Window Film vs Solar Screens: The Battle of the Best Energy-Saving Solution

Window Film vs Solar Screens

Last Updated on December 1, 2022

Summer heat can be unbearable, with temperatures soaring and air conditioning running non-stop to keep us cool. Before turning up the AC even more, why not try an alternative solution? 

Window film and solar screens can block up to 79% of solar energy, effectively lowering the temperature inside your home. These options also offer added benefits such as reduced UV rays and increased privacy. 

Whether you opt for the thin adhesive film applied directly to your windows or the exterior solar screens, you’ll save on energy costs while staying cool in the summer heat.

Our goal today is to help you decide which of the two energy-saving options is best for your house. Say goodbye to those sweaty days and hello to a cool, comfortable oasis- choose the energy-efficient option that’s right for you.

Window Film

Window Film

Window film may be the perfect solution if you’re looking for a way to increase energy efficiency and reduce glare in your home or business. Window film is a thin, adhesive material made of polyester or metal that can be applied directly to glass surfaces.

It helps to reflect heat and block UV rays, resulting in lower energy costs and improved comfort for the inside. And because it doesn’t affect the window’s appearance, window film is a discreet yet effective option for improving energy efficiency.

Also, it’s available in various shades and options, such as tinted or frosted film, allowing you to customize the look and level of privacy in your space. Some varieties even offer shatter resistance, security enhancements, and smart films that adjust with the light, making it the perfect addition for any household.

It’s a simple and effective solution for anyone looking to upgrade their windows.


  • Clear window film
  • Tinted window film
  • Frosted window film
  • One-way mirror film
  • Solar control film
  • Prismatic film

How does It Work?

Window film comes in a variety of styles and options, from frosted or mirrored finishes that can offer both aesthetic and practical benefits for any home or office building. The film works by reflecting or absorbing light to achieve these benefits.

It helps to reduce or block the amount of UV light and heat that enters through windows, creating a cooler indoor atmosphere and protecting furniture and artwork from sun damage. When sun rays hit the window, the film reflects a portion of the sun’s heat away from the building while allowing light to enter.

The film provides privacy by creating a frosted or tinted effect on the glass without completely blocking the view, and a one-way mirror effect, so people outside cannot see inside, but that inside can still see outside. It can also protect windows against weather damage and breakage by acting as a shatter-resistant barrier.

When applied correctly, window film can enhance the overall look of a building while also providing practical advantages. For decorative purposes, some films are designed to refract light, thus reducing glare and improving clarity, and creating a rainbow effect to create a visually appealing display.

Benefits of Window Film

Window film offers several benefits for both homes and businesses, including:

Reduced Energy Costs

Window film can significantly decrease heating and cooling costs by regulating the temperature inside the building. It acts as insulation, trapping cool air during the summer and warm air during the winter. 

Improved Comfort

By decreasing the amount of heat and UV light that enters the building, window film can make indoor spaces more comfortable for occupants.

Reduced Glare

Glare from the sun can be a problem in homes and offices, causing eye strain and making it difficult to see screens and work surfaces. Window film can reduce glare by up to 90%, making it easier to work and enjoy your space.

Protection from UV Rays

UV rays can cause skin damage and fading of furniture, carpets, and window treatments. Window film blocks up to 99% of UV rays, protecting both your skin and your belongings.


Window film is an ideal way to increase privacy without sacrificing natural light. Frosted and tinted films provide privacy while still allowing light to enter, and one-way mirror film offers complete privacy while allowing those inside to see out.

Shatter Resistance

Some window films act as a barrier during breakage, helping protect against weather damage and burglaries.


Window film comes in various colors and styles so that you can customize the look of your space. It can also be used for decorative purposes, such as creating stained glass or an attractive mind-blowing rainbow effect.


Installing window film is relatively simple and can be done as a do-it-yourself project, making it a smart choice for anyone looking to enhance their windows. Plus, it can easily be removed or replaced if desired.

Drawbacks of Window Film

While window film offers many benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind before you install it:


The initial window film cost can be higher than other window treatment options. However, it is important to consider the long-term savings that window film can provide regarding energy efficiency and protection from UV rays.


Installing window film can be more difficult than hanging curtains or blinds, and it is important to ensure that the film is applied correctly to achieve the desired results.

Decreased Visibility

Window film can reduce the amount of light that enters a space, which can obscure the view outside. Tinted films can also make it more difficult to see inside the building during the day.

Nighttime Ineffectiveness

Window film is ineffective at blocking light at night, so it will not provide privacy or reduce glare after the sun goes down.

Green House Effect

While window film can help to regulate temperature and reduce energy costs, it can also create a “greenhouse effect” in which the heat from the sun is trapped inside the building. This is particularly problematic in hot climates and during the summer months.

Allergy Concerns

Some window films contain PVCs (polyvinyl chloride), which can off-gas and cause health problems for people with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Choose PVC-free window film to avoid this problem.

Solar Screens

Solar Screens

Solar screens, also known as solar shades or sunscreens, are made of a special type of mesh fabric that blocks out the sun’s rays while allowing air and light to pass through. This fabric is typically composed of tightly woven synthetic fibers, such as polyester or acrylic, and coated with a metallic solar-resistant substance to provide maximum protection from UV rays.

In addition to blocking out harmful UV rays and reducing glare, solar screens can also lower overall heat gain in a room, thereby cutting energy costs. Solar screens can be installed on windows or outdoor patios to create a comfortable, shaded space without sacrificing natural light or fresh air circulation.


There are two main types of solar screens:

  • Fixed
  • Retractable

Fixed solar screens are installed over windows and doors and cannot be removed or rolled up. They are typically made of a durable, weather-resistant fabric stretched tight over a metal frame. These screens are designed for permanent installation and can provide year-round protection from the sun’s rays.

Retractable solar screens are made of a lighter-weight fabric that can be rolled up or down as needed. These screens are typically installed on outdoor patios or decks and can be retracted when they are not needed. Retractable solar screens are a good option if you want the flexibility to enjoy the sunlight when you want it and block it out when you don’t.

How do They Work?

Solar screens may be the answer to reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of your HVAC system’s efficiency. These screens work by blocking out sun and heat while still allowing airflow and a clear view.

They can decrease heat load by up to 90% in hot climates, leading to lower energy bills and less strain on your HVAC system. They can prevent heat loss in cold climates, improving energy efficiency.

Solar screens are easy to install and maintain, and their benefits can be enjoyed year-round. So if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly solution to increasing the efficiency of your home or office building, consider investing in solar screens.

Benefits of Solar Screens

investing in solar screens can have numerous benefits for both the environment and your wallet. These shade-providing window treatments’ unique composition offers multiple benefits for a comfortable living space.

Reduce Energy Costs

Solar screens can reduce your air conditioning system’s heat load by up to 90% by blocking the sun’s rays. This can lead to lower energy bills and increased efficiency at home or at work.

Protect Your Belongings

In addition to reducing energy costs, they protect your belongings from fading. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause damage to drapes, furniture, and carpets.

You can protect your belongings from the sun with solar screens that block 99% of UV rays. Also, by reducing UV exposure to your skin, they can decrease the risk of skin cancer.

Increase Your Comfort

Solar screens can also make your living space more comfortable by reducing glare and filtering out harsh sunlight. It is especially helpful for those who are sensitive to light or have trouble sleeping in a bright room.

If you work from home, the increased comfort level provided by solar screens can help you be more productive by reducing eye strain and headaches.

Easy to Install and Maintain

Installing solar screens requires no special tools or expertise. They can be attached to the outside of your window using screws, zip ties, or suction cups and removed just as easily.

But rather than opting for DIY installation options, it is often best to work with a professional installer for optimal performance and longevity of the solar screen material. Most solar screens are durable materials that can withstand years of use with little to no maintenance. Wipe them down with a damp cloth when they get dirty, and enjoy the benefits of shade all year long.

Improve Your View

While some window treatments can obstruct your view, solar screens improve it. The special mesh fabric allows clear visibility while blocking the sun’s rays.

This can be especially beneficial in hot climates where the sun’s glare can make it difficult to see outside. It is also possible to improve the privacy of your home or office by making it more difficult for people to see inside.

An Environmentally-Friendly Solution

Solar screens are an environmentally-friendly solution for those looking to reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint. By blocking out the sun’s heat, solar screens can help reduce your reliance on air conditioning, which uses a significant amount of energy and can release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In addition to their energy-saving benefits, solar screens can also help reduce the amount of glare and light pollution. By blocking out unwanted light, solar screens can help create a darker environment more conducive to stargazing and other nighttime activities.

Drawbacks of Solar Screens

While solar screens offer a wide range of benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before making the investment.

Natural Light can be Reduced

Solar screens reduce the natural light that enters your home or office. While this can benefit some situations, it can make a space feel dark and cramped. If you have a small space or suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), solar screens may not be the best solution.

They can be Costly

Solar screens are typically more expensive than window treatments, such as blinds or curtains. However, they can also help you save money on your energy bills in the long run.

Block Out Views

While solar screens can improve your view by reducing glare, they can block out views completely if installed on windows facing a scenic area. If you live in a beautiful location or enjoy looking at the stars at night, perhaps solar screens aren’t right for you.

Require Maintenance

It is relatively easy to maintain, but it requires some level of care. The screens can get dirty and may need to be cleaned regularly.

The screens can also become damaged over time and will need to be replaced eventually.

Window Film vs Solar Screens: Compare and Contrast the two options

After considering all these benefits and potential drawbacks of both options, you may be wondering whether solar screens or window film are the better options for your home or office.

  • Traditional solar screens are good at reducing heat and glare, but they seem old-fashioned compared to window films, which are like miracles of modern technology, and are more efficient, less costly, and require less maintenance.
  • Solar screens and window films may offer the same benefits when cooling your home. However, there is a key difference in how they work.

While window films block some light and heat from entering the home, they still allow UV rays to hit the glass and contribute to the overall warmth. On the other hand, solar screens act as an obstacle that stops much of the UV radiation from reaching your windows in the first place.

This can greatly reduce the heat on your windows, keeping them cool to the touch and minimizing their impact on indoor temperatures. So while both options may have their uses, solar screens are often a more effective solution for combating excess heat in your home

  • Traditional window solar screens can block the sunlight, but they also obscure your much-loved view. With window film, you can have both.
  • Cleaning windows is no one’s favorite chore, and solar screens can only add to the difficulty and time commitment. Not only do these screens have to be removed to clean an exterior window properly, but it also often results in higher costs for professional window cleaning services.

Window film offers a hassle-free alternative for those looking to add a bit of decoration or privacy to their windows. Its ability to adhere to the interior of the glass means that it won’t pose any challenges during cleaning.

Whether tackling the job or hiring a professional, window film offers a convenient solution for sprucing up your windows without extra stress or expense.

  • Every time it rains, water will blast through the solar screens, bringing along dirt and debris that builds up on the glass. Also, pests can become trapped between the screen and window, leading to additional build-up.

Not only does this cause damage to the glass itself, but it can also impact the surrounding frame. But because window film is applied to the interior surface of the glass, it doesn’t come into contact with water or debris, making it a much more durable solution.

  • Ultimately, deciding whether to install solar screens or window film depends on your specific needs and preferences. Window film is a great option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution that can help reduce heat and glare.
  • Solar screens may be a better choice if you’re specifically trying to block out UV radiation or keep your home cooler in the summer. Both window films and solar screens can help create a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.

Final Verdict

When selecting the best option for your home, it’s important to consider aesthetics and practicality. In terms of appearance, window film offers a sleek and unobtrusive look that allows natural light to shine.

Solar screens, however, can often appear bulky and block some of the views. Window film typically lasts longer and requires less maintenance in the long run.

Of course, the cost is also a factor to consider – solar screens may be more budget-friendly initially, but the longevity and reliability of window film make it a worthwhile investment. Ultimately, the decision between window film vs solar screens boils down to individual preferences and priorities.

Window Film vs Solar Screens: The Battle of the Best Energy-Saving Solution

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top