Retractable, solar screens becoming popular

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 10:46 AM

Tanna Woods

Keeping air flowing without the chunkiness of a storm door is as simple as pulling out a retractable screen.

Jim Bryson, co-owner of Wasatch Retractable Screens, said such screens are becoming more popular.

He explained the advantage is that these screens can be pulled out and used for allowing fresh air or the summer breeze inside, and then easily tucked away when not needed.

When stored, he said, no one would even know the screen is there, because it’s encased in material that matches the trim on the doorway or window.

The company’s product comes in a half-dozen different color selections.

“You get a good color match,” he said. “You can hide it so well that people aren’t seeing it.”

When you want the convenience of a screen, it slides out and provides coverage using a magnetic-clasp system. These screens can be made to fit doors, windows and patios.

“It gives air flow, but stops the bugs from getting in,” Bryson said.

Not only does it mean allowing fresh air into the home, he said, but people save money by using natural ventilation. The cost is $389 for a single door, and Bryson said screens are available for sliding or even atrium doors as well.

These screens aren’t the only thing picking up in popularity.

Another big trend is solar window screens. This is something Bryson said has been popular in such areas as Arizona, and is just starting to catch on in Utah.

“With high ceilings and large windows, some rooms are hard to keep cool,” Bryson said. “It can be expensive to have air conditioning on all the time. Solar screens allow the

air conditioner to be on less.”

These screens can be placed in windows and doorways. The design allows people to see out well, while also providing daytime privacy and stopping the heat from getting into the home. Bryson explained that it does this by stopping the heat from hitting the glass.

Of course, other options have been around forever, but there’s a reason people are gravitating to the newer products.

“You can feel like you’re in a cave in the summer if you have to use your drapes or shutters,” Bryson said.

The solar screens can be taken out seasonally, although Bryson said many people choose to leave them on year-round.

The cost for the screens is figured on a square-foot basis and can be around $7 a square foot for first-floor windows, and between $10 and $11 for second-story or odd-shaped windows. There is a five-year warranty on the fabric.

“These screens can just make a home more comfortable,” Bryson said. “They pay for themselves in two to three years.”

People are finding that options such as solar or retractable screens can make their homes more enjoyable, no matter the season.

For more information, go to and visit their booth at the Home and Garden Show.

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