Buyers Guide : Replacement Window Screens and Solar Screens

Custom Window Screens "Factory Built to Your Specifications"


General Information about Window Screens

At, we classify Window Screens as screens used to protect against insects, as well as provide ventilation.

suntex 90 solar screen fabric fiberglass window screens fiberglass window screen
Vertical Half Screens Horizontal Half Screens Full Screens

The most common materials used for insect screening material are aluminum, fiberglass, and in some cases PVC (for solar insect screens). Fiberglass is flexible, economical and easy to install. It will not crease, dent or unravel. Fiberglass mesh is also more opaque than aluminum mesh, allowing for greater visibility.

One key difference between types of Window Screen material is the MESH SIZE. You'll see dimensions like 18×16 mesh (standard); or other sizes like 18×14 (good for pool, patio & porch insect screening) and 20×20 (no-see-um screens). So for an 18x16 mesh, this means that within one square inch, there are 18 horizontal fibers and 16 vertical fibers.

All orders for window screens are custom made to your specifications.



Fiberglass Window Screens

Fiberglass is the most common type of window screen; and Phifer's Fiberglass is woven from glass yarn and coated with a protective vinyl to ensure lasting beauty, color and flexibility. It is produced under the most exacting conditions to meet extremely rigid specifications.  There are a number of different types of Fiberglass window screen products that you can choose from to ensure the best result for your intended use.

  1. Standard Window and Door Screen
  2. Pool and Patio Screen - Pool, Patio and Porch Screen is stronger than standard fiberglass screen, making it ideal for large openings such as screen porches and patio and pool enclosures.  Designed for applications where extra strength is desired.  18x14 Mesh.
  3. BetterVueTM - Combines excellent visibility from the inside (improving the view) while providing excellent insect protection due to 30% smaller openings than standard screen.  BetterVueTM allows for better curb appeal when viewing windows from the street, and improved airflow as a result of increased openness in the mesh.  This is an excellent product for Coastal Regions.
  4. UltraVueTM - UltraVue® does for windows and doors what high-definition technology has done for television viewing; it maximizes the view by making it sharper and more brilliant. This innovative insect product enhances your view by making it sharper and more brilliant. UltraVue's finer mesh has been engineered to allow better airflow and improved insect protection while maintaining strength and durability.
  5. No-See-Um Screen - This specialty screen is intended to provide the best protection from small insects. Even though it's more tightly woven, No-See-Um still provides good ventilation and visibility while providing some daytime privacy.  The mesh count (threads per square inch) is 20 x 20 as compared to the standard 18 x 16 mesh insect screens.


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Aluminum Window Screens

Aluminum Window Screen is strong and durable screening that resists rust and will not sag. A protective finish prevents corrosion and strengthens the weave.

  • Black Aluminum Screen offers the BEST outward visibility available in an aluminum screen product.
  • Brite Aluminum Screen is the traditional screening product when aluminum material is chosen.
  • Charcoal Aluminum Screen helps to reduce the glare, improving outward visibility


Solar Insect Window Screens

Solar Insect Screens offer the ultimate in insect protection while at the same time blocking up to 65% of the sun’s heat and glare. This screen also improves daytime privacy while offering excellent outward visibility.  Solar insect screening works whether the windows are open or closed.

Regular Fiberglass Insect Screens offer about 30% shading; where as Phifer® Solar Insect Screens block up to 65% of the sun's hot rays.



Window Screen Use Table

For an overall look at the different properties of window screens and the different factors that might affect your purchase decision, see the chart below:

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What are Solar Screens?

Solar Screens are an easily installable, exterior full-window screens that:

  1. Absorb and dissipate a large percentage of solar heat and glare before it reaches windows and doors; keeping the glass and interior cooler.
  2. Act as a insect screening solution; allowing you to replace regular insect screening on windows, doors and porches.
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Solar Screens
Specialty Solar Screens

At, we use Phifer SunTex® screen material. SunTex is a unique woven mesh that can block 80-90% of the sun’s hot rays before they enter your windows. SunTex is ideal for use as a shading fabric on windows, doors and porches and offers good ventilation. This heavy-duty fabric made of strong vinyl-coated polyester is resistant to pet damage. Developed originally for use in outdoor furniture, SunTex is mildew and fade resistant and needs only an occasional cleaning with mild soap and water.


How do Solar Screens Work?

Depending upon the grade of solar screen installed, a solar screen can block up to 90 percent of the sun's heat instead of letting it through to the window glass. The image below represents the type of blockage that a solar screen will provide.

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What Type of Solar Screens are Best?

This depends on what you would like to accomplish.  The table below outlines the benefits and characteristics of the different choices of Solar Screen Material.

SunTex® 70 SunTex® 80 SunTex® 90
  • blocks up to 70% of the sun's heat
  • has an Openness Factor of 30% (meaning higher visibility when looking from the inside to outside).
  • Only available in Black.
  • SunTex® 70 is the most economical solution providing good solar protection at the most affordable price.
  • provide up to 80% blockage of the sun’s heat
  • with an Openness Factor of 25% (meaning a bit less visibility than the SunTex 70).
  • Available in a variety of colors to match the exterior of your home.
  • We typically recommend SunTex® 80 as the all-around best value; providing excellent protection at a moderate price.
  • the ultimate heat blockage, providing up to 90% blockage of the sun's heat.
  • has an Openness Factor of 10% (which make the house darker and slightly restrict visibility)
  • Available in a variety of colors to match the exterior of your home.
  • SunTex® 90 is the highest end solar screen product we offer, and will provide the highest level of protection, but at a bit more costly price.

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Solar Screen Rebate Programs

There are rebate programs from federal, state, city and local governments as well as private programs available.  View our interactive rebate map to see what programs are available in your area.

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