Bloomin Blinds of Bucks & Montgomery County
Bucks & Montgomery County

How to Shade an Outdoor Window: Discovering Effective Solutions

Selecting the right shade for your outdoor windows can help reduce heat and glare while allowing some natural light in. With many options available, from awnings to solar screens, finding the best solution requires understanding your needs and climate. This guide will explore popular exterior window shade types for your home.

Key Factors When Choosing Exterior Window Shades

outdoor window shades

When selecting outdoor shades, there are several important factors to consider:


Consider where the window is facing. South or west-facing windows get more direct sunlight so that you may want thicker shades. East and north-facing windows get less harsh light.


Determine if you need the shades to block views from outside into your home. Outdoor shades like shutters or solar screens can provide coverage from prying eyes.

Climate and weather

Your local climate impacts shading needs. In hot climates, blocking solar heat gain is crucial. In cooler climates, you may want shades that allow the winter sun to enter for passive solar heating, which is also a factor in typical weather like frequent high winds or storms.


Choose shades that enhance and complement your home’s exterior architecture, color scheme, and style. They should accent your home attractively.

Energy efficiency

Research how much solar heat gain reduction a shade provides. Opt for a high blocking percentage to save on cooling costs.


Decide whether manual or motorized/automated shades would be easier to use. Motorized makes operation convenient.

Window type

Consider the type of glass, frame, and if windows open. This may dictate shade compatibility.

HOA regulations

If under a homeowner’s association, ensure the shades meet any requirements they have.

Top Exterior Window Shading Options

With the factors above considered, here are some of the most popular and effective exterior window shade types:

Exterior Roller Shades

Exterior roller shades offer a clean, modern look for shading. Roller shade fabrics like screen fabrics, solar fabrics, or acrylic blocks provide:

  • Great visibility outward while filtering bright light.
  • Motorized versions are available for convenience.
  • Colors to blend with exterior facades.
  • Custom sizing for a perfect fit.
  • Protection from weather when not in use.
  • Integration with smart home systems in motorized versions.

Aluminum Awnings

Aluminum awnings are a tried and true exterior shading solution. Features to note:

  • Able to cover large window expanses.
  • Manual and motorized operation options.
  • Variety of colors like neutrals or bold hues.
  • Patterns and designs for visual interest.
  • Protection from rain, snow, and intense sunlight.
  • Minimizes solar heat gain.

Solar Exterior Window Screens

Solar screens are exterior mesh screens that provide shading and ventilation. Benefits include:

  • Reduce solar heat gain significantly – up to 80 percent.
  • Available in different levels of transparency.
  • Allow breezes and airflow to enter, improving comfort.
  • Offer privacy screening.
  • Customizable colors to match window trim.
  • Protect indoor spaces from insects entering.

Tips for Shading Outdoor Windows

  • Install shades on your home’s south and west sides first, as they get the harshest sunlight.
  • Look for shades with a high solar heat gain coefficient rating to maximize energy savings.
  • Ensure shades are several inches wider than the window frame to block sunlight fully.
  • Choose wind-resistant shades if you live in a highly windy area.
  • Have an expert take exact measurements for custom-fit shades that maximize efficiency.
  • Install a sun sensor for motorized shades to lower shades when the sun is strong automatically.
  • Use a combination of shade types like awnings and screens to enhance protection.
  • Clean dust buildup on shades regularly so they remain effective.

Frequently Asked Questions About Exterior Window Shades

Some common questions that arise when researching exterior window shades:

For professional installation, you can expect to pay $3,000-$4,000 on average for motorized exterior roller shades, and manual roller shades average $2,000-$3,000 installed. Get quotes from qualified shade installers for exact pricing.

Exterior shades prevent solar heat gain to keep indoor spaces cooler. This can reduce air conditioning costs significantly. They also block UV rays to protect furnishings from fading. Outdoor shades add privacy and create a uniform look on the home’s exterior.

It depends on the specifics of your climate and home. Roller shades, solar screens, shutters, and awnings tend to be the most effective at controlling heat and glare. Meet with a shade provider to discuss custom options tailored to your needs

Adding A Layer of Protection to Your Exterior

exterior window awning

Adding exterior window shades can considerably improve comfort by managing heat and glare from sunlight. With options like awnings, solar screens, shutters, and roller shades, evaluate your home style, climate, and priorities to choose the optimal outdoor shading solution.

Consulting a shade professional on customizing shades for maximum performance is recommended. For help selecting durable, motorized exterior shades designed specifically for your home, contact the experts at Bloomin’ Blinds of Bucks & Montgomery County.

Contact us online today to find the perfect exterior window shades solution for your outdoor space!

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