Shades & Blinds 101: Resource Blog

The Power Of The Fortress

fortress-stacked-1When it comes to the most ruggedly constructed Outdoor retractable shade system on the market, there is one name that reigns supreme. That name?

The Fortress™ High Wind Zipper Track

Able to withstand up to 50 mph winds, this shade wins the frontline battle of shielding your property from the elements. The Fortress™ High Wind Zipper Track is indeed the top tiered difference maker when it comes to forcibly, and securely protecting your surrounding livable space. Continue reading

How Solar Shades Will Save You More Money

Windows have the lowest insulation value of any element in a building and are therefore responsible for the greatest energy loss. 50% of the solar heat that enters a room comes through the glass while 40% of the heat that escapes leaves through it.

Transparent solar shades significantly reduce the high cost of energy consumption for cooling and heating without sacrificing outward visibility. They maintain the open feeling of looking out. Because they quickly pay for themselves, with skyrocketing fuel costs they are like putting money in the bank.

Solar shades are a transparent woven material. They come in different densities or openness factors. The tighter the weave, the more heat that is rejected because light causes heat when it hits something solid and converts to heat energy.

Exterior Solar Shades are the best defense against the heat. They started in Europe as a way to keep buildings cool.  Because they absorb the solar radiation before it passes through and needs to be reflected out, they keep the interior much cooler. Darker colors on the exterior absorb more light and are therefore 10% more effective than light colors against the heat. The tighter the weave, the more sun they block and therefore the cooler you are on the inside.

Interior Solar Shades form an insulating air pocket between the shade and the window. Our high performance solar shades are enhanced with a layer of aluminum on the outside facing side to maximize heat rejection. You can use any color on the inside and still get maximum heat rejection. This is also great because darker colors give sharper outward visibility and better glare reduction. High performance solar shades actually stop more heat than a regular white shade.

If you don’t want the aluminum on the outside facing side, white or colors closest to it reflect the most heat back out through the glass in the summer. For instance, you will notice If you put your hand on a black car and a white car, the white car is always cooler. Again, tighter weaves will give more heat reduction because light causes heat. In the winter shades should be raised during the day to allow in the sun’s radiation. At night in the winter or on cloudy days they should be lowered to reflect heat back into the room.

Why Skylight Shades Are Essential For Your Home

Roller-Shade-Half-Open-Polynesian-SandsAh, the restorative powers of a bright, sunny sky. The very reason we love our skylights, right? They make the room brighter and give it a more open feeling. But, then there’s that downside. The room gets considerably hotter in the summer, colder in the winter, and furnishings begin to fade. And if the skylights happen to be where you want to take a nap, well, they just plain interfere.

We, at North Solar Screen, offer a variety of custom manufactured skylight shades to help alleviate these problems. Our skylight shades insulate, provide thermal comfort, and actually lower energy bills. They also reduce fading. Whether transparent, light filtering, room darkening, manually operated, or motorized, our treatments work year round to make you more comfortable.

For those who want an easy installation, we offer E-Z Install Skylight shades. They are fixed solar shade or light blocking panels that fit inside the skylight well, using hidden spring tension rods at each end to secure them. No tools are required.

If you prefer something retractable, our Double Honeycomb (Cellular) Insulated Skylight shades glide in tracks to stay in place. They provide thermal and draft protection. By acting as a thermal barrier, the double honeycomb air pockets trap cool air reducing unwanted heat gain in the summer, while retaining the heat during the winter. Manually operated, they open and close using a pole. They come in either light filtering or light blocking fabrics in array of different colors.

We also offer this version as a motorized skylight shade. It can be powered either by a battery wand, DC power supply, or a solar recharger. The motors are radio frequency controlled so that you can operate the shade with the touch of a button.

Lastly, if you have a big skylight up to 12 feet long, our Premium Insulated Honeycomb (Cellular) shades are gear operated with sidetracks for reliability and ease of use. These come in light filtering fabrics only.

Get your skylights under control so that they contribute to the ambiance, comfort and energy efficiency of your home. We wish you pleasant dreams if you need to take that power nap.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or call us at (866) 230–4700.

Clear Vinyl Outdoor Shades: Heavy-Duty Construction

clear_vinyl_5Choose North Solar Screen’s Heavy-Duty Clear Vinyl Shades to create an outdoor living space protected from the weather and the elements.

Main benefits of our outdoor solar shades:

  • Perfect for homes, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Extend your outdoor living season.
  • Embrace the warmth of the sun while being protected from the weather.
  • Insulate from the cold air.
  • Crank operated or motorized.
  • Custom manufactured up to 20-feet wide.
  • Can withstand high wind loads depending upon construction.

What are clear vinyl shades?

Our clear vinyl shades allow the warmth of the sun to fully penetrate an interior space while creating a barrier against the elements. This makes them the perfect choice to insulate your outdoor space and extend your living area through the seasons. They are great either for residential or commercial use. Combined with safe, outdoor heaters, these shades make otherwise too chilly areas warm and cozy.

Heavy-Duty Construction Clear vinyl shades allow you to enjoy your patio, porch, gazebo, pergola or lanai, in the cold weather, or when it is just plain unpleasant outdoors. The virtually see-through material allows undistorted visibility, maintaining a comfortable outdoor feeling. It also provides a protected area for plants. Our vinyl is double polished with a glossy finish which prevents it from sticking to itself in the humidity. Stain and moisture resistant, it has passed the rigorous 200 hour UV and Weather Test for temperature, snow, and rain. In fact, our heavy duty clear vinyl shades can withstand temperatures down to 0°F without cracking.

Shades can be raised and lowered by a crank or they can be motor controlled with the touch of a button. Optional timers and sun/wind sensors are also available to automatically raise and lower your shades. Every shade is custom manufactured to exacting standards with a variety of options that are designed fit to your needs.

North Solar Screen clear vinyl shades are constructed with superior components designed to last outdoors. They will not rust, corrode, or mold. Shades are mounted on heavy walled rollers to prevent sagging. The material is secured to the roller with a spline and sealed on the ends to prevent sliding. Sonic welding for larger dimensions ensures that shade seams will not come apart. To protect against the wind, at the bottom, a heavy duty chrome plated stainless steel weight bar rides up and down on a sturdy cable system. Side rails with extruded aluminum housing in 6 matching colors are also available. Every part of these shades has been engineered to exceed your needs for outdoor use.

Why choose North Solar Screen’s Heavy-Duty Clear Vinyl Shades?

Clear vinyl is a versatile solution for many needs. Our customers choose this solution for their outdoor living spaces:

  • To extend outdoor living by blocking cold air and the elements.
  • To enjoy all the benefits of a clear barrier without the cost and work of building an enclosed space.
  • To protect against winds of varying force.
  • To ensure a perfect fit because they are custom manufactured.
  • To protect plants against the cold.
  • To be confident that their shades have been constructed to exacting standards with superior components built to last.

We make the perfect fit an easy job.

A shade or blind is a fairly simple concept, but the details of measurement, fabrication, and installation can seem complex. Depending on the environment and wind load you may need a heavier duty solution or a unique configuration to meet your space. Our highly-trained staff will advise you about different clear vinyl shade alternatives. We will guide you every step of the way, help simplify the details, and make the ordering process an easier one. Rely on the North Solar Screen team of experts, and enjoy outdoor living.

What are the alternatives?

If clear vinyl shades are not what you’re looking for there are a lot of other choices. These range from transparent solar shade fabrics that stop heat, glare and fading, to total light-blocking for both daytime and night time privacy. North Solar Screen has a full line of both indoor and outdoor energy saving shades to fit your exact dimensions. All are built with superior components.

Contact North Solar Screen and let us show you how to Rule the Sun: Visit our website at or call us at (866) 230–4700.

Solar Shades: Enjoy the View Without the Harm

Solar shades are the modern window covering solution that keeps homes cooler while on saving energy costs. These transparent shades also protect interior furnishings from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It is important that the shade doesn’t compromise the outward view while keeping your valuable possessions safe from the sun’s fading rays. Shades can be manually operated or motorized.

Our solar shades are custom manufactured to your exact specifications. They reject the sun’s harsh heat during the summer and help to retain the room’s heat during the winter, They are built to last and easy to use. Made with the highest quality materials, our solar shades do a great job of protecting your home furnishings from the fading UV rays, cutting the sun’s glare and keeping the room more comfortable.

Below, we’ll talk a little about how you can enjoy the daytime view without the typical harm associated with harmful UV rays.

How Solar Shades Protect Your Home From UV Rays

The interior of your home can take a beating from the sun’s UV rays The sun bleaches, weakens and can cause materials to get brittle.  The sun essentially cooks your house.

But with the right solar shades you can tremendously reduce damage caused by the sun. Solar shades come in different densities or openness factors.  You can choose the density and control the percentage of UV protection, as well as glare and heat reduction. The more open the weave, the greater the outward visibility.  The tighter the weave, the less the outward visibility but the greater the protection against the ultraviolet rays of the sun, the glare and the heat. Our line of high-performance transparent solar have a thin layer of aluminum on the outside facing side that actually reflect out more heat than a while solar shade.  If you put your hand on a white car and a black car the white car is cooler. Same with shades.  But white is tough to see through, it’s like looking through a cloud. A darker interior color gives sharper outward visibility and better glare reduction so now with our high performance solar shades you can have the best of both worlds.

Now you can enjoy full vision out without squinting, being too hot or worrying that your interior furnishings will fade out from the sun.

Why Choose North Solar Screen

Our solar shades are made of the highest quality materials and are built to last. The staff of North Solar Screen are well versed energy shade specialists who can assist you with an assortment of shade varieties to fit your individual needs.

Ordering online can be very anxiety provoking.  How do you know you are doing it right or ordering the best shade for your needs?

At North Solar Screen, we work with you to make sure you are choosing the right shades for your application.  We review your dimensions with you and ask how you measured to ensure they are correct.  We even encourage you to send us pictures so we can see exactly where you are installing.

The direct and immediate attention we give helps eliminate costly mistakes from the get go. And to boot, we respond to all of our inquiries within a day so that everything is accomplished in a timely manner.

North Solar Screen has designed quality made energy saving shades systems since 1992. Contact us or check out our blogs to learn more and to see how you can get started on your custom order today


Protect Your Home From the Harmful Effects of the Sun


Global warming is a topic of hot discussion in today’s world. No matter which side of the debate you’re on, summer is upon us and with it, the need to live comfortably in the heat.

Given the current conditions, we’d like to share a little info on North Solar Screen’s vast line of outdoor solar shades, because really, what’s better than making your outside living spaces more livable? A little known fact is that outdoor solar shades actually stop more heat than indoor ones. Continue reading

50 Shades of Protection

Baby, it’s cold outside.

The question is; what can we do to keep the heat in the bedroom? (Or, all around the house for that matter.)

Shades. That’s how. Just put them down and let the magic happen. Your first thought when it comes to shades is that they provide you with a degree of privacy. This thought was probably a working part of the dialogue that got cut from “50 Shades of Grey,” but hey, we understand that edits must be made.

The second thought you might have is that shades should be an integral part of your energy saving plan. If that wasn’t a thought, it will be moving forward. Be it summer, winter, and all seasons in between, shades can have a lasting impact on your wallet if you’re wise about how you’re integrating them into your home in support of environmental and climate needs.  And, you don’t need to sacrifice outward visibility or have a closed in feeling of complete darkness, unless you want it. Continue reading

Indoor Solar Shades: Mixing Style with Function

Roller-Shade-Half-Open-Polynesian-SandsLet’s talk about the interior of your home for a moment. Most folks try to integrate their unique styles into their personal spaces, which makes sense. One area that may be overlooked is you windows. Did you know that more heat and cold is lost through windows than any other part of the home? What are you doing to maintain your home’s energy efficiency while simultaneously retaining some stylistic appeal?

Transparent solar shades maintain the open feeling of a room. They give full vision out while providing daytime privacy. They come in different densities that allow you to control the amount of light, heat, drafts, glare and UV protection. Solar shades have come a long way. There are now elegant styles that can enhance any décor. While considering your indoor shade options, keep in mind that they should be:

Functional and Appealing

We’d like to talk about two of our most stylish indoor solar shades that are sleek in appearance and, as the heading suggests, functional. Our Linen Look and Textured lines match both those categories. When looking for an indoor solar shade solution that’s appealing, there’s no need to compromise on practicality and beauty.

Our Linen Look indoor solar shades offer the following function based features:

  • They come in two different densities: 5% openness (95% dense) or 3% openness (97% dense) so you can control the amount of light.
  • Colors closest to white give 30% more heat rejection than dark colors.
  • Darker colors give sharper outward visibility and better glare reduction.
  • The shades are of superior strength and dimensional stability. They will not stretch, shrink, or twist. Shades always hang flat.
  • They’re woven with fade resistant yarns; color life exceeds all commercial requirements.
  • The material used in the construction of the shades is antibacterial and non-toxic, rejecting mold, bacteria and dry rot. The fiberglass element is manufactured from all natural materials: quartz, sand, soda and lime.
  • Extreme temperatures do not affect them.
  • Super fine yarns give maximum undistorted vision.

And if you want to maximize heat reduction, we have an enhanced version of the Linen Look shades with a dulled aluminum finish on the exterior facing side to effectively reflect out the heat in any color. These are our Verosol Silver Screen shades.

As for our textured line of shades – they offer:

  • A range of densities depending on your choice of fabric. Either 10%, 5% 7% and 3% openness.
  • Colors closest to white block 30% more heat than darker colors and allow for more natural light.
  • Darker colors give sharper outward visibility and more glare reduction.
  • They protect your furnishings and art from fading.
  • The material used in the construction of the shades is antibacterial and non-toxic, rejecting mold, bacteria and dry rot.
  • Extreme temperatures will not affect them.

Daytime Privacy

The first thing the typical person does when they awake in the morning is raise the shade to let the sunlight in. That’s all fine and well, but in doing so you’re subjecting your furnishings to harmful UV rays, glare, and temperature changes through the glass. Plus, there’s no privacy. Indoor transparent solar shades give sun protection with daytime privacy, proving that function and style can coexist.

Energy Efficiency

A solar shade solution is an invaluable window treatment and an excellent source of energy control. They have a real impact on heating and cooling costs. We can help you choose the correct indoor solar shades for your needs.

Check out our fine selection of indoor shades. We have a vast assortment. For function and style, we suggest our Linen Look and Textured lines, and our Verosol Silver Screen.  Let us help you stylishly take charge of your indoor environment.

Visit our website at or call us at (866) 230–4700.

Fortress High Wind Zipper Track: Protect Yourself From the Throes of Mother Nature

fortress-clear-vinyl-stackedFortress High Wind Zipper Track: Clear Vinyl with Solid Borders.

Here’s the deal. It’s great to be able to sit outside and enjoy the fresh outdoors. But Mother Nature can turn vicious in the blink of an eye. Whether it’s your home or a commercial establishment, when high winds blow or the rain starts pelting you can still maintain that full, undistorted view without having to run inside.


The Fortress High Wind Zipper Track with Clear Vinyl

It’s the strongest retractable outdoor shade on the market. Bottom line: it can withstand up to 50 mph winds. It’s perfect for enclosing a patio, deck, pergola, porch, lanai, gazebo covered roof area, waterfront home, or even an outdoor restaurant against the elements. What’s great about clear vinyl is that if it’s too cold to sit out, it allows the warm of the sun to fully penetrate your interior space. At night you can add a safe heater, stay toasty warm and stare out to the stars. Continue reading

Conserving Energy With Indoor Cellular Shades

double-honeycombWe’re big fans of cellular (honeycomb) shades here at North Solar Screen. Not only are they decorative but they are one of the most insulating shades you can buy saving you a healthy amount on your monthly energy costs. How? Well, it’s due to their technologically advanced design.

Depending upon which type you choose, cellular shades have either a single or double row of air pockets that trap the heat and cold in these cells. This forms a barrier against hot air transfer in the summer and cold air flow in the winter. To enhance summer heat rejection, all shades also have a white exterior facing side. Continue reading