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Being able to open the windows during the cooler months is a wonderful way to sleep. You can feel the cool breeze and listen to the sounds of nature. However, by keeping a good screen on the window, you can enjoy an open window without the worry of being bothered by flying insects.

Interestingly, screens used to be made from horsehair but thankfully, the materials and technology have come a long way. In the 1920s, galvanized steel was used, soon becoming the most common form used in screening. With this type of material, people could enjoy having their windows open to allow fresh air in but it also provided protection on both doors and windows. The one drawback was that steel would rust eventually. Because of this, a new material was created � non-rusting, aluminum.

For homes today, aluminum screening and vinyl-coated fiberglass are the most common choices. Although many people still like aluminum and appreciate that it is so affordable, the use of vinyl-coated fiberglass actually outsells aluminum three to one. The reason is that the material is durable, looks nice, and is actually less expensive than aluminum.

To break the two choices down even more, consider first aluminum screening. The material is woven and then provided with a finish. Typically, you can find aluminum screening in black, dark gray, and a bright aluminum color. By choosing black, you increase the outward visibility from inside the house. Additionally, the darker color provides less glare since it produces less light reflectance.

Many people will choose the dark gray color in that it typically looks the nicest and coordinates well with any type siding or paint color. For the bright aluminum, it looks just like what it is � aluminum. However, to maintain the sheen and keep the material bright and shiny, a special, clear coat is applied. The mesh size for aluminum screen is 18 x 16 inches although you can buy it in rolls that measure anywhere from 7 to 25 feet long and in a number of widths up to 48 inches.

For vinyl-coated fiberglass, homeowners love this material in that it does not rust, corrode, or stain. However, the drawback is that this type of screen will tear and stretch easier than what you would find with aluminum. To make vinyl-coated fiberglass screening, it is spun from glass and then a PVC coating is applied. The color options include a silver-gray, dark gray, and an aquamarine color, although the grays are the most commonly purchased.

Just like with aluminum, vinyl-coated fiberglass screen is available in 18 x 16-inch mesh but also 18 x 14-inch, which is excellent for porches, pool enclosures, and so on. The nice thing about this material is that in addition to looking nice, it also helps cut down on heavy breezes and real small bugs that might get into other type of screening. Finally, with the vinyl-coated fiberglass, you can choose from a �solar� or �screen� option that actually works as an energy saver for your home.
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