Homeowners take a lot into consideration when it comes to replacement windows, yet insect screens are almost an afterthought — at least until TruScene screens from Andersen came on board.
Now, homeowners have the choice between the traditional fiberglass mesh screens, which do a pretty good job of keeping out bugs while allowing for ventilation versus the next step in insect protection and beauty. It’s a choice that doesn’t come without a considerable sticker price.
At $85 per window, Andersen TruScene screens are a sizable investment — about three times the price of traditional mesh screens. As with any investment, it’s important to take the time to weigh the pros and cons.
Andersen TruScene Screen Pro: The View
Homeowners hate to look through insect screens. It ruins the view of both inside and outside the home. In fact, many homeowners will remove their screens simply to enjoy an unencumbered view of the great outdoors. Andersen TruScene screens’ biggest selling point is the incredible view through its micro-fine mesh. At just one-third of the diameter of standard fiberglass screens, TruScene screens offer 50 percent more clarity, appearing almost invisible to the most discerning eye. Often upon viewing the demo, homeowners cannot believe there is a bug screen in the TruScene side of the window. They will reach out to touch, and try to go through the window! It is the major win for TruScene — a reach out and touch beautiful view.
Andersen TruScene Screen Con: Silver Shadow & Water Retention
When it comes to double hung windows, our sharp operations crew has observed that sometimes, in certain light, TruScene can cast a silver shadow. Additionally, our operations crew have noted that during heavy rains rainwater will generally take longer to evaporate from the TruScene screens because of the tighter weave. It can sometimes appear as a ‘wall of water’ on the screen. However, it does appear the tighter weave may help to keep some water and dirt from passing through the screen and collecting on that inside sill.
Andersen TruScene Screen Pro: Full Window Option and Better Ventilation
Unlike some vinyl window screens, the Andersen TruScene screen comes as a full screen option allowing homeowners to have more ventilation choices.There is no need to choose from top or bottom ventilation with the TruScene screens like the standard issue half screens. Homeowners can use either half, or take advantage of the whole window screen for ventilation.
Another important ventilation consideration is air circulation. TruScene screens have 33 percent more air circulation than traditional fiberglass or aluminum screens. The secret is in the size of the mesh — TruScene’s micro-fine mesh is one-third the diameter of standard screen wire, allowing more fresh air in on perfect (and not so perfect) weather days. The design of the TruScene screen also allows for more natural light to enter the home.
In addition to more ventilation options, TruScene full screens eliminate the unsightly half-screen look for windows — where one half of the window is shaded darker than the other. By providing a uniform full window look, the invisible TruScene quality enhances the internal and external look of the home.
Andersen TruScene Screen Pro: Color and Casement Options
TruScene has a variety of color and casement options that are designed to blend with Renewal by Andersen windows. The frames are available in white, stone or unfinished pine for awning and casement windows and white, Sandtone, Terratone® and forest green for double-hung and gliding windows. Because casement options include stainable woods, the TruScene frame can create the perfect matching wood to compliment your home.
Andersen TruScene Screen Pro: Durable
The TruScene screens are made out of a high strength, tightly woven, stainless steel mesh installed on a durable frame making them resistant to impact and tearing.
Andersen TruScene Screen Con: Non-Repairable
Unfortunately, the process that makes the TruScene screen more durable also makes it non-repairable when damage does occur. Once a TruScene screen is damaged, it must be re-ordered from Andersen with a whole new frame and new screen.
Most homeowners are used to running down to the local hardware store for a role of screen mesh that they cut to size and replace their damaged screens. There are no rolls of TruScene mesh at the local hardware store. Most of the damage that occurs to TruScene screens are dents from impacts, versus tears or slices. The cost of replacement of a TruScene screen for a dent may sway homeowners who are on the fence about making the investment.
Andersen TruScene Screen Pro: Bug Protection
The tight weave of the Andersen TruScreen micro-fine steel mesh provides a beautiful, near invisible view – while keeping the inhabitants of nature out. Nothing is more frustrating than despite our best efforts, tiny bugs still find their way inside our homes. According to the commenters in an online forum, the greatest feat for the TruScene screen is keeping out the dreaded “No-See-Um” bugs.
“No-See-Ums. I had a relative that lived in Wisconsin on a lake — he was plagued by these buggers. You can’t see ’em in the dark — too small, but you can hear them and they like to get into your eyes. He used to run a bug catcher every night on his deck that was basically a fan that sucked in air and ran it over a tray of soapy water. By morning, the tray contained nothing but a bunch of black sludge — “billions and billions” of No-See-Ums that got stuck in the soapy water. Yech.”
– MikeHennessy (Fine Homebuilding.com, 7/19/2007)
According to the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department, No See Ums, also known as Ceratopogonidae, or biting midges, are a family of small flies that cause considerable discomfort to campers, fishermen, outdoor-lovers and unfortunate homeowners.
An adult No See Um measures less than 1/8th of an inch long and the hard to see nuisances are famous for making their presence known through bites that are irritating, painful and can cause long-lasting painful lesions for some. Most biting midge can pass through 16-mesh insect wire screen and netting. TruScene screens block out these pests and more without a drop in ventilation.
From experience, we’ve learned that homeowners are sold on the TruScene screens at first glance through the practically crystal-clear pane. Overall, the merits of TruScene screens are clear: better view, insect protection, ventilation and durability. Unfortunately, the costs seem out of reach for some. When faced with the cost, many homeowners have opted to go ahead with the TruScene screens with the idea of long-term investment in resale value and increased livability and enjoyment. Others decide on a mixture of TruScene and traditional Andersen screens, focusing TruScene screens on the most valuable views or where the greatest need for insect protection lies — in front of the home, overlooking the backyard play area or bedrooms, etc.
The great thing is, homeowners don’t have to figure this out on their own. Contact us to learn more about your window replacement options that will fit within your budget. Call 1-888-677-6437.