One of the best things about living in South Florida is the glorious sunshine all year round. But that wonderful weather comes at a price – not only do we have to pay for air conditioning to keep our homes and businesses cool, we are also at risk from harmful ultraviolet rays. High quality window glass can minimize the damage.
The sun emits several types of ultraviolet light, but there are two we need to be concerned about: UVA and UVB. As the ozone layer in the atmosphere is affected by climate change, more harmful ultraviolet light is getting through to the earth’s surface and into our homes and offices. Although UV wasn’t much of a problem a few decades ago, it’s now something we need to take seriously, especially in this part of the world.
Normal window glass blocks most UVB, which is good, because that’s the one that causes sunburn. However, it only stops 25% of the UVA, which can have serious long-term effects. Taking steps to reduce UVA exposure is important for both our possessions and our health
Everything fades over time, for a variety of reasons. Chemical pigments break down, and this can be accelerated by humidity and heat. However, the major factor affecting fading is light. Some fading is caused by visible light, but by far the most important single factor is ultraviolet light, specifically UVA.
Anything in your home can be affected, particularly fabric and paper – furnishings, drapes, carpets, books, artwork, even clothing. In a business environment, merchandise can be damaged, particularly when displayed in shop windows. Reducing the UVA coming in through glass windows and doors will significantly prolong the life of your cherished belongings.
UVA can also be a serious risk to your health, especially your skin. It destroys Vitamin A in the skin, damages collagen fibers, and affects your DNA. The most obvious effect is increased skin wrinkling, but it can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
If you’re one of those who likes sitting in a sunny spot indoors, or you work in an office with big glass windows, you won’t have to worry about sunburn, but you could be harming yourself without realizing it.
What are the solutions?
There are many options for glass that will reduce UVA indoors. Tinted glass will usually cut out up to 75% of the UVA, depending on the darkness, but this will, of course, affect the amount of light coming in.
For maximum protection, you need full-spectrum ultraviolet protective glass. This will reduce UVA by 95%-99%. This can take the form of a coating on the glass, or a layer of UV protection laminated into the glass. The UV protection is completely invisible to the human eye, so it won’t affect the quality of the light in your home or office.
Although full-spectrum UV-protection costs a little more than regular glass, consider the long-term savings. You won’t have to replace faded furniture or carpets as often, valuable artwork will be safe, and you’re reducing your health risks.
Rice Windows and Doors carries a range of suitable products, such as WinDoor. Their laminated glass also reduces noise, improves insulation, and increases the energy efficiency of the building. Talk to us today about protecting yourself and your belongings.