Let nothing in but the breeze. And the view.
Window screens are primarily designed to let in fresh air and keep most everything else out. The most common materials used for screens are aluminum and fiberglass.
- Aluminum screens generally come natural or with an applied charcoal color. Charcoal is much less visible and preferable where views are important.
- Fiberglass screens are available in light gray as well as charcoal. Charcoal offers better views and superior appearance. Fiberglass screens have the advantage over aluminum of not denting like aluminum when hit or pushed. Made from extremely fine fibers of glass, fiberglass won't corrode and is very strong and durable. For these reasons, fiberglass window screens today far outsell aluminum screens.
With most windows or doors, screens are placed on the exterior side so that you can open and close the window from the inside of your home. The exception is for casement and awning windows. These have the screens on the interior side of the window so that the window can be cranked open for ventilation. An advantage of this positioning is that the screens generally stay cleaner longer than exterior screens.
Several manufacturers offer sliding door screens that roll into a pocket when not in use. These screens virtually disappear when you don't need them. They usually have a built-in dampening system for smooth, easy retraction—they won't slam shut if accidentally released. They stay cleaner longer because the screen is protected from dirt, dust and weather when not in use. And there are other advantages—the screen expands when struck by a ball or other object.