Screen out those rays!
Protect yourself and your home from damaging sunlight
We love the warmth and brightness the sun brings into our lives. It makes our plants grow and is one of the reasons we enjoy the great outdoors. However, especially when summer reaches its zenith, too much sun and too much heat can also ruin the pleasurable aspects of the outdoor lifestyle, not to mention the unhealthy damage it can do to your skin and the way it can fade and discolor furnishings.
- Find out which UV rays are harmful
- See how you can protect your furnishings
- See a real home example of a solar screen used to cut down on heat by 10 degrees
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First, people should understand that the ultraviolet radiation (UV) that comes with our sunlight is the main culprit when it comes to skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and possibly melanoma. The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have identified a broad spectrum of UV rays as human carcinogens.
The trouble with UV
What is called UVA has the longest wavelength and is responsible for up to 95 percent of the solar UV reaching the earth’s surface and has been thought to play a major role in skin aging and wrinkling, while recent studies suggest it may initiate and exacerbate the development of skin cancers. UVA can also penetrate clouds and glass. So we are exposed to a lot of it in our lifetime.
UVB is in the middle range of the UV spectrum and is responsible for burning, tanning, and aging skin, and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. Furthermore, the intensity of UVB varies by the season and time of day. Most UVB hits the United States, for example, from April to October between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. However, it does not penetrate glass.
UVC is the shortest and highest energy wavelength, but it is filtered by ozone and does not reach the earth’s surface or produce any skin damage.
All this means: protect yourself! Especially during those peak hours of the day when the UVB rays are most intense. Here is where solar screens can really make a difference in providing cooling, shady relief when you need it and are most vulnerable to skin damage from penetrating UV rays. The screens also protect your exterior furniture from fading and degrading.
Block it before it hits the glass
Exterior screening also serves another important function when used around the windows that provide the largest natural light sources for your home. Along with raising the interior temperature, UV rays that penetrate the window can fade and discolor furnishings and, in some cases, even make them fall apart. Although most obvious with textiles and carpeting, light can also fade wallpaper, photographs and artwork, and degrade finishes and even unfinished wood.
Window treatments and interior shades and blinds are traditional ways to prevent such damage, and special glass and glass coatings have been developed. But exterior solar screens have the advantage of blocking such rays BEFORE they reach the window glass, adding more protection and providing a significant cooling advantage over interior treatments.
For example, this home in Clovis, Calif., uses a large Panorama screen from Stoett with 90 percent solar mesh to cut down on UV rays coming into the home during the later part of the day, when the sun sets on the living room windows. This reduces the heat in the living room by up to 10 degrees. The screen is motorized with a remote that can quickly open and close it.
Typical Stoett screens in this category offer 80 to 90 percent solar blockage, depending on the level of protection desired and how much you want to be able to “see through” the screen. The ability to see out through the screen without people being able to see in also provides a cover of privacy that people find attractive.
In this case, Stoett screens provide another great way to enjoy the outdoors without being vulnerable to what’s outdoors, making summer’s easy living even better. Enjoy the sun without getting boiled in the sun!