Which is Better: Solar Screens or Window Tinting?
May 21, 2021

Which is Better: Solar Screens or Window Tinting?

When it comes to your home's energy efficiency, you might need to consider your windows as part of this system. After all, they give access to sunlight, which heats your room naturally. However, the direct sun rays have UV lights that can ruin and fade items, including furniture, drapery, and upholstery. 

There are several options for your window coverings, such as window tints and sunscreens in Phoenix. While both are useful, they have different properties; thus, you need to settle for one that meets your requirements.

Solar screens

What are Sun Screens?

Sunscreens, also known as solar screens, are window coverings made from different materials, including polyester, polyvinyl, fiberglass, etc. These materials help reduce the glare and prevent outsiders from viewing your home during the day. They come in different colors, and you can opt for either interior or exterior sunscreens. Exterior screens are the best choice for improved energy efficiency.

Some of the solar screen functions include:

  • Controlling the light and heat accessing your home
  • Reduction of heating bills in winter
  • Different opacities that meet your needs

What are Window Tints?

Window tints are window coverings manufactured from a combination of dyed, metal-coated fabrics and polyester. Their primary purpose is to diffuse UV rays by soldering the actual windowpane with a thin film. They come in different colors to meet your interior requirements.

Window Tints can:

  • Protect your furniture from photobleaching
  • Reduce energy bills in Summer
  • Strengthen your window’s structural quality

Pros and Cons of Window tints and Sunscreens

Before purchasing and installing either of these two window coverings, it would be best to compare each of their advantages and disadvantages. Though they share several similarities, they're two completely different products, and you need to be familiar with each before making a decision.

These similarities include:

Same objective: both are designed to bar UV rays from accessing your building’s interior through the windows and reduce the occupant’s eyestrain and harsh glare.

Excellent visibility: window tints and sunscreens maintain visibility, enabling occupants to have a lovely view.

You cannot DIY them: while these two products come with a DIY manual, you cannot install them effectively.  They will only look better, provide maximum performance, and last longer if you seek installation services from a licensed expert.

Factors to Consider before Purchase and Installation

Most modern home exteriors are made from glass. It has been trending for the last couple of years, and it's continuously becoming demanding. While glass is visually attractive, it comes with a few issues that you might need to look into before installing any window coverings.

Here are some factors to consider so you can opt for the best option for your windows.

Installation and Uninstallation

Window tinting bars harmful UV rays and also gives you a clear view of the exterior from the inside. However, if not properly installed, window tints can show lines or bubble up, which can be pretty frustrating as it may require a significant amount of money and time to replace.

Solar Screens, on the other hand, are materials directly mounted to your home’s glass exterior. Basically, they provide similar services to window film – to bar detrimental UV rays and control heat. Unlike window tints, you can easily uninstall solar screens in case of maintenance or any other reason.

Value for money

An average solar screen project can last up to two to five years and minimize your energy cost by 25% monthly. Most governments offer sunscreen rebates making them a relatively inexpensive investment that offers a great value for money.

Though window tints tend to last longer, they're quite expensive and may fail to offer any value for your money if they don't meet your needs in the long run.


Though sunscreens absorb bugs and dirt easily due to their mesh fabric, they’re easy to maintain, and you can clean them regularly without worrying about damage.

Window tints are also easy to clean as they’re attached to glass; however, you have to be extremely careful to ensure you don't scratch nor leave any mark on the tint as it will ruin the appearance. 

Energy Efficiency

Sunscreens reduce the heat more efficiently than window tint. As a matter of fact, they're referred to as the most effective sun blocking approach for your home. They're installed on the window's exterior, preventing heat from accessing your windows, therefore, reducing the interior's heat significantly.

With window tints, your windows experience a 100% heat exposure. As much as they attempt to block heat from getting into the interior, it’s not 100% guaranteed, and they’re even less effective when you open the windows.

Sunscreens operate effectively whether you've opened the windows or not, enabling you to enjoy the view and at the same time keeping safe from harmful UV rays.

Bottom Line

Since window tints have several drawbacks, it would be wise if you opt for sunscreens. Though both offer some energy efficiency improvement levels, sunscreens provide a significant difference in your monthly utility bills while simultaneously protecting your windows.