I don’t know about you, but we spend a lot each summer on air conditioning. So in an effort to reduce our energy burden, lower our monthly household hard costs and harness some free wind, we decided to install Phantom Screens on our front doors and the balcony door in our master bedroom.
Truthfully, I’ve been wanting to put them in for at least the last four years but — for whatever reason — it took me this long to convince Big B to go for it.
I suspect he was worried about the way they’d change the appearance of our entryway, like a typical screen door does. You’ll see from my photos that there was ultimately nothing to worry about (there’s a reason they’re called Phantom Screens).
How much are Phantom Screens?
Let’s start with the approximate cost, because I know that’s a huge factor for most families. These start at around $449 in my neighbourhood for a single retractable door screen, or $909 for a set of double doors. And these prices include custom installation! To find out exactly how much Phantom Screens would cost in your home, just use your postal code here.
Considering the average screen door (the non-retractable kind) is around $200, and (a) they’re not fitted to your door frame and (b) you have to install those yourself, $449 all in looks pretty darn good.
Then, when you factor in the overall look, function and warranty of Phantom Screens — plus the fact that this is a Canadian company that has all of its operations, including manufacturing, in Canada — for me it’s no contest.
Having the air conditioning on during warmer months usually amounts to at least an extra $50 on our electricity bills, so between May and September we could end up saving up to $250 each summer.
Phantom Screens installation
I have to start with the communications we had with Phantom Screens’ installation company in my neck of the woods, Ontario Screen Systems Inc., because it was simply stellar. Ultra-professional. Any time I had a question, they were always quick to reply.
I also really appreciated knowing ahead of time who’d be showing up at my door:
I’ve enclosed a copy of Ken’s photo identification to this email, so that you can recognize him when he arrives. For your peace of mind, all of our field staff have passed a criminal background check through Sterling BackCheck.
The first step is to have your doors measured. Have something other than a perfect rectangle for a doorway? No prob. Phantom Screens custom fits every retractable screen door it installs.
From here, it may take two or three weeks for your doors to be ready for installation.
The installation process itself is actually quite fast — about an hour for a single door and 1.5 hours for double doors.
Before he left, our installer walked me through how to operate our new Phantom Screens and explained why they recommend to retract them when not in use. He also left a can of Phantom Lube greaseless silicone spray and instructed me to lube up the tracks every two to three months to keep them clear of dust and debris.
Finally, he explained that every Phantom Screen comes with extra mesh on the roller to help prevent damage in case of accidental walk-throughs. You know, by pets or humans. (It’s about $99 to have an entire screen replaced if the walk-through is more like a run-through. Or something like that.)
Phantom Screen performance
We’ve had our screens installed for three weeks now and I’m in love. Whenever we’d open our patio doors at the back of the house, it did little more than let in enough air to help prevent the fire alarm from screaming at me for the third time for overcooking something in the kitchen.
Now, with the front doors screened and the patio door open, there’s a lovely breeze that constantly passes through the entire main floor of the house. And, thankfully, it’s strong enough that we haven’t needed to put the air conditioning on at all during the day.
And working in my bedroom is finally comfortable. Before, I could only crack one window and it didn’t let in much air at all. And the air conditioning is actually pretty awful in our master bedroom so this is the first time in seven years of living here that I’ve really enjoyed spending time in my own room in the spring and summer months.
What I wasn’t expecting and has been such a pleasant surprise is all of the extra natural light that we now get on our main floor and in our bedroom! All that additional light means fewer lights need to be on during the day, and that will also help our energy costs.
Phantom Screens warranty
The company offers a lifetime warranty on all parts, excluding the mesh, and a two-year service warranty from the day of installation. They even pre-register the warranty for customers so you’re automatically covered.
If you’re reading this before September 3, 2017, Phantom Screens is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a contest. For every customer who purchases a new Phantom Screen until 9/3/17, there’s a $500 weekly cash prize! (If you win, that’s like getting one retractable door screen for free.)
DISCLAIMER: Phantom Screens and Ontario Screen Systems Inc. provided our screen doors. However, as you know this never influences my opinion of a product, service or destination.