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Why a retractable screen may be just what your patio needs this summer

Your patio is the hub of all summer get-togethers including barbecues, garden parties, and late night conversations around the firepit. One slight inconvenience about summer? All the bugs and heat that even covered patio designs can’t repel! A retractable screen for your door, windows, or patio can help keep these critters away and keep you cool. If you’re still on the fence about a retractable screen for your patio, here are a few reasons why you should definitely get one.

retractable screens on windows
European Rolling Shutters / Flickr

What is a retractable screen?

A retractable screen, unlike a traditional screen door or window screen, works like a projector screen that withdraws back into its container. It’s also reminiscent of a cassette tape that’s wound back up, which is no wonder why its container is called a cassette. One big plus about retractable screens is that they fit on any type of door or window, whether they swing out or in.

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When choosing a retractable screen, choose one that has full coverage to prevent bugs from getting in (especially from the top or bottom), a no-slam mechanism, and a small cassette for aesthetic reasons.

Prevent bug bites

One main reason folks love retractable screen doors is that they keep bugs out of your home. In the summer, these creatures thrive from the heat and overall abundance of food, but they tend to fly into homes during the day and are drawn toward warmth and light at night.

Tightly woven screen doors prevent even the smallest bugs from shuffling in. This is helpful for harmless bugs like ladybugs but even more so for potentially risky ones like mosquitoes.

Keep energetic dogs inside or out

Another reason we love retractable screens is that they keep our fur babies inside when temperatures are soaring outside, says The Money Pit. They may want to hang out near the door to get some fresh air, but a secure screen door will remind them to stay inside.

On the other hand, screen doors will keep your dogs out when it’s time for them to potty or if you leave them there intentionally when you’re not home, or if their dog home is outside.

patio with retractable screen
European Rolling Shutters/Flickr

Let the breeze roll in

This may be obvious already, but a screen door allows that refreshing summer breeze to roll in, says Bob Vila. Even when you have the AC on full blast, there’s nothing like fresh air on a hot summer day.

Alternatively, you can keep doors open when you need to air out the house any time of year. This helps improve indoor quality, which can get a little dirty from indoor cooking, burning candles, pet dander, and more.

Store it in place when not in use

Another benefit of using a retractable screen for your patio door is it’s stored in place when it’s not in use. This allows you to enjoy a view of your yard through your glass screen doors when the screen is pulled back. It also means you don’t have to dismantle the device, pack it up, and store it in a closet or the garage until you need it again.

When the retractable screen is in its cassette, you’re also protecting it from sun damage, rusting, dirt buildup, and snow. Which means, you most likely won’t have to replace your screen for years to come.

Outdoor patio screens provide partial shade

If you’re thinking of installing a retractable screen beyond your patio door, go for it. A summer patio will benefit most from a retractable screen to prevent bugs from coming into your home, keep pets inside, and let air circulate. Additionally, you can install side screens outside to protect you and your family from sun, wind, and even water depending on the weather. For both products, look for easy-to-operate models, soft-close mechanisms, and compact cassettes when shopping around. Whichever brand you go with, one thing is for sure: Your summer days will be much more enjoyable with a retractable screen installed.

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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