As a Southern California homeowner, you’re no stranger to the sun. You likely know the importance of wearing sunscreen outside to protect your skin from burns. But did you realize that damage from the sun’s rays can impact you from the comfort of your own home?
That’s right—ultraviolet light can penetrate through your windows and into your house, resulting in costly, irreversible deterioration to finishes, furnishings, and more. Thankfully, there is a replacement window solution to protect your home’s interior from harmful radiation.
Here’s everything you should know about UV rays, followed by actionable steps you can take to significantly reduce the risk of radiation damage to your home.
What Are UV Rays?
UV rays are a type of radiation that comes from the sun. Sunlight emits three kinds of light: infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV). While we can see the effects of visible light and feel the heat from infrared radiation, we cannot see or feel UV rays.
Scientists categorize UV rays into three categories: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. The earth’s ozone layer prevents UV-C light from reaching the ground, but we are exposed to UV-A and UV-B radiation each day. UV rays have a wavelength between 10 and 400 nanometers, which places their radiation levels between natural light and X-rays.
These rays are the harmful cause of sunburns and skin cancer, which is why doctors recommend regularly wearing sunscreen when you’re basking in the sun. However, many homeowners don’t realize that damage from ultraviolet radiation is not only reserved for your skin but can also have a detrimental effect on your home.
What Are the Harmful Effects of UV Rays on My Home?
Your roof absorbs the brunt of the sun’s rays, which can cause your shingles to dry out or fade. However, aside from choosing the right materials, there isn’t much corrective action that can be taken to prevent sun damage to your roofing system.
Damage from ultraviolet light is not exclusive to your roof and siding. When sunlight floods through your windows, UV rays enter too, leaving your home’s interior susceptible to damage. Your home’s flooring, paint, furniture, and curtains can all fade over time, and unfortunately, the deterioration is nearly impossible to reverse.
Do Traditional Glass Windows Block UV Rays?
Standard glass windows do not block ultraviolet light, so it’s vital to take action to guard your home’s interior from damage. Of course, you could install curtains or shades, but these block all types of light—including natural light.
Fortunately, there is one solution that allows you to invite warm, mood-boosting sunlight into your home while still preventing damage from UV rays—low-emissivity windows.
What Are Low-E Windows?
Low-emissivity (low-E) windows are made with a thin metal coating that allows sunlight into your home while reflecting infrared heat and ultraviolet rays. This technology keeps your home cool in the summer, and it also protects your furniture and flooring from the damaging effects of radiation.
We recommend High-Performance Low-E4 glass from Andersen Windows to guard your Southern California home against the effects of our year-round sunny climate.
Andersen Windows Types with Low-E Glass
Andersen Windows offers three types of low-E glass windows. Learn more about each type to discover which is best for your home.
Andersen’s standard option blocks 84 percent of UV light without restricting the amount of natural light in your home. It also allows only 42 percent of infrared heat (also known as solar heat) to enter your home, and it has a 0.25 U-factor.
U-factor is a measurement that dictates the power of your window’s insulating properties. Typically, U-factors under 0.30 are considered excellent insulators, so this glass meets the standard of all U.S. climates, including sunny California.
Low-E4 SmartSun Glass
SmartSun glass deflects 95 percent of ultraviolet light, but in exchange, minimizes natural light transmission to 65 percent. However, these windows allow only 28 percent of solar heat into your home and reduce the U-factor to 0.24. Out of the three options, these windows offer both the best insulation and UV protection.
Low-E4 Sun Glass
Like the standard option, Low-E4 Sun Glass blocks 84 percent of UV radiation and has a U-factor of 0.25 percent. However, in exchange for reducing natural light entry to 40 percent, these windows only allow 26 percent of infrared heat to enter, which makes these windows the most energy-efficient choice.
Guard Against UV Rays with Andersen Windows Installed by Approved Contractor
If you’re concerned about ultraviolet light penetration in your Southern California home, it’s time to invest in Andersen’s low-E replacement windows. Not only will they protect your belongings from UV damage, but they will also improve your home’s curb appeal, energy efficiency, security, resale value, and noise insulation.
At Approved Contractor, we specialize in expert, customer-focused installation of premium products, like those from the Andersen Windows brand. Learn more about our window replacement services to discover how we can help you transform your home with energy-efficient, protective windows.