Every year, Dad removed the storm windows all around the house and replaced them with window screens. Those years are long gone, replaced with newer and more efficient methods of practical protection from heat and cold. Exterior patio screening is kept in place year ‘round to shield from the cold, reduce accumulation of dust and debris, and protect the sides of the house from the heat of the sun. Shaded areas are cooler in temperature than those exposed to direct sun. In the southwest in particular, many homes are constructed of stucco and stone which holds heat. Patios which received direct sun are much hotter because of this and take much longer to cool down at night, much as brick, concrete and stone buildings in cities contribute to much higher temperatures than in less built up areas.
By shielding outdoor patios with exterior screening, heat from the sun is greatly reduced and the sides of the home will be much cooler to the touch. As a result, interior walls of the home are also cooler and the living areas they enclose. When temperatures are cooler, patio screens can be rolled up to receive heat from the sun, warm the exterior walls, and thereby reduce the need for fuel and electric heating indoors. In spring months when the wind blows, screening can be rolled down to protect from chilly winds and reduce dust and debris accumulation. Constructed of a heavy vinyl mesh, screens can be custom fabricated the fit the width and height of each area. They allow light to pass through, but block more than 85% of the sun’s UV rays and most of the wind. When used effectively, patio screening can contribute to a 25% reduction or more in energy costs.