Why You Should Use Exterior Sun Shades

by garrett on October 25, 2011

During hot months, the heat of the sun can be stifling and the glare can be intense. Even when the sun is not up high, it can still do damage. It can cause soft furnishings like drapes to fade. Utility bills also escalate because fans and air conditioners have to run to cool the house. Exterior sun shades are an efficient way of controlling the sun and minimizing its negative effects.

Block Heat

The shades block the heat before it can reach a window and get into a room or house. They are usually fabric panels that come in several designs and colors. The fabric is attached to a roller which makes them compact and they do not interfere much with how the house looks.

Different Styles

Sun shields also come in different kinds of weaves. Different weaves offer versatility in the choice of how much sunlight gets in. Most of them provide shading of between 50 to 80 percent. No matter which fabric is used to make a shade, it is still possible to clearly see outside.

Those with low shade factors are made with fabrics that have broad weaves. They let in more light. Consider the color of the fabric as well. Darker colored ones absorb more light so a room will be darker and the opposite is true. Take into account how much sun enters a room as well. They are most useful in rooms that the sun hits directly and where the view is important.


Different screens are better suited to different rooms in the house. In the kitchen for instance, a low shade factor is ideal so that more sunlight gets through. In the living room where more time is spent and there are more windows, shades with higher shade factors or openness values would be ideal so that not much light gets through. Dark ones would therefore be best for bedrooms to keep out light at night.

Light Filtering Shades

Keep in mind that sun blinds may not provide privacy at night. While they may not hinder the view during the day but while they do not hinder visibility from the inside, at night when lights are switched on, it is possible for someone outside to see inside. This problem can be sorted out by choosing a light filtering roller shade. Another option is to use a standard sun shade in combination with drapes that are closed and the shade rolled up at night.

Solar shields are an advancement of the usual roller shades. A major disadvantage of those first standard ones is the fact they make it impossible to see the outside no matter how much light they can filter. Sun shades do not and they also come in different weave sizes so that a little or a lot of light can be blocked according to preferences.

More progression has been made with the innovation of mechanical exterior sun blinds. This makes it possible to control the shades with a button to open and close them, either all of them at once or each one separately.

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