UV Protection: What it Is and Why Your Florida Home Needs Solar Shades
From a young age, many of us Floridians are warned of the damaging effects of the sun. You may know to wear sunglasses, apply sunblock or stay in the shade while on the beach, but not many people realize that the sun can affect you just as much off of the sand.
In fact, harmful UV rays can reach you inside of your home.
Not only can the sun damage your skin through home windows, but it can also age your home furnishings and increase your electric bills. Let’s learn about the power of UV light to highlight the importance of proper solar protection for your Florida home:
What Really is UV Light?
UV stands for ultraviolet light. It’s the type of electromagnetic radiation that is responsible for our summer tans. But although it can give our skin a warm glow, the American Cancer Society affirms “there are no safe UV rays.” From UVA to UVB, both damage the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth and those who are exposed to high influxes of UV rays are at greater risk for getting skin cancer.
Though soaking up some sunlight can have positive effects, such as producing vitamin D and boosting your mood, you can still enjoy these good perks without the bad effects by filtering out harmful UV rays. For those living in Florida, who are exposed to well over 200 days of sun a year and often experience high UV indexes, this UV protection should take higher priority.
Are the Rays Really Just as Strong Inside?
You may think that indoors, you are safe from UV exposure, but unfortunately, that’s not true. UV rays can shine through your home’s windows— both directly or indirectly, by reflecting off of surfaces such as water, sand, pavement, grass or more.
Some windows are classified as energy efficient, which naturally block the effects of sunrays by 40-50%, but another way to keep the UV rays to a minimum is by investing in protective window treatments.
Why Your Home Needs Solar Shades or Blinds
Specialized solar shades or blinds can help block up to 99% of UV rays when fully lowered or closed. Even some more translucent fabrics still filter out at least 75% of harmful UV rays, without sacrificing the light in your home. The right solar blind should be able to diffuse harsh sun, all while still brightening your space and reducing the need for interior lights.
Most solar shades or blinds have different varieties of “openness factors” and degrees of reflectiveness by fabric, with choices for brightness and glare control.
Besides shielding your family from these skin-damaging rays, here are a few additional benefits:
You could be losing as much as 50% of your home’s heating and cooling energy by not protecting your windows with proper treatments. Advanced solar shade technology can ensure that you’re keeping harsh UV rays out while filtering natural sunlight in, reducing the need for interior lights, thereby cutting down on electricity consumption.
Save on your heating bills too by actively controlling your window coverings. It’s estimated that simply closing your blinds over a hot Florida summer could save you up to 15% on cooling costs as well, according the US Department of Energy.
For the environmentally-conscious homeowner, there are a number of products out there which are made from recycled materials, as well as biodegradable options to know that once they’re retired, the shades or blinds will naturally decompose.
Preserving Your Investments
Not only can UV rays damage your family’s skin, but they can also damage your personal possessions. Flooring, sofas and chairs, family photos and unique art pieces could fade after many years, or even months, of excessive UV exposure— especially if you live in Florida. You invest so much in your home’s furnishings, but how are you protecting them from the sun’s damaging rays?
This goes for inexpensive or lower quality solar shades as well, which can fade after only a few months of sun damage and ruin the aesthetic of your home. Make sure you’re investing in fade-resistant window treatments made from quality materials, such as these select shutters, blinds and shades, to add to the lifespan of your valuable possessions.
This Could be Your Answer
The right set of roller or solar shades offer improved lighting control and UV protection. Products like our Hunter Douglas energy-efficient Duette® honeycomb shades can decrease your energy consumption and save you money on your electric bill. Read more about what makes our honeycomb window shades too “sweet” to pass up.
Even if you invest in sun-blocking shades or blinds, these window treatments are no help to you when left open. Consider the simple luxuries of choosing automated window treatments, which can be programmed to open and close, keeping your home protected day after day from UV rays. Download our guide today to explore eight benefits of choosing motorized blinds and shades.