You know the need to use sunscreen before spending the day at the pool. But are you also at risk for skin deterioration when seated next to a window?
It’s not a yes or no question. Whether or not a window has coatings to reflect UV radiation depends on the window type. By reading on, you can learn about UV lights and how they affect residential windows.
Are UV Rays Capable of Penetrating My Windows?
You already know that your windows can let in visible light, but what about invisible UV rays? Most UV-B rays that cause sunburns are blocked by home windows, but only approximately 25% of UV-A rays, which enter the skin deeper and hasten to age, are blocked.
While passing by your windows or moving around won’t cause you to acquire a sunburn, spending too much time in the sun will eventually harm your skin.
Imagine how your arms appear slightly sunburned after driving with the windows open. In addition, just like the exterior siding of your home, the sun’s rays can cause the color of your drapes, furnishings, or floors to fade.
While covering your windows with shades or blinds will help prevent damaging UV-A rays, these coverings also limit visible light. Blinds and shades are practical but not perfect. Although excessive sun exposure might be harmful, humans do require some sunshine.
We feel good and stay healthy thanks to the sun’s vitamin D. Consider adding a special tint to your current windows or getting new “low-E” windows if UV-A rays are an issue for you.
Why Do UV Rays Exist?
Infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light are all produced by sunlight (UV). Sunlight emits UV rays, a particular kind of radiation. Unlike infrared and visible light, which we can see and feel, UV rays are invisible to the human eye and cannot be discerned.
UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C are the three groups that scientists have divided the UV spectrum into. UV-C light cannot penetrate the ozone layer of the planet. In contrast, UV-A and UV-B light are constantly present in our environment. In terms of radiation intensity, UV rays fall between X-rays and natural light because of their wavelength, which ranges from 10 to 400 nanometers.
Doctors advise applying sunscreen while in the sun since these rays are the dangerous ones that cause skin cancer and sunburn. The harm caused by UV radiation is not only limited to skin damage; many homeowners are unaware that their homes may also suffer injury from it.
What Can’t Stop UV Rays from Reaching Auto Glass
The majority of glass doesn’t really shield UV-A rays. Additionally, some glass treatments could appear to be protecting but give either no or very little protection.
The reduction of heat penetration is promised by solar control glazing. As a result, air conditioning systems work better, and getting into a car is generally more enjoyable.
Only a small portion of UV rays is blocked by this kind of glass, though. While tempered glass is excellent for impact protection, it is not very good at shielding against radiation.
Is It Possible To Sunburn Indoors?
You can develop a sunburn even when indoors, despite what it might appear like. Since UV-blocking windows are uncommon in most residences, this is the case. You can get burned if you like to curl up next to a window during the day.
In actuality, several rooms are made expressly for tanning. A tan can be obtained by spending time in one. For instance, a sunroom frequently features several tall windows that let a great deal of light into the space.
However, most people don’t find it appealing to think that harmful UV rays could enter the house through the windows. Indeed, exposure to ultraviolet light can raise the risk of skin cancer.
How Do UV Rays Affect My Home?
A Damaged Roof
Since most of the sun’s rays are absorbed by your roof, they might dry out or fade your shingles. There aren’t many preventative measures that can be taken to stop solar destruction to your roofing system, aside from picking the appropriate materials.
Your roof and siding are not the only things that can be damaged by ultraviolet rays. UV rays are let in as sunshine pours in through your windows, making the interior of your house vulnerable to harm. The flooring, paint, furniture, and drapes in your home can all deteriorate over time. Sadly, the deterioration is almost impossible to stop.
Does Old-Fashioned Glass Block UV Rays?
Since ordinary glass windows cannot block ultraviolet light, effort must be taken to protect your home’s interior. You could install drapes or blinds, but they will block all light, including natural light.
Fortunately, low-emissivity windows offer a way to let warm, mood-enhancing sunlight into your house while shielding it from UV radiation harm.
Can Low-E Windows Block UV Radiation?
Low-emissivity (low-E) windows have a thin metallic coating explicitly applied. Visible light can travel through this layer, but UV and infrared wavelengths are reflected.
Low-E windows shield you and the interior of your home from UV-A rays while keeping your home at the right temperature by stopping the heat of infrared radiation. Additionally, this coating helps lessen the glare from sunlight, improving visibility indoors.
You can have your existing windows tinted with a tint or glaze if you don’t want to buy brand-new low-E windows. Remember that not all window treatments will block UV-A rays, so go for a practical rather than aesthetic tint. A ceramic window film is the most effective alternative to shielding most UV rays.
How Safe Are You?
You can make simple adjustments to shield yourself from UV-A rays that pass through standard windows. Choosing windows with low-E glass is the most excellent approach to take advantage of visible light while getting UV protection.
When you aren’t using a room, draw the shades to keep the sun from fading the furnishings, or avoid sitting in a chair immediately in front of a sunny window. Before choosing your new windows, talk to your window contractor or dealer if you are currently purchasing new windows for your home.
How To Know If a Window Effectively Blocks UV Rays?
As you note, some contemporary windows entirely block UV light rays, including UVA.
You might determine how effectively your building’s windows block UVA by learning which ones were employed in its construction. With the help of contemporary technology, UV radiation can be secured to 99.9%.
Check to view the window UV film information provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Generally, you can buy glass with UV-blocking technology or add sheets of UV-blocking film to your windows.
Other Ways To Reduce UV Rays In Your Home
Tint The Windows
Even an 88 percent tint (just dark enough to notice the paint on the glass) applied to your home’s most exposed windows will assist cut down on the number of UV radiation that enters a space. By doing this, the energy loss is also decreased in addition to the harmful UV rays.
It is possible to tint even darker windows that are out of touch, and likely won’t have curtains without making a significant change in the illumination of the space.
Change Window Screens
The sun destroys window screens in the same manner as everything else outside. Your old screens can be replaced, allowing your new ones to serve as another barrier to protecting your possessions. Standard bug screens are only intended to keep insects out of the window. There are various types of sun shields.
Typically, only the portion of the open window will be covered by these shades. Then there are different UV protection sun blinds that cover the entire window and block between 50 and 90 percent of UV rays. Naturally, the more UV you prevent, the more sunlight you block. So you might use this option for windows that are important for a room’s lighting.
Set Up New Curtains Or Blinds
Blinds are a simple DIY option for homeowners who want to stop up to 50% of energy from escaping through windows. Simple window treatments like blinds or curtains can also help block harmful UV rays from entering a space. Blinds always fit the space’s style and mood, but occasionally, they don’t, so window screens or tinting are the best choices.
It’s almost time to place window films on your windows if you don’t already. They are a significant investment and, if installed correctly, will endure a very long time.
In addition to protecting your skin from UV ray damage, they will also have several additional advantages, such as boosting the security of your home and cooling down your home.
In other words, window films will protect you, your house, and your pocketbook safe and secure.