The Benefits of Solar Shades in the Home

Window blinds come in a variety of shapes with a variety of benefits associated to each. In an area as sunny as the Southwest, it may be a good idea to really put a lot of thought into the type of blinds you are purchasing for your home. The range of options for blinds available is huge and spans from wooden shutters to roller shades to vertical blinds to solar shades. With all of these options, it is pertinent to evaluate the area in which your home lies to decide what would be best for your home, style and safety wise. Long term cost efficiency is another important factor when choosing window coverings. So, what makes a custom solar shade ideal for living in the Southwest?

Solar shades keep heat and radiation from the sun out of the space employing them by deflecting solar energy. The sun’s energy attempts to enter through the window, where a portion is blocked by the glass. Whatever gets through the glass then goes on to hit the solar shade and another fairly large portion of this energy is deflected by the shade fabric and sent back through the window to the outside. By this time only a small amount of the heat from the sun is allowed to enter through the fabric, giving an incredibly fine-tuned heat blocking mechanism for the interior of the home.


The type of fabric used as well as the type of glass the window is made out of will play a role in exactly how much of the sun’s energy makes it through the fabric of the solar shade.
A clear view of outside is an incredible reason to invest in these window coverings. Considering the amount of sunlight blocked, being able to still have the amazing view your window alone has to offer is key in deciding which set of window adornments to use.


Maintaining an incredible Mountain or Bluff view in the southwest can be challenging on a sunny day due to the amount of light unwontedly streaming in from the outside. With solar shades, you can have the best of both; the incredible view associated with your home and adequately blocked sunlight. As mentioned before, the color of the solar shade influences aspects of how it works. A lighter solar shade blocks much more light and heat than a darker color because it is capable of reflecting much more light.
UV Radiation Infiltration in the home is cause for a host of concerns. UV rays are the part of the sun’s energy that can damage skin irreparably, as well as damage and sun bleach furniture. This is why adding solar shades to both inside and outside portions of the home is an ideal tactic in protecting both your family or residents and your furniture. The World Health Organization has posted that excessive UV radiation can cause skin cancers, and an amount too low can lead to skeletal diseases or vitamin D deficiency. Solar shades can be fully retracted or fully deployed for use and can be hung at any length in between because they are on a roller.

Solar Screens are a very durable and versatile  solution for windows that will take a little more use. They are a great fit for many commercial applications like restaurants because it enables people inside to enjoy the view of sunset as they eat, while giving protection from the hurtful and annoying glare. Different transparency and color options can also allow visual access inside the building which creates an inviting facade perfect for a restaurant setting.  Another commercial application perfect for Solar Screens is shown below in the Farmington Post Office, 20th Street location.  Long vertical units had seen better days as they became warped and bent over time against heat and UV exposure. Its easy to see the difference in the After picture. Nice clean lines of the lighter color Solar Screens are consistent visual surface. This is a great example of  a “less is more” situation.

Solar Screens can also cover larger windows-up to 10′ feet wide.
Solar Screens B4_ 2 2

With all of these benefits comes the biggest one yet, long-term payoff. In some scenarios, the amount of savings via lowered energy bills can pay for the solar shades within the first two years of use. This can vary between locations, but understanding that the solar screen will more than pay for itself in terms of energy bills is essential when looking for window coverings. With all of the blocked heat, solar energy, and glare, it is impossible to need the use of an air conditioner in the summertime as much as would be normally expected.


On the flip side, the window coverings can also work in the winter to keep heat in, thus providing year round savings. Different transparencies and color will effect the heat retention of Solar Screens. Its important to decide what problems you want your window coverings to solve, and relay those problems or concerns to your consultant (Shane is pretty much THE GUY) during your in-home consultation and estimate so other options can be explored and make sure you get what you NEED and what you WANT. If you have some pretty close neighbors-and privacy is a concern, we may want to look at other options. However, if you’re closest neighbors have 4 legs and hibernate, Solar Screens may be just the ticket.
Deciding on solar shades for the home can be beneficial in many ways. A preservation of health for you and your family, a preservation of any furniture in or outside the home if guarded by the solar shades adequately, and a lifetime savings on energy bills for the home. At Affordable Blinds in Durango and Farmington, an expert will take measurements and speak with you to ensure you will receive the best set of solar shades for your home. All window blinds are custom made for your windows,to ensure a perfect fit every time-making them the absolute best for your personal needs. Sources:

How Solar Screen Shades Work

2" Wood Blinds

Blinds and window coverings are often the finishing touch to your home. Here are a few items we come across quite often, and think you should be aware of.

1. Get The Blinds You Want:
The average home or business owner will order window coverings one time per residence, or about every 10 years. That means once you have gone through the process of deciding what you want and placed the order, you’re “in it to win it” as they say, so make sure its what you want.  Blinds are one of the items in the home that constantly get looked at both from the inside and the outside of the home.

There are also many add-ons that can improve your standard blinds. Blackout or Room Darkening options are the perfect example of something that a homeowner often wants but may not be considered at the time of purchase. If you work swing shifts, have wee little ones or just love to sleep in, something as small as opting for the blackouts in the master bedroom and nursery may make a huge difference in your day-to-day life (even if it’s for that lovely extra 15 minutes of sleep).


2. Keep Your Window Coverings Consistent:
Picture this: White wood blinds in the living room, brown blinds in the master, blackout honeycombs in the den. Sound hodge-podge?
It is.
Best Practices in choosing window coverings say consistency is key. Keeping your window coverings consistent throughout your home is the best way to increase curb appeal, increase your home value, and give your home a very unified feel. Taking curb appeal into consideration is very important, especially if you know you’d like to eventually move. You and others will be viewing your home from outside. Everyday. There are however products that work well together to give a cohesive look.
For example, white shutters in the front of the home can be paired with the same color of white  wood or faux wood blinds in the back of the home. This is a great direction if you love shutters, but are looking for more affordable options. There are also some common

exceptions, such as solar screen roller shades that are often located in more outdoor areas such as a covered patio or sunroom etc.

If you are looking to personalize each room, consider having fun with window treatments such as drapes and curtains etc.  This is great, especially if you are a do-it-yourselfer. There are so many fun options that can give an additional flair to the room while keeping a consistent base that provides a standard level of light control, privacy and energy efficiency.

Blinds for Sliding Glass Doors-Affordable Blinds
Honeycombs and matching slider for glass doors

3. Order Your Blinds At The Same Time:
Every day you come home and you pull into the drive; you give your property a good once over. Everything is in check. The new blinds look great and really add to the overall look and feel of you’re home or facade. You get that warm, fuzzy feeling and the world is at peace. Then you see it, the gaping glaring empty space in the garage window, or the little windows next to the front door that you didn’t order. You thought, “Oh, we don’t need that one! It‘s just the garage,” or, “That room? We’re never in there,”. This made complete sense when you were considering all of your the window covering options and placing your order. But now you have to look at it every time you come home or at night when that gaping dark spot is just a tad bit unsettling. Never fear, you can always add those little ones you missed. It will require an additional appointment to measure and install, of course.

Budget is often a large factor when choosing window coverings. However, keep in mind you will be living with your blinds quite a while, so you want to be happy with your choice. One way to get everything you want is to split it into 2 orders or you can “leg it out” and order a few blinds each month as your budget allows. (Just don’t wait too long in between orders, as fabrics and colors can be retired and unavailable from time to time). Another option to get what you want is to pair complimentary products as noted above..

4. Consider Physical Limitations:
Physical restraints aren’t something people think about when booking an appointment for window coverings. However, there may be some special considerations for the household that need to be taken into account. During your discovery meeting, make sure to mention any physical limitations that may impede or make it difficult to operate or enjoy your window coverings such as inability to raise arms to a certain degree, bend low, lean over things (like the couch). Certain movements can be a

little more cumbersome and difficult, especially if you’ve had injuries previously. For example, you may have a large window that you would like to have a honeycomb or cellular shade. The shade may be considered heavy for a person with arthritis to grab and pull a small thin cord and tassel to get the blind up and down. Solutions or alternatives might include: a cordless option that can easily move up and down without cords, remote control units that can raise and lower with the push of a button, 2” woods with slats that can be opened or closed with an easy pull of a string to change the position of the slats to allow light control and privacy.

5. Go With A Professional:
They’re blinds, how hard can they be – right? Before you go running to your favorite home improvement store here are a few  benefits of going with a professional you should consider.

  • We come to you. That means you can see examples of blinds or shades in your windows to make sure you will get exactly what you want (in-home quotes are complimentary by the way)
  • Not all windows are created equal. Windows are square or have true straight edges; casements may be a different story. Square does not necessarily mean level either. So what happens if your casement is not truly square? Some shades may not roll all the way down if it’s a tight fit or you may find that they rub against the casement of the window when maneuvering slats or panels won’t open & close correctly if the casement isn’t level. Having a professional come out to take measurements, check casement sizes, window depth are all things that we do.
  • Not all walls are created equal. Concrete, stucco, brick metal casing etc. can literally be a pain in the neck if you are unfamiliar with how to install window coverings into those types of materials. Letting a window professional come into your home who knows how to install your shades, rollers, or honeycomb blinds into different materials is a huge benefit.
  • When you hire a professional, you get all the benefits of the expertise, the knowledge and the advice. We’ve been in the window coverings business for 24 years and are passionate about what we do. Let us help you find the perfect blinds, shades, or shutters for your home today!
  • We Care! As a privately owned, locally operated business serving Durango Colorado and Farmington  New Mexico we know that your house is your home. We want every customer to feel like their home is one in a million so we pride ourselves on providing you with quality, honest service and great products at an affordable price.