Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Solar Window Screens Dark or Light Screen Choices

We've all seen solar window screens and they come in myriad colors but why do people choose lighter or darker screens when making their selection?

Darker Solar Screens
Solar screens in darker colors are easier to see through, they don't reflect the screens light so you look past the screen to the view outside.

Illustrated below you see the difference between the solar screen view outside and the interior view through the window.
dark solar screens view outward
View out through dark solar screens.

dark solar screens from outside
Same dark solar screens from outside.

Dark solar screens outward and inward view
Outward and inward view of dark solar screens.

Lighter Solar Screens
Lighter solar screens are more difficult to see out of because your eye focuses on the screen itself yet that same quality makes the interior of the home brighter with all of the sun blocking benefits of solar screens.

Light colored solar screens
Light colored solar screens

It's really a choice between what you want or need in your home. If the lighter solar shades match your house brick and you want more interior light you'd choose them. But if it's the view you crave you'll want a darker shade screen like bronze or black.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Austin Energy Rebate: Affordable Screens & Glass
Multifamily Savings of up to 70% off Solar Screens

Looking to improve your multifamily property while saving tens of thousands of dollars? With the Austin Energy rebate though the PowerSaver program you can be approved for thousands of dollars in rebates. Austin Energy, instead of purchasing new coal fired plants, has made available funds  through the City council to reduce energy consumption. This is called the PowerSaver program. One such rebate offer is for solar screens. Solar screens save on energy consumption and look good too.


  • Save up to 70% of the Price
  • Improve Curb Appeal
  • Standardize Window Appeareance
  • Hide Apartment Interiors
  • Increase Daytime Privacy
  • Block UV
  • Reduce fading of Apartment interiors
  • Lower Energy Usage


Apartment Solar Screen Gallery - Check out our gallery of solar screens where our installations happen. Before and after pictures, solar screens in progress and more.

Experienced PowerSaver Contractor

  • Austin PowerSaver program experience
  • Multifamily solar screen installer
  • Austin Apartment Association Member
  • Insured contractor
  • Compliance Depot
  • Ops Technology
  • BBB Accredited A+ Rating
  • Free Estimate
And, we don't scrimp on our solar screens. At Affordable Screens & Glass we utilize Phifer products exclusively.  Phifer products are low-emitting, sustainable and anti-microbial.

About Phifer:

Phifer sun control fabrics are engineered to include the latest in technology and performance features making them the fabric of choice for the most demanding environments. whether you are looking for energy savings and light management, ease of maintenance, the latest in green technology or decorative appeal, Phifer has a fabric for any application. Learn more here: https://www.phifer.com
Learn more about the Austin Energy rebate https://savings.austinenergy.com/rebates/multifamily
Contact Us: http://clearchoiceaustin.com/appointment-contact/
Call: 512-358-1560

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When his little girl stopped wanting to play upstairs he knew he had to do something...

Solar screens work. 

A newcomer and former northerner surprised by our Texas sun testifies regarding his over heated house and how he solved the issue with solar screens.

It's heating up out there.

The Texas sun is unforgiving to homes without natural shade. You can't wait 10 years for a tree to grow, you need to control the sun and solar screens are the most efficient answer that won't break your budget. 

Schedule an in home consultation, it's free for our service area, and we're guaranteed affordable.
Call 512-358-1560 or Emailoffice@clearchoiceaustin.com

We service Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hill, Round Rock, Kyle, Buda, Pflugerville, Volente, around the lake and beyond. 

Sun struck home suffering from too much heat.
Solar screens rescue sun struck home.

Here is some of our work:

Solar screen installation for Austin Energy rebate @ award winning apartment complex in Austin, Texas.

Hail damaged window emergency response, in the process of boarding windows to protect the home immediately.

These solar screens on this quaint porch roll up and out of the way when not in use.

Foggy glass installation - before and after. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When to Replace or Repair Windows

With low wintertime temperatures the cold will creep in and pool at windows in need of repair or maintenance, plus drive up wintertime electricity bills.  Just like any other part of a house, windows require maintenance and repair and sometimes replacing if the damage is too great. Windows are the most vulnerable point in a home for heat loss. 

Take a look at the thermal image below. The red and orange coloration at the windows is where heat is escaping from the home.

Foggy window glass before repair
Fogged Window

How will you know if windows just need maintenance or require replacing? 

The general rule of thumb to follow for window repair versus replacement is to repair a window with spotty damage and replace a window with damage throughout. Take the example image at left. Here we have a window that is foggy. We would repair a fogged window.

Free professional onsite window evaluation and estimate: 512-358-1560Contact us online http://clearchoiceaustin.com

What about newer super efficient windows - Why not just replace all of the windows at once?

broken window
It would seem like the best solution might be newer, more energy efficient windows. Advances in technology and the Low-E double pane type are much more efficient now, than they were years ago. But do windows pay for themselves if replaced with more efficient models?
The short answer is no, you're better off repairing windows. We find most homeowners only replace windows when there is no other option.

Window efficiency: plugging in the numbers for replacement

Let's take an example and be generous with the numbers favoring replacing windows.
Here we will replace older, double paned windows, to more efficient Low-E, double pane models. With this upgrade you'll get a 15% savings on your energy bill according to House Logic. On an energy bill of 4800 a year that's 720 dollars a year, for all the windows in your home. This is a modest amount if you break it down per window. For my house that would be 48 dollars a window, per year. In this case newer energy efficient windows won't drive the cost of changing out all of the windows. However, better windows could be one determining factor. 

Best window options for your efficiency dollar

Take this house at left. This house is what we call in the industry sun-struck and in Austin the summer heat is a real problem. Sun struck homes are houses that capture all of the heat with no shade. For this real world example repairing windows and then adding instant shade with solar screens will greatly increase the window efficiency and save more energy dollars over time for the homeowner. 
Every home is different. For your specific, free, professional, window evaluation call 512-358-1560

Planned Obsolescence and forced Replacement Window

There are some cases due to the myriad types of window models changing throughout the years, where a window may require replacement due to lack of repair parts availability. Planned obsolescence, or the manufacturer no longer being in business may make it impossible to locate a random, very necessary, replacement part. In that case of course, you will be driven to replace a window rather than repair. In those cases most homeowners choose to replace the single window or two matching windows if close together and repair other windows in the home.
In conclusion, it usually makes sense to repair when the damage to a window has spotty damage and replace only when the window is un-repairable.
Call 512-358-1560 for a free window evaluation by Affordable Screens & Glass - your Austin professional glazier.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Life Pro Tip: Preventing Foggy Glass

I'm in the window business so I see a lot of foggy glass. Once your glass has failed it's too late, but can foggy glass be prevented?

The key to reducing the chances of a failed foggy glass window is shade.

How does shade help to prevent foggy window failures?
Foggy glass occurs when condensation builds inside windows as the air between the panes cools and heats throughout the cycle of day and night. Windows that accumulate more heat throughout the day are more likely to fail faster.
If your windows are unshaded or sun struck, we recommend solar screens rather than window films. Solar screens block up to 90% of the sun's energy, and, because they don't rest against your window, the heat is dissipated harmlessly into the air. Read more about why we choose solar screens over window films here.

LPT: reduce the chances of foggy glass by shading your windows.

Shameless plug: call and ask for me (Rick Middleton) for a free estimate and 30% savings on solar screens (512-358-1560) with no minimum purchase requirements.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Solar screens versus window film - cut summertime heat and AC bills

Affordable Screens & Glass chooses solar screens over solar films. Why do we choose to install solar screens and not window film?

Choosing between solar screens and window film can be confusing. Solar screens and window film both filter light and heat to save money on high summertime electricity bills, provide daytime privacy and filter out harmful UV rays. Both products are recommended by the City of Austin for single paned windows. The main differences are double paned windows and film reflectivity.

Double paned window, solar screens versus window films
  • Solar screens are recommended for double pane windows while window films can cause double pane windows to break or void the manufacturer's warranty.
    From the Florida Solar Energy Center: "...many double pane window manufacturers void their warranties if the homeowner puts a window film on their product. One reason for this is that when the film gets hot, it makes the pane it is affixed to get hot as well. The glass expands, and expands more than the outer glass without the film. This difference in expansion can create stresses in the window which in worst cases can cause the window to break, through no fault of the window."

Window film reflectivity

Currently we're sticking with solar screens for the local Austin area. Once the double pane window manufacturers stop voiding their warranties and the issues with reflectivity and/or odd colorations are sorted out we will analyze the solar film market and consider offering it in addition to solar screens. In the meantime, enjoy savings for now with 30% off our custom solar screens and for years to come.