The “Other Solar”: Solar Shades, Energy, and “Going Solar”

Recently hubby and I met with someone in our home to discuss “going solar”. There was much discussion about the benefits of “going solar”… for our wallets, for the community, and for the environment. Clean, renewable energy. Shrinking our carbon footprint. Maintaining a more efficient household, thereby saving money and resources. Being part of the Insolroll family, it’s become second nature for me to think about the energy efficiency of solar screen shades, and the beneficial effects of putting them in your windows, but the longer the conversation went on, the more I realized that NOT EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT THE OTHER SOLAR! So I got my chance to talk with the guy from Solar City about solar shades and their potential.

Mr. Solar was an environmental scientist in another life, who had come onboard with his company because of the opportunity and impact of SOLAR. He was extremely knowledgeable, and I admit I was surprised that he wasn’t more aware of the impact solar shades can have in a home or a business. He showed us with charts and graphs how our highest, red zone energy usage was in the summer. Electricity is what gets us all through the hot months, and the cost from utility companies is higher for every kilowatt hour, so that’s how your energy bill can skyrocket. Now, solar cells on my roof can really harvest significant energy during the long summer days, but unfortunately, my home can also harvest significant solar energy (*HEAT!*) during those same lovely days. Solar shades reduce the amount of heat that makes it into the room. A lot. You can feel the difference when you pass your hand in front of an unshaded window versus a window covered with a solar screen shade. Your thermostat can feel the difference too, and will call upon your air conditioner much less to bring the home to a comfortable temperature. So you NEED LESS electricity, no matter how it’s generated.

solar energy and solar shades

There’s plenty of science behind solar screen fabrics and their effectiveness. We could really go into depth on the data (and we will, in future posts!) for light colors, dark colors, and high performance metallized and KoolBlack Technology fabrics. But the bottom line is: solar screen shades keep your home cooler, and reduce energy usage. Reducing your demand means spending less, and if I “go solar”, more of MY power going back to the utility company for a credit on my bill and decreasing the use of coal-generated energy by other folks on the grid. So don’t ignore the “other solar”… it’s good for all of us!