Window Screen Frames and Which Frame Best Suits Your Application

Just as every window in a home has some sort of frame holding the panels of glass in their place, so do your homes window screens.  Although on rare occasion I have seen the creativity of the DIY homeowner find new ways to attach screens that I had previously never seen before including using staples, magnets, and even silicon as if it were never to be removed.   A typical window screen install has its own integrally continuous frame that holds the fabric to itself using rubber spline material to keep it taut. In effort to blow your mind even more, there are actually a wide variety of frame types and sizes to accommodate the installation method required for each application, fabric type, or even the proper aesthetics of the window screens themselves.  In this article I will review the most common types of window screen frames and their respective uses as well as touch on some less common frames that might be required for a more custom application.

Until now, I have referred to all screen frames as one in the same by simply saying window screens.   However, much of the decision in determining which frame type to use is actually in the window screen fabric itself.  For example, it would not typically be smart to use a “Bug Screen” frame for the application of “Sun Screen Fabric” as it likely would not be strong enough to hold the much heavier and stronger fabric that requires being stretched much tighter to lay properly within the frame.  Likewise, because most bug screens get inserted into a channel in the window frame, it usually doesn’t work to use the heavy duty solar screen frame as its size would not accommodate the size of the channel and simply would not fit. Your typical solar screen frame measures 1” x 7/16” whereas the standard bug screen factory replacement frame comes in at 3/4 “ x  5/16”. As stated earlier however, these are not the only sizes for each of these window screen types.

There are many timeScreenSampless when installing window screens that the “Standard” just won’t work for the window application or the desired look.  In these cases, there are custom size frames to meet most window screen needs. Here I will begin with the custom solar screen applications.  The first of these situations are with what we call popout windows. Here in Phoenix, there are lots of tract homes, and it seems that about 50% of them use a window type where the fixed side of the window pops out beyond the rest of the window about 5/16”.  The most common remedy for this is to mount separate “split” screens where one is mounted with clips to the fixed side, and the active side gets a slightly different frame that can be installed into the window frame channel just like the factory bug screen. This solar screen frame is 1” x 5/16” giving it a slightly thinner depth allowing it to slide into the channel.

Bug screens are really where it gets most complicated as there are many more frame options to accommodate the fitment of hundreds of different window manufacturers.  As mentioned earlier the standard frame is simply a 3/4 x 5/16” frame that is suitable for most insect screen replacements for most windows. There are however a variety of different sizes from 3/4 x 3/8 and 3/4 x 7/16”, and other more intricate types like the 5/16 and 1/2 lip frames for certain windows that do not have a small channel.  Additionally we run across casement windows which are simply mounted inside the home to the window frame just like a sun screen would to allow for the casement window to open outwards.  For more on all the different types of bug screen frames and how to determine which frame best suits your application, check back soon for our latest post as we go into this further or contact Screens Unlimited today at 602-888-4548!

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Window Screen Frames and Which Frame Best Suits Your Application  |  in Factory Bug Screens, Screen Replacements, Solar Screens, Window Screen Applications

Keep Window Screens Clean & Conditioned to Maximize Performance

Man cleaning window of a home and installing a screen,When you invest in high quality window screens it is important to properly care for and maintain them.  By doing so, you optimize their effectiveness and extend their life.  Often, homeowners have window screens professionally installed on their home and then forget about them.  They assume that they do not need to do anything once they are installed.  But, it is important to clean and condition your window screens at least once per year.  Window screens should be installed on every window and door because they provide a number of advantages to homeowners.  They allow homeowners to enjoy the cool breeze without having to worry that bugs or other critters will get inside.  Additionally, by taking advantage of the cool breeze outside, you rely less on your air conditioning which saves big on your utility bills.

Season after season, storm after storm, day after day your window screens protect your home from dirt, debris and critters.  But, what that means is that they get dirty.  And, if left uncleaned, the air that passes into your home will have a diminished quality.  This is problematic for any home but particularly so for asthma and allergy sufferers.  Fortunately, every homeowner can easily keep their window screens clean and conditioned with a few easy steps.  The first step is to carefully remove the screens from your windows and many homeowners find that it is helpful to label the screens so that you know which window they go to when it is time to put them back. If window screens have never been cleaned or look particularly dirty, some homeowners find it helpful to gently vacuum their screens before washing. Next, do not use any harsh chemicals or solvents on your window screens as they can damage them.  All you need is a simple solution of water and dish detergent.  Mix a tablespoon of dish detergent with three cups of water (recipe can be duplicated/increased as needed).  Pour the solution into a spray bottle and begin spraying down your window screens with the solution.  If particularly dirt or absolutely necessary, use a soft-bristled brush to gently wipe away any remaining debris.  Avoid pushing too hard or being too aggressive as it could damage your window screens.  Finally, using a garden hose, spray down your window screens to remove the soap, dirt and debris and allow them to dry completely before you put them back on your windows.  At Screens Unlimited, we recommend that homeowners clean their window screens at the beginning and end of every season to optimize their screens effectiveness and make their windows as transparent as possible.  When you properly maintain your window screens by cleaning and conditioning them, they will last for many years!

Posted by Screens Unlimited  |  Comments Off on Keep Window Screens Clean & Conditioned to Maximize Performance  |  in Solar Screens, Solar Window Screens, Sun Screens Arizona, Window Screen Applications, Window Screens

5 Reasons Why Solar Screens are the #1 Recommended Upgrade for Home Energy Efficiency

Sun screens installed on west side of phoenix home

Summer heat is on its way, and energy prices are on the rise. With this combination of factors, most property owners are looking for cost-effective ways to lower their energy bills. To combat the heat of the sun without entirely losing your view, consider a solar screen. They are fabric screens mounted on the exterior of windows and doors, and they prevent 90% of sunlight from touching the glass of your windows, keeping your home’s interior cool and comfortable. Here are 5 reasons why solar screens are the most highly recommended upgrade for home energy efficiency.

  1. Solar Screens Block Heat Transfer With Minimal Light Reduction

Solar screens block UV rays 65-90%, preventing the sun from heating up your windows and your home. But the screens only block visibility 15% – 40% depending on fabric selected, so you still get plenty of light inside your home to keep your plants happy and healthy.

  1. Minimizes Air Conditioner Use

If your home absorbs less heat from the sun, you will need to run your air conditioner far less to keep the interior comfortable. The energy savings from turning your air conditioner down even a few degrees is significant.

  1. Allows Airflow While Providing UV and Insect Protection in Cooler Weather

When the air outside is cooler and you’d like to open your windows, solar screens will still provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays that can fade your home furnishings while allowing air flow, and can also help prevent insects from coming into your home while your windows are open.

  1. Relatively Low Cost

Solar screens are an extremely affordable option as far as window coverings go, especially for oddly shaped or very large windows. Solar screens are made of fabric that can easily be cut to fit any window or door in your home, and they are held in place with a simple frame and mounting hardware.

  1. Solar Screens are Far Superior to Insulating Drapes

Another window treatment often used by homeowners to block sunlight and lower home cooling costs are insulated drapes. Solar screens are less expensive, do not contribute to dust in your home, are easy to clean and maintain, block the sun’s rays from the outside rather than the inside for greater energy savings, and still allow sun into your home.

Prepare yourself for summer by insulating your home with solar screens. They will provide you considerable energy savings by keeping your home cool, allowing you to use your air conditioning far less often.

Posted by Screens Unlimited  |  Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why Solar Screens are the #1 Recommended Upgrade for Home Energy Efficiency  |  in Solar Screens, Solar Window Screens
Old Screened Window

Reasons to Replace Your Old Worn Out Window Screens

Some home improvement projects can be more exciting than others. Most people love the idea of installing new floors or kitchen countertops. However, when they are contemplating exterior updates, they rarely get as excited. The good news is there is a lot to be excited about with exterior renovations like replacing your old, worn out window screens. Here are a few reasons this project should be at the top of your home renovation list.

Better Curb Appeal

Let’s face it. Old window screens are usually unattractive. After years of sitting on the outside of your house, they lack the visual appeal that they once had. They might have rust, cracks on the framing, and holes in the actual screens. Not only do these problems look unsightly, but they also make it so the screens cannot function effectively.

Protect Your Home From Outdoor Elements

New screens are better at protecting your home from outdoor elements like bugs and debris. Although they are not meant to function like windows, they will be installed to ensure that you can keep unwanted pests from entering your home. Even better, when you want to enjoy fresh air, you can open your windows and have peace of mind that your screens are functioning properly.

Better Technology

If your screens are old and worn out, you can probably benefit from new screens that offer better technology. Many of the screens available today offer solar protection. With this kind of technology, less heat enters the interior of your home. This is a huge benefit if you live in a warmer climate. You will be able to stay comfortable in your home without overusing your air conditioning unit, which means you will probably save money on your electricity costs.

Gain Privacy Without Closing the Blinds

One of the major benefits of the window screens that are designed today is that they provide you with privacy inside your home without having to close the blinds. They are designed so people cannot see inside your space. At the same time, you will still be able to see outside. You can also open the windows and enjoy the beautiful fresh air. This is reason enough to replace the old screens on your home.

If you are tired of looking at the unattractive screens on your home that do not work properly, then it may be time for an update. Consider energy efficiency screens for your home. You will love the look and the energy savings that come with them.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Reasons to Replace Your Old Worn Out Window Screens  |  in Screen Replacements, Window Screens

3 Reasons to install solar window screens before summer arrives

textilene 90% fabric for sun screen installationWhile we all enjoy the nice cool temperatures now we let it slip from our mind just how uncomfortable those warm summer months can get.  It is especially true if you have a home that is not energy efficient.  Utility bills in the summer months can skyrocket due to the amount of air conditioning your home requires just to stay comfortable.  Rather than sacrificing comfort by living in a sweltering home all summer, one simple energy efficient method of keeping your home more comfortable is to install solar shades.  While you can wait until summer to do it, why not start enjoying the benefits sooner and allow your home to maximize its energy efficiency all year long?  Below are 3 reasons why you should install your solar window screens before this summer arrives.

  1. Year-Round Comfort & Protection
    • Window sun shades do not just provide comfort during the summer. Sun shades protect you and your home’s interior decor from the harmful rays of the sun.  The sun’s strong rays, when left unfiltered, can do significant damage to human skin but it can also damage and fade things like furniture, drapery and upholstery.  By installing your  window shades as soon as possible you will begin to protect yourself and your home more effectively which is important at any time of the year.
  2. Lower Utility Bills
    • Installing sunshades will help you to better regulate your home’s interior temperature year-round which means you will not be constantly racing to the thermostat to make your home cooler just so that you are not sweating! Because sunshades are installed on the exterior of your window it stops the sun’s rays before they even touch your windows so solar heat gain is dramatically reduced.  This benefit will reflect significantly in your utility bills.  In fact, SRP points out that by installing exterior window shades you may cut your energy bills by as much as 25%!
  3. Local Incentives!
    • The biggest reason to consider an energy-efficient window upgrade as soon as possible is that you can reap the benefits of local incentive programs for making energy efficient improvements to your home. One local Arizona utility company, SRP, offers an incentive program, the guidelines for the shade screen rebate are as follows:
      • Be a permanent SRP residential electric customer that resides in a single-family detached, single family attached (duplex, triplex or quadplex only), mobile home or apartment/condo (duplex, triplex or quadplex only).
      • Purchase and install new or refurbished, qualifying shades with a licensed contractor by April 30, 2017.
      • Install energy efficient window shades that block at least 80% of the solar heat gain on sun-struck windows only (west-, south- and east-facing windows).
      • Install screens on the exterior of clear glass windows that enclose an air-conditioned space.

Contact Screens Unlimited Today to find out how to get your SRP Rebate.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on 3 Reasons to install solar window screens before summer arrives  |  in Phoenix Sun Screens, Solar Screens, Solar Window Screens, Sun Screens Arizona, Window Screens

Pet Guards and Pet Screen Doors Solve Homeowner’s Screen Door Problems

Arizona Quality Sliding Screen Door InstallationScreen doors are not only a convenience but offer many unique advantages that homeowners would not enjoy otherwise.  Sliding Arcadia doors with fabric allow a homeowner to leave their doors open and naturally cool their homes in an eco-friendly way that will help utility bills stay lower as well.  Naturally cooling your home with Arcadia doors provides the opportunity to let the cool outside breeze blow through without worry of insects or other unwanted critters making their way into your home.  The advantages of sliding doors are many but for those homeowners who also need a pet door, the insect fabric door is still possible!  Many homeowners mistakenly think they cannot have a sliding patio door on a door that also serves as an animal door because the dog will not be able to get out if the fabric door is in the way.  But, at Screens Unlimited, we offer a selection of animal-friendly doors and guards for fabric Arcadia doors to ensure you get to enjoy the benefits of a screen door even if you need it to serve as a pet door as well.

We have all probably seen it before, an excited child, not paying attention, walking straight into the door on accident.  And, we have all probably seen an overzealous dog, anxious to get outside, run full speed right into the patio door, or pawing at the Arcadia door fabric, potentially even breaking through door fabric.  Guards for fabric doors function as a grill, protecting the door fabric from excited pets or the wandering knee or foot and help extend the life of your fabric doors dramatically.  They come in a variety of sizes and styles so there is sure to be a perfect match for your patio doors.  The best part is that guards for sliding patio doors do not detract from visibility.  The animal guards are made from a strong and durable steel that is interlocking and does not rattle.  The installation is very quick and simple.  Additionally, there are pre-assembled doors that are pet-friendly yet still provide the same protection that sliding Arcadia doors provide.  The pet door is housed right in the fabric so while you are enjoying the cool breeze your family’s four-legged friends can come and go as they need.  Whatever your unique door needs are, we at Screens Unlimited have the right solution for you to ensure you enjoy all of the benefits that sliding doors have to offer without the frustration of constantly having to replace the fabric due to damage caused by animals over over-zealous family members.  And, with our pet guards and doors, you can keep your doors open on nice days while your pet enjoys all of their usual comforts of easy access to the outside as well.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Pet Guards and Pet Screen Doors Solve Homeowner’s Screen Door Problems  |  in Screen Door Company, Screen Door Replacement, Screen Replacements, Sliding Screen Doors

Retractable Screen Doors Offer Many Advantages to Homeowners

retractable-door-custom-paintScreen doors are commonly seen on sliding doorways and offer homeowners many benefits.  During comfortable and cool days or evenings it is nice to be able to leave the door open, allowing the natural breeze to flow through your home.  By doing so you not only let natural air in but you reduce the need for air conditioning, naturally lowering your utility bills.  When you have beautiful French doors the last thing you want is a permanent fixture that detracts from their beauty so many homeowners think that fabric insect doors are not a possibility on French doors.  At Screens Unlimited, we are proud to carry a selection of retractable door shades that can be used on French doors to offer all of the advantages that insect doors provide while being able to be rolled away when not in use so that the beauty of your French doors is not marred.

Roll-Away® retractable screen doors were designed with two things in mind: form and function.  What good if function if it is unattractive and takes away from the overall beauty of your home?  And what good is beauty if you are sacrificing energy efficiency and a nice cool breeze?  Roll-Away® retractable window fabric doors solve this problem for homeowners.  The housing for Roll-Away® retractable screen doors is installed on your home’s exterior and the fabric simply goes back into its housing when not in use.  When you need a insect and pest protection because you want the door open, it is as easy as pulling out the fabric attachment and affixing it in place.  This ensures that your home’s views are protected –  when you want the doors closed so that you can see the view, the shade and its housing cannot be seen.  But, when you decide you do want the insect protection of a fabric door it is ready and waiting, providing the ultimate convenience.  Your beautiful French doors do not just have to be an adornment to your home, they can be practical as well with the addition of retractable window shades.  The retractable patio door will prevent insects, bugs and other outdoor creatures and debris from getting inside.  Whether your French doors are a standard size or custom, we have retractable window shades to meet your needs.  Roll-Away® retractable screen doors are made to fit almost every size door and are engineered with a patented (no. 6.463,983) guide and installation system that keeps the door free from binding and periodic adjustment.   Additionally, because they are protected in their housing when not in use, the housing shields the retractable doors from dirt and damage, greatly extending the lifespan of usage.  If you have French doors on your home, do not reduce their beauty with a fixed door slides and don’t sacrifice the cool, energy-efficient relaxation of a natural breeze blowing through your home.  At Screens Unlimited, we are here to help you make an investment in your home and your comfort with retractable screen doors.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Retractable Screen Doors Offer Many Advantages to Homeowners  |  in Disappearing Screen Door, French Door Screen, Retractable Screen Doors, Screen Door Company, Screen Door Replacement

Exterior Solar Shades Conserve Energy

textilene 90% fabric for sun screen installationEvery homeowner is looking for the best way to conserve energy in their home.  Whether it is energy efficient appliances, energy efficient plumbing fixtures, or energy saving light bulbs – each effort to improve will help your home reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills.  In addition to those energy conserving methods, another way to add substantial energy conservation to your home, as well as make it a more comfortable living space, is to install solar shades on the exterior of your home.  Heat gain in a home can happen in a lot of ways and every step should be taken to discourage heat gain from occurring because it necessitates the use of utilities to help regulate a home’s climate.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development explains why heat gain through windows is a problem that needs to be controlled if energy conservation is the goal, “Solar radiation’s heat gain through windows often accounts for 50 percent of air-conditioning load in the summertime. If no existing shading exists in air-conditioned spaces such as offices, community rooms, or lobbies, window shading should be considered.”

While interior shades are an effective energy conservation option, exterior window shades are much more effective.  The investment in exterior window screens will enhance the architectural style of the exterior of your home while preventing harmful UV rays from entering your home which can damage interior decor, cause potential health risks and dramatically heat up your home.  Forbes explains exterior sun shades are a more effective energy conservation method than interior shades, “Both interior and exterior blinds help reduce solar heat gain while maintaining desired light, ventilation and privacy. When closed and lowered on a sunny window, reflective blinds (white or near white) are capable of reducing heat gain by 45 percent. Exterior blinds are potentially even more effective than interior blinds. Unlike interior blinds, they block heat before it is transmitted through the window and warms up the room. They are tricky to add to an existing window, however, so are best left for new construction.”  Reducing heat gain by 45 percent is significant but homeowners may wonder what that translates to in terms of utility bills.  Make no mistake, there will be very tangible benefits to having sun screens installed to the outside of your windows, both in terms of energy conservation and comfort level within the home.  The Whole Building Design Guide a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences explains how energy conservation will be reflected in utility savings and improved home comfort, ” Well-designed sun control and shading devices can dramatically reduce building peak heat gain and cooling requirements and improve the natural lighting quality of building interiors. Depending on the amount and location of fenestration, reductions in annual cooling energy consumption of 5% to 15% have been reported. Sun control and shading devices can also improve user visual comfort by controlling glare and reducing contrast ratios. This often leads to increased satisfaction and productivity.”  If you are looking for a practical way to better conserve energy in your home, with the added benefit of making your home more comfortable, consider installing exterior solar shades.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Exterior Solar Shades Conserve Energy  |  in Phoenix Sun Screens, Solar Screens, Solar Window Screens, Sun Screens Arizona, Window Screens

Security Doors Provide Protection and Much More

textilene 90% fabric for sun screen installation

When driving around your neighborhood you have probably seen them – security doors.  Today’s security doors come in a wide variety of colors and styles and if you work with Screens Unlimited, you can have your own custom designed protective screen.  This is important not only so that you have a custom fit but so you also enhance the architecture of your home in a positive way.  With today’s crime statistics and rate of home invasions many people have security on their mind.  You need to feel safe and protected in your own home and while an alarm system is helpful, preventing unwanted entry in the first place is always ideal.

At Screens Unlimited, we have custom security doors that are well designed and durably crafted to help keep your home or office more safe.  Many burglars will go right through the front entrance and so any extra deterrents are very important.  Often, burglars will simply see a safety door and decide it is not worth their time and better to just keep going.  You may wonder, “Well, a security door is just one more step, will it really deter a burglar if they want to get in my home?”  The answer is, yes.  They are specifically designed to be unbreakable.  Force and even drilling into the locks will often not work because they have been designed to be drill-proof.

In addition to adding a significant amount of protection to your home, security doors also help you be more energy efficient with your home.  They can be locked and the main entrance left open so that you allow the natural breeze to flow into your home.  You remain safe while enjoying a natural form of cooling that reduces the need for expensive utilities.  Also, locking metal doors help provide added protection for your primary entrance which extends its life and keeps it looking nice.  Because of the variety of options available today, they can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the exterior of your home.  Curb appeal is important because the exterior of your home sets the tone is the first impression anyone will have of your home and sets the tone for the experience someone will have once inside.  By enhances aesthetic appeal you add both real and perceived value to your home.  Additionally, safety doors are made with weather resistant materials that will not fade, rust or generally deteriorate over time.  These doors are made to last because we want our clients to have only the highest quality materials so that your home looks beautiful and provides a significant enhancement to security.


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Keep Your Home HOA Compliant With New Sunscreens

Sun screens installed on west side of phoenix home

Sunscreens provide many benefits from interior heat reduction for homes and businesses to reduction in sun-related damage and fading for interior decor to privacy and more.  It is why so many homeowners have opted to install sunscreens on their home over the years.  But, while they are certainly beneficial and all homeowners should have them installed, eventually, they do begin to fade and wear out.  It takes many years, but it does happen.  Once they begin to fade or wear out they quickly become unsightly.  They detract from the beauty of the home if the eyesore does not bother you it will likely begin to bother neighbors and passersby.  Many homeowners that live in a neighborhood that is overseen by a homeowner’s association have strict guidelines about the exterior appearance of a home and shading devices are no exception.

When you find that your sunscreens are faded or worn looking it is probably time to replace them.  And, if you do not, you are likely to hear from your homeowners association about it.  Homeowners associations are tasked with keeping neighborhoods looking well-maintained and ensuring that each individual house upholds certain “standards” or requirements.  If you have a received a notification from your homeowner’s association that your exterior window shades are no longer compliant you need to replace them, and soon, or face penalties and fines.  At Screens Unlimited we have helped many customer’s find the ideal sunscreens for their home that provide protection but also are compliant with HOA guidelines so that no penalties are incurred.  There are a variety of shades and levels of darkening ability to meet even the strictest homeowners association guidelines and if there is flexibility within the guidelines for appearance there are many styles to choose from for homeowner’s that will blend seamlessly with any style of home.

In addition to replacing worn out or old sunscreens, your homeowner’s association may ask you to replace bug screens on your windows if they are looking old.  Bug screens are very important because it is ideal to open windows when the weather is nice and let your home be naturally (and inexpensively!) cooled.  But, if you open your windows and have no bug screens or fabric shades installed then bugs and outdoor creatures can come right in.  Needless to say, this is not ideal.  If you have to replace your bug screens, Screens Unlimited can replace your bug screens to keep you HOA compliant.  Additionally, if you need make a replacement it may be an ideal time to switch from bug screens to sunscreens on some or all of your windows so that you provide bug protection and sun protection as well.  Speak with our experienced staff for recommendations and assistance in keeping your home HOA compliant while reducing energy costs and making your home more comfortable with sunscreens.

Posted by ScreensUnlimited  |  Comments Off on Keep Your Home HOA Compliant With New Sunscreens  |  in Sun Screens Arizona, Window Screens