Some Commonly Asked Questions:
Q: Why do Black and Brown cost less than the other colors?
A: Darker colors are the most functional and the most popular. There is a little price advantage because
I do more volume in these colors. Offering a discount tends to increase demand, which helps me to streamline
my inventory and process making the discount worthwhile.
Q: How much can I expect to save on my electric bill?
A: SRP claims that by shading all sun-struck windows you can save up to 25% of your cooling costs. With 80% screens
a good portion of that savings may be obtained. Maximum savings will be achieved with 90% Suntex, but with a reduction in natural light. Figure your
cooling cost by subtracting out the "base" amount of your electric bill. (For example one month
when you didn't use heat or AC your bill was $80. In July your bill was $280. Your
cooling cost is $200 for July.)
Q: It gets so HOT in Arizona, why would anyone choose 80% instead of 90% screens?
A: There are a few reasons, the most common is to allow more sunlight
to illuminate the room while still having some protection. Common applications for Suntex 80 are windows where the
sun exposure is minimal, or on any room where maximum natural light is preferred.
Q: Will Suntex 90 block too much of the light, making my rooms too dark?
A: Suntex 90 does make a noticeable change in the lighting of your rooms.
It's a natural tradeoff, blocking most of the sun's heat does require a reduction in the amount of light coming in. In the end it is a personal choice and only you can say
how much light is needed in your home.
It may help to consider which concerns you more: having too much heat, -or- having too much shade.
Q: If the screens block so much of the sun won't 90% screens also block some of my view?
A: There is a lot of material in the 90% screens, but
the straight-ahead view from back in the room (away from the window) is actually better than the old 70% sun screens, but the room will be darker. If you are trying see
out at an extreme angle to the window then your view will be blocked, it's the same properties
that block more of the sun as the angle gets sharper.
Q: How can you charge less than the competition and stay in business?
A: It's simple, my overhead is much lower than the larger screen shops.
I carefully control everything I do so my scrap and rework costs are extremely low, and thanks to referrals I spend almost nothing on advertising. I pass the savings to my customers
and enjoy seeing them pleased with the high quality at a great price.
Q: What is your warranty?
A: Five years against any defects for all window screens. I warranty the rollers on patio door screens for one year, but they are a cheap and easy fix when they go bad. My warranty does not cover abuse or neglect, you need to make sure your clips stay snug and are not loose. Screens will only blow off when the clips are left loose. If you make sure all the clips are snug when putting screens back on they will stay in place. It is an easy and important step that unfortunately too many window washers don't take seriously. A screwdriver should always be used to both remove and re-install screens.
Q: What about low-E windows, I hear they don't need solar screens?
A: There are two factors to consider in energy efficient low-E windows. The first
is the insulating or R-value, which is the ability to stop thermal energy (cool or warm air) from
passing through. The second is the Shading/solar Coefficient (SC), or the ability of solar energy to pass
through. In our hot climate a low SC is desired (a low SC means
little solar energy passes through). Some low-E windows have achieved an SC of .35, which is comparable to a 70% solar screen. This is a remarkable achievement in window technology. Solar screens do remain as the most effective at rejecting solar energy, but the choice is a personal one. The lowest
possible cooling bills would be achieved with the highest R-value and the lowest SC value
(Suntex 90 has an SC of approximately .1).
Q: Should I remove the screens during winter months?
A: It's a personal choice, if you want a little more solar heat gain during the coldest
winter months you can certainly remove the screens. Just take care in storing them that nothing
pushes against the screen to stretch it out of shape.
Q: I can't easily turn the clips to remove the screens for cleaning.
A: Though they appear to simply twist off, the clips should be kept snug enough that high
winds over time cannot work the screen loose. In most cases a turn with a Phillips screwdriver
will loosen the clips enough to twist off. Remember to re-tighten when putting the screen back on.
Q: How do I keep my screens clean?
A: If they are just dusty a light rinsing with a hose should easily take the dust off.
Q: My screens are dirty and they won't rinse off easily, how can I clean them?
A: When dirt becomes "baked" on the screen they are a little harder to clean.
A soft window scrubber and some mild detergent should do the trick. Be sure to rinse well to
remove all the detergent. Also take care not to stretch the screen out of shape.
Q: How do you attach the screens to my windows?
A: I use the clips the way they were designed to be used, by attaching them to the outer edge of the exposed window frame. Some companies prefer to build oversized one-piece screens, and they claim that mounting into the stucco has advantages. I simply don't follow their logic. When the clips attach to exposed frame (the outer edge, away from the glass) they have a supportive base and are secure. On virtually every home where screen clips are mounted into stucco I have found loose clips, where they have fallen off the screen frame and are doing nothing to hold the screen on.
Q: Will the screens be more effecive if the entire window frame is covered?
A: This is one of the selling points of some screen shops and in my opinion is simply a sales line. Solar screens do help
shade the window but they are still a "partial" shade. As long as some sun is still hitting the glass the amount of heat
radiating through the window frame is negligible. The real problem is solar energy easily penetrates the glass and then is trapped inside, creating heat. The primary focus should be on shading the glass, and until all the direct rays are completely blocked the thermal conductivity of
the frame is a minimal issue. Windows will never insulate like a wall, but shading the glass from direct sun can significantly reduce your cooling costs.
Q: Do solar screens affect the window warranty?
I have talked with many experienced construction related professionals over the years on the pros and cons of different installation methods. I installed screens on the personal residence of a custom home builder, and he made it perfectly clear to me that he did not want any holes drilled through
the stucco into the wood frame. The reason is the screw can wick moisture into
the wood and become a source of dry rot. It also opens up the stucco which can lead
to additional problems there.
I spoke with another man who represented two generations in the window business. He
said attaching anything to any window (of the manufacturers that he was familiar with)
will void the warranty, no matter how it is installed. This includes things such as automatic closers on patio doors, aftermarket locks or even some security sensors. He admitted it didn't make sense that screens placed over windows should void a warranty, because the shade screens actually keep the glass cooler and protect the
seal, but it seems manufacturers like to have any way possible out of the warranty. The result is homeowners are often placed in an impossible situation. When they have a pool and need an automatic door closer they have no choice but to void the warranty. When they want to reduce their utility bills and protect their glass they are faced with voiding a “warranty.” I have not
found anyone that can give me a logical reason why the way I install screens
should void the warranty. I attach clips away from the seal of the glass, it is
often where holes or screws already exist in the window frame, or where stucco
exists immediately behind the frame.
One day I heard a sales pitch from a screen company that installs screens by drilling through stucco outside the window frame. The salesman said “90% of screen companies attach clips to the exposed window frame.” I immediately wondered: if it is not a good way to install screens, why would 90% of screen companies do business that way? In my experience the cleanest, most secure, longest lasting install method is this way that “90%” of screen companies, including myself, utilize.
I understand that when some people hear that installing screens by drilling into the stucco may preserve their window warranty they may choose that route. I won't tell them they are wrong, my only goal is to educate that there are more things to consider. Drilling through the stucco can introduce other problems, and in the end the warranty may not even be honored after all. I have had customers that recieved warranty service after I installed screens. There was some hassle, but in the end the warranty was honored because it was obvious the screen install had nothing to do with the problem. The good news is the vast majority of homeowners will not find themselves in need of using the window warranty. I do have hope that some companies exist with the integrity to stand behind their products.
A: I am aware of the debate around window warranties and the strategies to preserve them. I hear the claim being circulated that installing clips through the stucco will preserve the window warranty. I install screens the way I believe is best when all things are considered.
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