When we bought our house three years ago, we also inherited a basement full of window screens in various states of disrepair. Each Summer, I dutifully pull them out of storage and put them in place and each Summer there are more left in the basement needing repairs. This year, I decided it was time to spend a day to fix them all. If the temperature forecasts for this summer are at all accurate, we are in for a real scorcher season.
Frequent readers of this blog know that our central AC has never worked. The condenser outside is an ’84 Sears Kenmore unit. You can imagine my excitement when I saw a screen material at the home improvement store that claimed to reduce temperatures by blocking sunlight and UV rays.
Armed with a gift card, I started an experiment to see if this screen material lived up to the hype or not.
Replacing existing aluminum screening material in a South or West facing window would reduce the temperature recorded inside that window.
I gathered up the needed materials,
- New York Wire Sun Guard Charcoal 90 Screening
- .14 Spline
- Spline tool
- Existing South/West facing window
- Utility knife
After removing the old spline and screen material, I rolled the new sun guard screen over the frame.
Then I pressed new spline material into place and cut off the excess screening. I learned the hard way that it is best to keep the screen material somewhat loose. Over tightening the screening will bend the frame and it won’t fit right into the window opening.
With the renovated screen in place for a hour, I then placed a thermometer on the window sill.
You can see that there is a lot less sunlight behind the renovated screen.
After letting the thermometer settle for five minutes, I took a reading. I then moved the thermometer behind a regular window adjacent to the renovated one. After five minutes to stabilize, I checked the thermometer again.
Sun Guard screening recorded at 82° F. The control window recorded at 90-91° F.
The Sun Guard screening does prevent sunlight from entering the house and helps keep the interior cooler than a regular window. After seeing these results, I plan on replacing all of the South and West facing screens with this type of material to help keep our house cooler. I suspect that this type of upgrade would also be beneficial for lowering AC utility bills if you had this type of setup:
outside hot – screens – windows – ac conditioned space.