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StarShade Solar Screens - Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

Questions and Answers

Appearance

What solar screen color should I choose?

All colors block heat the same.  Choose a screen color that matches your house color scheme. We offer a variety of fabric and frame colors.  Usually, frame colors are matched to your homes original window frame color. 

Bars or No Bars?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. StarShade adds a crossbar to most screens, free of charge, to strenghen the screen. Additional bars may be added for decorative value. To see the differences, visit our picture gallery 

Installation 

How are solar screens attached to my window?

casement clipStarShade uses diecast metal clip to affix the screen to cover the window.  We never put a hole in our screens or your window. The clips are powder coated to match your window frame color.

Properties

How is airflow affected when using solar screens?

Standard insect screens have an openness of approximately 40%-50%. A solar screens will have an openness of 10%-20%. So, compared to a bug screen, the airflow is diminished, but still, the solar screen will allow good airflow.

Do solar screens provide protection from insects?

Most StarShade Solar screens protect against insects better than your typlical illfitting insect screen.

What are the main functions of solar screens?

Solar screens stop harmful UV solar rays, prevent fading and discoloration of your curtains, carpets and furniture, precious photographs and expensive artwork.  A StarShade solar screen, properly installed with a foam seal,  is more effective at repelling insects than a regular bug screen.  Solar screens extend the life of your air conditioning system, provide privacy and heat relief. 

If I have solar screens, can anyone see into my home?

Solar screens offer complete privacy during the daytime. Even with blinds and windows open, no one can see into your home. Where you have more light on one side of the screen, the other side becomes opaque. At night we recommend to close your blinds or curtains. as people will be able to somewhat see into your home.

Can you see out through solar screens?

In homes where more lighting is needed, an 80% Textilene solar fabric provides plenty of sun control and allows full visibility.  Bug screens are about a 50% screen, but has no solar properties to diffuse and repel heat on UV rays. Where stopping heat gain is most important, a 90% Texilene screen is recommended. You will still be able to see out, but no one can see in. We recommend that bug screens be removed before installing solar screens, as the view is distorted with two screens.

Cost

Are there rebates on solar screens?

StarShade is a registered rebate contractor for both GVEC and New Braunfels Power. CPS is not offering a solar screen rebate at this time. You should check with your local electric company for any rebate programs in place for solar screens.  

How much do solar screens cost?

StarShade prices solar screens by the square foot. We have 3 types of frames and 2 types of fabrice. This effects the price. For an accurate estimate, see our pricing information. Don't forget to subtract any discounts that apply.

How long will solar screens take to pay for themselves?

Solar screens save energy and will normally pay for themselves within a few years. By reducing energy consumption, the hotter the climate, the more you save. Solar screens increase the life of air conditioning systems by reducing the cooling workload.  For maximum energy efficiency, solar screens should be installed on all windows and doors. If on a tight budget, cover the west and south sides with solar screens. This will give you the biggest bang for the buck and you will quickly recoup your solar screen investment. At a later time, you can complete your home.

Do solar screens qualify for a tax credit? (Nonbusiness)

You can claim a tax credit for 10% of the cost of qualified energy efficiency improvements and 100% of residential energy property costs. However, significant limits apply:  This credit is worth a maximum of $500 for all years combined, from 2006 to the present. 

Benefits

 

How long has StarShade Solar Screens been in business?

StarShade began operations in the Fall of 2006. We have been serving San Antonio for over 10 years.

Are there differences in solar screens?

All solar screens consist of a solar fabric rolled and secured into an aluminum frame. A 5/16” x 1” frame is offered by most companies. It is then installed by screwing through the solar screen into your window frame. In this type installation, he window manufacturer’s warranty is voided on a new home or replacement window. StarShade solar screens offers three different type frame styles: 5/16” x 1”, 7/16” x 1” and 1 3/16 x 1”.  Our smallest frame is much stronger than frame you purchase at Lowes or Home Depot and prevents the screen from bending the frame. StarShade never uses plastic corners in the construction of our solar screens, because over time, they can turn to powder and crumble from the weather.  A matching crossbar is attached to give the screen added strength. Each corner is made from heavy duty solid aluminum and the frame is mitered at 45 degrees. This makes our solar screens stronger and longer lasting that our competitors. A much thicker, almost 1/4" around, stronger spline is used to secure the solar fabric to the frame.  StarShades are installed with color matching metal casement clips and screws making them very easy to remove and reattach, without damaging your screen or your windows.

Should solar screens be removed during winter?

No, although there are less hours of sunlight in the winter, solar screens create an air cushion between the outside and your window pane. This prevents the cold winds from chilling your glass.  Warmer glass lessens convection heat you need to pump through your home to the glass areas. Electric savings in winter are less than summer, but you will still conserve energy.

Solar Screen Fabric - 80% or 90%?

For more light, better airflow and visibility, you should choose an 80% solar fabric. If you want more glare reduction and energy efficiency, a 90% solar fabric is recommended. Putting 90% on problem areas and 80% where a little more light is desired, will not be noticeable on the exterior. You are the expert in deciding what type of solar screens needed.

Can solar screens be removed in Winter?

All StarShade solar screens are installed with either a friction fit metal spring or a metal casement clip. A simple turn or two of the phillips head screw and turn the casement clip and the screens are easily removed. Reverse the process and you have re-installed the screen.

What is the lifetime of a solar screen?

Typically solar screens should last 20-25 years. StarShade offers a non-transferable ten year warranty on parts, labor and installation. Competing companies usually offer a 1 year warranty. Textilene solar fabric offers a limited lifetime warranty as long as you live in your home.

Can the solar screens be easily cleaned?

Solar screens are fade  and mildew resistant.  A mild soap and water solution may be used for an occasional cleaning.

Does the color of a solar screen affect heat and light better than another?

All solar screen fabric, no matter the color, is opaque. What we see through are the the holes between the fabric yarn. All colors reduce heat and glare but the darker colors have better outward visibility.

How much do solar screens save?

Which is better solar screens or window tinting?

Do solar screens lower energy costs?

Many electric companies offer rebates for solar screens because it reduces the amount of energy used. The most benefit comes from covering the west facing windows.

Does StarShade sell solar screens commercially?

We offer commercial rates to businesses, condominiums, apartment buildings and any large commercial project. You will receive a compeitive bid.

What is the best solar screen material?

StarShade solare screens use Textilene solar fabric. It has proved to be the best, most durable fabric made. It also comes with a limited lifetime warrany.

Do solar screens help in the winter?

Our screens provide a cushion of air between the glass and the outside. This insulates the window from both heat and cold.

Are solar screens effective?

How do solar screens work?

Solar screens work the same way a shade tree works. It provides shade so your windows do not super heat from the sun's radiation.

Can you repair existing screens?

We are able to rescreen existing frames, repair frames and provide new spline to your existing solar screens, screen doors or screen rooms.

What are the different types of solar window treatments?

How much do solar screens cost in San Antonio?

The average price for a solar screen in San Antonio is around $5.00 per square foot. Thus a 3'x'5' window screen would cost about $75.

How expensive are solar screens?

Are solar screens worth the money?

What are the best solar shades for windows?

Do solar screens block light?

Solar screens reduce the amount of sunlight striking the window. Most of the sun's heat is absorbed or reflected by the screen.