The damaging effects of sun on skin are well known and before spending a day outside, most reach for the sunblock. “I don’t want old wrinkled, faded or damaged skin,” they say to themselves. But have you ever thought about the sun’s effect on the interior of your home?
The Sun’s Damaging Effects
The sun can fade and break down fabrics and carpets inside your house and make your hardwood floors deteriorate more quickly. If receiving too much sunlight, photographs and art work displayed on walls can also fade.
In particular, the UV (ultraviolet) rays of the sun can bleach the color out of your wood furniture. This can change the natural color of the wood and can also damage any stain or paint finish you have put on the furniture. UV rays can have the same effect on the furniture fabric.
Additionally, the heat from the sun entering through your windows can dry out wood, finishes, and even adhesives used on the furniture joints. Paint on walls and original art can also get dried out.
What’s more, the sun heating up the inside of your home may lead to your using more air conditioning and thus higher electric bills.
There is a way to get “sunblock for your home”. Window treatments such as solar screens, awnings, curtains, and shades can not only reduce the negative effects of the sun, but they can add value and comfort at a reasonable price.
Solar Screens and Shades: Solar screens and solar shades are made from a fabric-like mesh material that offers different levels of protection. Probably the most common are screens that block 80% of the sun’s rays, although 90% block is also available.
The 80% solar shades block enough damaging UV rays and yet still allow you to see out. 90% shades will block more sun, but will also restrict your ability to see out the window.
Solar screens and shades are available in manual or mechanical retractable varieties. Usually, for smaller windows, manual retraction is preferred and for large sliding class window areas, a mechanical retractor is used.
For more information, read Solar Window Screens and Shades.
Awnings: For outside areas such as balconies and patios, an awning will allow you not only to enjoy the space more comfortably, but will also prevent intense rays from entering your home. There are also awnings that fit over individual home windows. Window awnings are available in many colors and designs and you can select a fabric or poly awning that matches the décor and color scheme of your home.
These are also available with a crank manual retraction or one that is mechanical with a remote control. Put down the awnings during the time of day the sun is intense, and retract it later when you want the view. You will also be more likely to use the patio or balcony areas of your home when they are covered to protect you from the elements.
For more information, read Why Use Window Awnings?
Curtains and Shades: The least expensive options for protecting your home interior against the sun are curtains and shades. Depending on your choice of style and fabric, these window treatments can completely block out the sun. The downside, of course, is that they might also prevent you from seeing out your window. But by using sheer curtains or shades made of lighter fabric, you can still get light into your home while being able to see through your window.
Curtains may be pleated, tabbed or pinched. Shades may be roll up or roman among other options. Today, roll up shades are not the plastic nightmares you saw in your great grandmother’s house. They are available in modern and attractive styles.
Depending on your interior needs and décor, each window may need a different type of curtain or shade protection.
For more information, read Using Sheer Curtains for Window Treatments
Protecting the interior of your home from the sun is important. You have made an investment in time and money to decorate your home’s interior. Be sure that, at a minimum, the most vulnerable areas of your home are protected. These different window treatments, available with many options, fabrics, and materials can protect your interior furnishings from the destructive effects of the sun.