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Window screens have come a long way in a few years. In addition to keeping insects out and letting air in, they can now protect you and your possessions from sun damage. Here’s an overview of what’s available.

Traditional insect screens have been around for years performing their traditional duties, but they now also cover doors and porches and are available in metal and fiberglass mesh in different colors of frames and fabrics. Insect screens typically only cover the part of the window that opens.

Solar screens are made in several qualities of mesh in a variety of colors to reduce UV rays to lower cooling costs and reduce damage of carpets and home furnishings. Solar screens cover the entire window, not just the part that opens.

Solar screening is a unique woven mesh that can block up to 90% of the sun’s hot rays before they enter your windows. It is excellent for use on windows, doors and porches. Sun shading is made of strong, extremely durable, vinyl-coated polyester fabric. It was developed originally for use on outdoor furniture, and premium designs are resistant to mildew, fading and some pet damage. It only needs occasional cleaning with mild soap and water.

The relatively new retractable/roll screen system is a simple and effective way to provide a bug-free closure for any opening, including windows and sliding doors. It was originally designed for French doors that traditionally didn’t have any bug protection or security for pets. The retractable/roll screen system also be made with solar screening fabric.

Dark colors are more effective than light colors on exterior screens, while light colors are more effective on interior shades.

Retractable screens also offer uncompromising visibility. They can be installed on virtually any opening swing-in or swing-out, double doors and vertical or horizontal windows. Retractable screens will close and retract out of view when not in use.

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