Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are sun screens or solar screens?
A: Sun screens & solar screens are the same sun blocking green product. The two terms are synonymous to one another and completely interchangeable. Solar screens are an exterior window or door treatment, custom made for your window or door openings that will block up to 90% of the sun’s rays from entering your home or office. Imagine a window screen that covers your entire window-after installed; the Solar screens will block the sun’s heat before it hits your windows.
Q: Are solar screens considered energy efficient and a green product?
A: Numerous studies and research has been completed on the effects of solar screens versus the other types of shading products. The studies have been completed by University of Florida,University of Texas, University of Arizona, U.S. Dept. of Energy, and the Florida Solar Energy Center/ University of Central Florida. Solar screens are by far the best way to block the sun from entering your windows and doors per the University of Florida study. Solar screens will block most of the sun’s rays from hitting your window glass and eliminating heat gain. The more heat gain you reduce in your home or office, the less your Air Conditioner will have to work, the more your air conditioner is not running it helps to prolong the life of your Air Conditioner. Blocking the ultra violet rays is essential to power savings and reduced wear on your mechanical equipment.
Q: Can we see out of our windows with a clear view after you install sun screens?
A: Yes. The view is barely obstructed. The view is much better than alternative methods of blocking the sun e.g. plantation shutters, awnings, exterior shutters, or film or tint. The view from inside of your home or office is much like looking through a window that has tint or film applied.
Q: Are people able to look inside our house after solar screens are installed?
A: Your neighbors and people casually walking by your home will not be able to see inside. During the daylight hours it’s virtually impossible to see to the interior of your living space from the street, or even with your face pressed against the screen. At night when you have lights on, it is easier to see inside from the outside, but the view is somewhat diffused and clouded – you will most likely see only silhouettes of people walking by lamps or other sources of light. The sun screens work on light differential principles.
Q: Will Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens use our existing window screen frames to build our solar screens?
A: No. We custom make sun screens to fit your entire window opening. We only use top of the line Aluminum frame, and of course, our solar screen material.
Q: What is the comment that Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens hears most often?
A: We receive a lot of positive feedback and referrals from our customers. Probably the comment we hear most is “we can use that room again”. We have been told by many customers that they can not use a particular room in their home in the summer months due to the uncomfortable temperature the room reaches from heat gain. We’ve had quite a few clients that just keep the door closed on the room that is “too hot” and pretty much don’t use it the entire summer. After we install our solar screens, drastically reducing heat gain through their windows, the customer is able to utilize the closed room again.
Q: Are there electric utility incentives or rebates for installing solar screens?
A: Currently a minimum number of Electric Utility Companies in the state of Florida offer any form of incentive for installing solar screens on your home or office.
Q: Are your solar screens made in America?
A: Yes. All of our solar screens are fabricated in South Florida. All of our material that we use to fabricate our screens is also made in America. None of the materials we use is manufactured outside of the U.S.
Q: Can I have just one window solar screen or door solar screen installed on our home?
A: Yes. We will install as many, or as few sun screens as you need.
Q: Will I save money on my power bill?
A: Yes. The many studies and research suggest you will save about 25-30% on your summer cooling bills. The majority of your total power bill is for air conditioning in the summer months. You will notice a significant difference in your power bill and the comfort of your home after we install solar screens on your windows.
Q: How long does it take to get sun screens installed on our house?
A: From the time of deposit to project completion should not exceed 2 weeks. Obviously this is weather dependant. Once you call, we will set up an appointment date for an estimator to field measure your windows and/ or doors. The estimator will give you a proposal for the cost of the sun screens you’d like. Once you agree to the proposed cost for your sun screens; we will give you an installation date – this date is most usually seven days from the date of proposal.
Q: Do we leave our existing window screens on, or should we remove them?
A: Our installation crew will remove your window screens and set them all together by your front door or garage.
Q: Are Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens solar screens better than window tint or window film?
A: Absolutely. The many studies and research show that solar screens are the very best way to stop heat gain through your window and door glass. Window tint and window film will bubble, peel, and crack after a few years and tends to be very expensive. The homeowner is unable to remove window tint or window film in the winter months. Even with window tint or window film; the sun’s rays are still hitting and heating the window glass. Window glass heated by the sun’s rays can produce 230 BTU’s per square foot. The secret to stopping heat gain in your rooms or offices is to block the sun before it hits the glass with solar screens. Solar screens absorb and deflect the sun’s rays before it hits the glass.
Q: How long will it take to install sun screens?
A: It really depends on how many screens we’re installing at the time. It depends if your home or office is one or two or more stories/ floors. On an average size home our installation crew will be there about 2-3 hours.
Q: What color are the frames that I have to choose from?
A: Our stock colors are White, Bronze.
Q: What are the colors of the actual screen material that I can choose from?
A: The colors are Charcoal Gray, Bronze, Silver Gray, and Stucco. The Stucco color is a very bright Beige. Our most popular color is Charcoal screen with White Frame.
Q: Do you install sun screens on commercial buildings?
A: Yes. We can install our sun screens on commercial, residential, multi-family, government, hotels, condos, and resorts.
Q: How will Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens install sun screens on our home?
A: We have several different attachment methods that we use to install your solar screens. Depending if your home is constructed of block or wood frame, and/ or what type windows you have installed is the how we match the attachment method. The attachments we routinely use are self-tapping TEK screws, Brick Clips, Thumb Clips and Industrial 3M Velcro.
Q: Can we (as homeowners) install sun screens on our home after you fabricate and deliver them?
A: Yes. You are welcome to install your own solar window screens. We can deliver the screens with installation hardware and the homeowner can install. Our proposed quote includes installation; however we will adjust the quote accordingly if the homeowner installs their own screens.
Q: What is your payment policy?
A: The company policy is for payment of 50% at the time the proposal is signed by the homeowner or storeowner. The 50% balance is due after the solar screens are installed.
Q: What are your payment methods that you accept?
A: We accept Cash, Check and all major credit cards.
Q: Can we remove our sun screens in the winter?
A: Yes. Either the homeowner can remove the solar screens, or ruce’s Cool Sun Screens will remove them for a small fee. One of the many benefits of solar screens as opposed to window tint, or film, is that the solar screens can be removed in the winter months to capture the sun’s heat.
Q: Do we need our Homeowner Association approval?
A: You may. If your home is part of an HOA, you may want to submit Solar screen samples and brochure for approval prior to fulfilling your order with us. Historically, HOA’s have been quite receptive to the energy savings solar screens can bring to the homeowner.
Q: Will Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens block golf balls?
A: Yes. We will guarantee against window breakage due to golf balls if we are allowed to install the screens on the face of the wall as opposed to a recessed installation against the window.
Q: How will sun screens affect the appearance of the outside of my house?
A: In many instances solar screens will enhance the appearance of your window openings from the outside. Due to solar screens, people are unable to see the different types of interior window treatments used to try to stop the sun and heat gain. With the right color combination of frame/ screen – the appearance of all window openings will be improved greatly. We have found that the overall aesthetics of the home has improved, which in effect appreciates the value of your property.
Q: Can Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens install solar screen material on our lanai?
A: Yes. We can install solar screens on your lanai or enclosed porch area in one of two ways. We can use your existing extruded frame, remove your old insect screen material and install our solar screening. The only drawback to this method is the inability to remove in the winter months; however it is more cost effective for the homeowner. The other option is to fabricate frames and install at lanai or porch area.
Q: What size frame and hardware do you use to fabricate your solar screens?
A: We only use 1″ x 5/16″ roll-formed aluminum frame stock. We miter all frame corners and use inside aluminum corners pieces to connect the frames together. The frame stock and hardware Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens uses it the best in the industry. Inside aluminum corners are superior to outside plastic corners because plastic corners succumb to the sun’s UV rays after a few years and deteriorate leaving the screen weak and possibly damaged beyond usefulness.
Q: How much money can I save on my utility bills?
A: The results for each home or building will vary, studies indicate a home or building having all sun struck windows shaded, can produce a savings up to 50% or more on cooling costs. Since windows account for almost 50% of the cooling cost of your home (more than the roof, walls, and attic COMBINED), it only makes sense to treat these areas with the most proven, cost effective, efficient, window treatment on the market today. At today’s energy prices, the savings are substantial, and the screens quickly “pay for themselves”. Return on investment is spectacular!
Q: What kind of solar screens does Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens install?
A: Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens only installs Phifer brand solar screens and shades. Phifer has been in business since 1952, and is the largest and most well known brand in the industry today. Do not be fooled by other companies trying to sell another brand of solar screen. Many other brands were originally designed for outdoor patio furniture, not for solar screens. Do not be fooled, insist on the best solar screen on the market today: Phifer brand solar screens. Phifer is the only material on the market that is “pet resistant.” No other solar screen manufacturer has the confidence in their product to make that claim.
Q: How much do solar screens cost?
A: Solar screens are considered by many, the most cost-effective, enhancement you can make to a home or building, for the money. Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens can measure, professionally build, and install the average sized solar screen for around $135/ window. Many people consider “window replacement” as a money-saving enhancement to their home/building, but starting at $500 per window requires many years in the home to “break even”, and the new “window replacement” still may not be as effective in controlling the sun’s heat and glare as the $135 solar screen. Even today’s new “high performance” windows can greatly benefit from solar screens.
Q: Will installing solar screens negatively affect my window warranty?
A: Solar screens will not affect any portion of your window warranty. Window manufacturers of double pane windows have indicated they may void your window warranty if a window tint or window film is applied. Tint or film can cause excessive heat to build between the panes of glass, and cause the seal between the panes of glass to fail. Solar screens actually benefit the window by shading the window from the outside, which makes solar screens the most effective window treatment on the market today, bar none. Solar screens also help keep your home warm in the winter by acting as a “thermal blanket” around your windows (much like storm shutters) by keeping most of the cold winter breezes away from the window. Unlike most any other window treatments such as blinds, drapes, shutters, curtains; solar screens do not need to be opened or closed to derive the benefits, they work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without ever blocking your view.
Q: Is there any maintenance involved with solar screens?
A: Usually, a simple rinsing with a water hose will clean your solar screens. If you encounter something requiring more cleaning power, a soft window brush and some mild detergent should do the trick. Just make sure all the detergent is removed, to avoid build-up. For a nominal fee Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens will inspect, tighten and clean your screens.
Q: Is your company licensed and insured?
A: Bruce’s Cool Sun Screens carries full general liability insurance and will gladly have our carrier forward a copy of our insurance certificate at your request. Currently a license is not required in Florida to fabricate and install sun screens.
Q: There seems to be an excessive amount of heat in an area of my house where there are a lot of windows. What can I do to keep heat from entering my home through these windows?
A: The best way to dispel the heat is to block the direct solar radiation before it gets to the window. You can do this with exterior shade created by a tree, fence, trellis, awning, shutters or solar screen. A solar screen absorbs solar radiation outside before it reaches the window.