UV — or ultraviolet — rays are a concern outside where they cause sunburn, skin damage, and cancer. But UV rays can also penetrate the interiors of our homes, where they may cause similar damage while also damaging rugs, flooring, furniture, and window treatments. Fortunately, there are ways to almost completely block ultraviolet radiation from your home.
Why Should You Block UV Rays from Your Home?
UV rays, as mentioned above, damage skin and cause cancer. There are two types of UV rays; one causes wrinkles and enters through glass easily, while the other causes sunburn and generally doesn’t get inside the home.
While ordinary window glass blocks some UV radiation, it does allow some inside, depending on the type of glass and the type of coating on the glass. Window glass may be clear, reflective, or tinted. All these types block some UV radiation, though to varying degrees. Clear glass allows a higher percentage of UV rays to pass through; tinted and reflective do a better job of absorbing ultraviolet radiation, but they still may allow 25% to 50% to pass through. Also, tinted and reflective glass block visible light.
Low-E (low-emissivity) glass, which was developed to increase efficiency at blocking solar radiation, blocks some UV rays but not all.
You could have almost total protection from UV rays indoors if your windows are of laminated glass or UV-blocking coated glass, but neither of these types is common in residential construction.
The point of all this is that you are likely not protected from UV radiation by your glass windows. And, as bigger windows become the norm in modern home construction, this can be important if you’re seeking to limit your exposure to UV radiation.
What the Homeowner Can Do
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from solar radiation.
- Sit as far away from windows as possible.
- Close drapes, blinds, curtains, or solar shades during times of peak sun exposure.
- Install tinted film on windows. This film will last a few years, at which point it must be replaced.
For more on UV rays, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors of Neptune.