve as a shield, preventing most of the UV rays from the sun from penetrating the interior of your house. Not only is this safer for your health, but it also ensures that your belongings don’t suffer from the fading and discoloration commonly associated with sun damage, including household decor, furniture, and even flooring.
A sun-related issue that is more specific to the winter months is glare. When the ground is coated in snow, it becomes a powerfully reflective surface. Sunlight reflected off of the snow creates a strong glare that can be at best uncomfortable to look at, and at worst harmful to your eyes. That’s one of the main reasons why those interested in winter sports, like skiing or snowboarding, must wear protective eye gear. Solar screens can reduce the glare, ensuring that you remain comfortable within your home.
- Increased Privacy With Earlier Sunsets
A natural part of cycling into winter is a change in the amount of daylight we experience on a daily basis. The summer often features earlier sunrises and later sunsets, resulting in an overall increase in the amount of daylight. In winter, we experience the opposite, with the sun setting as early as 3:30 PM in certain parts of the country. At first, this may seem like a strange way to approach a discussion about privacy. However, consider the fact that when we have decreased amounts of natural light, we generally compensate with increased amounts of artificial light. When glancing into a neighbor’s window from out on the sidewalk during the day, the result is generally a shadowy, relatively concealed view. Glancing into that same window at night is a different story. It is far easier to see into a person’s home when it’s dark out and their lights are on.
Because solar screens are designed to block out amounts of natural light during the day, they can also serve as privacy screens to block out amounts of artificial light during the night. While these are not the same as blackout curtains, they can effectively obscure the interior of your home from view to protect you and your family from the scrutiny of strangers.
- Insulation Is Just As Necessary In the Winter as It Is In the Summer
The purpose of insulation is to serve as a thermal barrier, preventing heat transfer from one space into another. Consider some of the most popular insulated bottles and thermoses available for purchase. Most of the products available advertise their capabilities for keeping their contents warm or cold for long periods of time. The key to good insulation is the ability to preserve temperature, regardless of what that initial temperature might have been. The same applies to insulation on your windows. In the summer, solar screens insulate your windows to prevent the heat from the outside leaking in and the coolness of your home from leaking out. In the winter, the same solar screens do the opposite, keeping the cold outside separate from the warmth inside.
No matter the time of year, solar screens continue to serve as an effective tool to reduce energy costs and keep your Cincinnati home and family safe and comfortable.