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Sun Shades

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quick tips for purchasing outdoor sun shades

1. Fun in the sun or made in the shade

With retractable patio sun shades, the choice is yours. They allow you to enjoy the best things about patios - fresh air, great views - while blocking out the bad things like UV rays, bugs, and nosy neighbors. It's like creating patio windows out of thin air.

2. Unique Advantages as Window Coverings

Sun shades hold special benefits over traditional interior window treatments such as curtains or blinds. Because window sun shades block sunlight from the outside, they significantly reduce the amount of solar heat that enters a home, which reduces utility costs.

3. Added Privacy

Though usually installed for shade provision and heat reduction, sun shades offer some great secondary benefits. One is privacy. From the outside, they're opaque, but from the inside, you can still enjoy a clear view. Another secondary benefit - especially in mosquito season - is keeping insects from ruining your patio party. Sun shades can also enclose most outdoor structures, increasing the usefulness of pergolas, pavilions, and more.

4. Necessary Dimensions

When measuring for exterior sun shades, it's important to measure in three different places for both height and width. For height, measure at each end and in the middle; for width, measure at top, middle, and bottom. Use the narrowest width measurement and the tallest height measurement.

5. Important Material Features

Its important to consider the density or openness (which also includes material type) of your sun shade. The density or opacity of solar shades is indicated by a percentage rating. A lower openness rating (or tighter weave fabric) supplies more shade and less view.

6. Cost Effective

Homeowners who've installed sun-blocking window technologies such as low emissivity glass, aka low-e glass, usually find that outdoor sun shades are a more effective option. Solar screens - unlike low-e glass - block UV light before it reaches the window. Another huge advantage is cost: low-e glass windows are much more expensive than a quality window sun shade.

Explore even more backyard shade solutions in our helpful post to complete your outdoor space.