One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Solar Screen Outlet is "Which mounting method should I use for my windows?" and it's a great question. Choosing the right mounting method for your solar screens determines how exactly you measure your windows for your solar screens; and each mounting method has its pros and cons.

solar screens mounting hardwareNot all windows and houses can accept all mounting methods. In fact, on average, you will probably have only one or two options depending on how your house and windows were built.

While we do have some helpful information on our How to Measure & Install Solar Screens page, I thought it would be best to go into more detail here in how to choose the best mounting method for your solar screens.

So, without further ado, let’s go through each mounting method, describe what it is and how it works and lay out the pros and cons so you can determine the best one for your home or building.

Casement Clips

Casement clips (also known as “turn clips”) are probably the most common solar screen mounting hardware. They consist of metal clips that come with hex-head, self-tapping screws. The screws are drilled directly into the window frame through a hole in the casement clip, securely holding the solar screen frame in place.

casement clips for solar screens

The clips have tabs on them so you can grab them with two fingers and turn (ie rotate) them, making it easy to remove the solar screen for cleaning. The casement clips we sell come in 3 colors, so they match the solar screen frame color you choose.

In order to use casement clips, be sure you have at least ½” of flat window frame/casement surrounding at least 2 opposite sides of the window. The clips themselves are about ⅜” wide so that’s why you need the ½” or so of flat window frame.

casement clips for solar screens

The casement clips will actually sit directly adjacent to the solar screen frame. They are raised up 5/16” inch to match the solar screen frame thickness. This allows them to both screw into the window frame and be turned so the wing part of the clip can go on top of the solar screen frame.

Casement clips work well with vinyl or aluminum windows. Just be sure to screw them as far to the outside edge of the window frame as possible so you don’t accidentally crack the window glass.

Recommended Number of Casement Clips Per Solar Screen:

  • 4 qty for any screen under 36" x 48"

  • 6 qty for screen sizes up to 72" x 72"

  • 8 qty for screen sizes over 72" x 72"

Pros

  • Compatible with most windows

  • Don’t have to alter the solar screen frames

  • Allows for easy removal of solar screen

  • Color matches solar screen frame

Cons

  • Requires drilling holes into window frame (this could void your window warranty)

  • Leaves a small (approximately ⅜”) horizontal gap on each side of the solar screen frame where the casement clips are secured

How to Measure/Install Solar Screens Using Casement Clips

Brick Clips

Brick clips (also known as brick grips)  are a great option for brick homes (or cinder block homes). Brick clips can also work just as well on some stucco homes if the window has a “surround” so that it is inset at least ¾”.

solar screen brick clips

Brick clips are actually a type of spring. They “clip” onto the outside edge of the solar screen frame and stick out (kind of like a flag with a jagged edge) about ½”. When the solar screen is pushed into the brick surround on the window, the brick clips bend and grip onto the brick, holding the solar screen firmly in place using tension.

Brick clips are made of metal and are color-matched to the exact color of the solar screen frame you order, so they match perfectly.

Pro Tip: If the part of the brick clip that clips onto the solar screen frame seems too wide, just use a piece of Scotch tape to secure it to the backside of the solar screen frame.

Recommended Number of Brick Clips Per Solar Screen:

  • 4 qty for screen sizes up to 72" x 72"

  • 6 qty for screen sizes over 72" x 72"

Pros

  • Don’t have to alter the solar screen frames

  • Requires NO drilling or special tools

  • Allows for easy removal of solar screen

  • Color matches solar screen frame

Cons

  • Only compatible with windows surrounded by brick, stone or cinder block

  • Leaves a small (approximately ½”) gap on each side of the solar screen frame where the brick clips are secured

How to Measure/Install Solar Screens Using Brick Clips

Leaf Springs

Leaf springs are becoming less common to use as a solar screen mounting method because they require special types of windows - and these windows are becoming less and less common.

Leaf springs are thin, curved metal springs that are placed into one side of your solar screen frame during assembly. Typically, only 2 leaf springs are used per solar screen.

leaf springs

They require a track or channel on the top and bottom (or left and right side) of your window frame. The side of the solar screen that has the leaf springs is first inserted into the track/channel, then the opposite side of the screen pops into the other track/channel. The tension from the springs holds your solar screen firmly in place.

Most standard insect screens are held in place with leaf springs (or a similar spring known as a tension spring). However, most windows nowadays are built so that the insect screen only covers half the window. So it doesn’t make sense to replace the insect screen on your window with a solar screen if it only covers half your window.

Recommended Number of Leaf Springs Per Solar Screen:

  • 2 per screen for any and all sizes

Pros

  • They’re cheap!

  • Fully covers the window, no gaps

  • Keeps bugs out

  • Allows for fairly easy removal of solar screen

Cons

  • Requires special windows with a compatible channel or track

  • Leaf springs must be inserted into solar screen frame during assembly

How to Measure/Install Solar Screens Using Leaf Springs

3M Dual Lock

3M Dual Lock is becoming a very popular mounting method for solar screens. It is a clear colored product that acts like double sided Velcro. But this ain’t your grandma’s Velcro! It comes in 1” x ½” mated strips. The two parts to each strip are identical (unlike Velcro which has a hook side and a loop side).

One part of the Dual Lock secures to the solar screen frame and the other half sticks to the window frame. The two parts securely “grab” each other and, like Velcro, can be separated and reunited multiple times.

solar screen dual lock

Dual Lock is specifically designed to produce a tight grip to itself and the adhesive is engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, so it will hold up to high temps and high wind. Just be sure to thoroughly clean both surfaces (the solar screen frame and the window frame) using rubbing alcohol and thoroughly dry them before applying the 3M Dual Lock.

In order to use 3M Dual Lock with your windows, be sure you have at least 5/8” of flat, smooth window frame surrounding all four sides of the window.

Recommended Number of 3M Dual Lock Per Solar Screen:

  • Get enough to put 2 in each corner and then space every 12"-18" around the perimeter of the screen.

Pros

  • Works with nearly all window types

  • Provides a clean look (Dual Lock hides behind the solar screen frame)

  • Fully covers the window, no horizontal gaps

Cons

  • It’s expensive

  • Engaged thickness is about ¼” so bugs/dust could sneak in through the gap between the solar screen and window frame

How to Measure/Install Solar Screens Using 3M Dual Lock

Screws Only

Another solar screen mounting method we have available is plain ol’ screws. Actually, these screws aren’t exactly plain. They are one inch long, #8 size hex head self-tapping screws and the hex head is painted to match the solar screen frame color you choose.

You can use the screws to drill directly through the solar screen frame and into the window frame or mounting surface. Typically, you would only need 4 screws per solar screen.

But you can’t exactly put a screw in the exact corner of each screen. You’ll have to move it left or right (or up or down) about 1.5” because the solar screen plastic corners could break if you try to drill through them with the screws.

Recommended Number of Screws Per Solar Screen:

  • 4 screws per screen smaller than 72” x 72”

  • 8 screws per screen for sizes over 72” x 72”

Pros

  • Compatible with most windows

  • Color matches solar screen frame

  • Fully covers window (no gaps)

Cons

  • Requires drilling holes into window frame (this could void your window warranty)

  • Requires drilling holes through your solar screen frame

  • Not easy to quickly remove

Suction Cups

Suction cups are meant to be used with fabric only solar screens (without frames) attached to the interior of your home, building or car.

We provide you with the requested number of clear suction cups, as well as clear, flat-head pins, so you can position the suction cups where you need them and secure them to the solar screen fabric with the matching pins.

suction cups

This provides a great way to quickly fasten and un-fasten solar screens to the inside of a window in your car, home or RV. Our solar screen suction cups are clear and the diameter is 1 7/8" when in use (1 3/4" at rest). When in use, the thickness is about 0.7 inches.

Recommended Number of Suction Cups Per Solar Screen:

  • Get enough to put 1 in each corner and then space every 24" approximately around the perimeter of the screen.

The alternative to mounting fabric-only solar screens to the inside of a home or auto with suction cups is to use 3M Dual Lock instead. The 3M Dual Lock is clear and comes in 1” x ½” mated pairs. Get enough to put 2 in each corner and then space every 12" approximately around the perimeter of the screen.

solar screen with suction cups

Still Need Some Guidance?

Admittedly, choosing the right mounting method can be confusing because there are so many types of windows and homes out there. To help you even further, we’ve created this handy Mounting Method Flowchart that you can download and use to figure out which method might work best for your situation.

If you still need some help from a pro, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 469-333-0215 or send us an email with photos of your home/windows so we can help you decide which mounting method will work best for your solar screens. We’re here to help!