Ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays, can damage your skin, causing aging and wrinkling, as well as skin cancer. You’re at risk of UV skin damage when you’re outdoors, but you can also be exposed to UV rays when indoors, as solar radiation infiltrates homes through windows. Ordinary glass will not protect you.
Here’s the lowdown on UV rays and what it takes to protect you, your family, and your pets.
Windows and UV Rays
Window glass blocks some kinds of UV radiation, depending on how the glass is coated and what type it is. Window-glass types, which include clear, reflective, and tinted glass, block some UV radiation, but effectiveness varies according to type. If you have large windows in your home, pay attention to which type of glass is being used for the windows that allow the largest exposures to UV radiation.
Clear glass allows a high percentage of UV radiation to pass through, while tinted and reflective glass absorbs more but still allows a significant percentage — from 25% to 50% — to pass through. They also block more visible light than clear glass.
Low-E (emissivity) glass, which has become more and more popular in recent years for its ability to minimize cooling costs, allows some UV radiation to get through but blocks the type that causes sunburn. Low-E glass with special anti-UV coating will block all UV rays.
If you have big windows in your home that are not coated, you may want to sit in places where the solar radiation can’t reach, or close blinds, drapes, and shades during the times when the sun’s rays are most intense.
You might also look into getting windows with laminated glass or UV-blocking coated glass to filter out nearly all the UV rays, but these types of glass are not common in residential construction. UV-blocking film on the windows may also be a solution, although after a few years, this needs to be replaced.
For more on UV rays, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide HVAC installations, repairs, and maintenance for the greater Yuma area.