Window coverings are relatively important in providing you with privacy, shade, and protection. Blinds are a type of window treatment that functions just the same but offers a varying extent of effectiveness. We have researched information that will help you determine if blinds do really block UV rays.
Blinds, curtains, and all forms of window treatments block UV rays in varying degrees, depending on the type of materials used. Solar shades, for example, are designed using PVC or HDPE to reduce UV rays, sunlight, and glare from entering a room.
That said, choosing the right coverage is relevant in keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. In this article, we will guide you with ways to minimize UV exposure with the right kind of window treatment as well as temperature conservation and other aspects related to optimizing the general conditions of your home.
Effects Of UV Rays
Before we discuss ways how to protect a room, the following is an overview of UV rays and their general effects, both advantageous and disadvantageous.
The atmosphere filters most of the sun's radiation and determines its influence on both living organisms and non-living, inorganic matter.
UV from the sun triggers the production of Vitamin D which strengthens bones, muscles, skin tissue, and the immune system. However, only the early morning sun is beneficial to your health since UV ray penetration increases as the day progresses toward noon.
Sunlight is an effective way to disinfect and sterilize rooms and kill microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. It is advisable to draw back drapes and open windows once every week to allow light to have this effect.
This is the reason it is necessary to spray disinfectants in areas that are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Sunburn is the most common acute effect of UV rays and chronic exposure can lead to several forms of skin cancer.
Certain individuals with underdeveloped eye pigments are susceptible to cataract formation and other conditions such as conjunctivitis.
UV radiation causes materials to lose their color and fade over time. Wooden furniture, floors, walls, carpets, and other furnishings exhibit discoloration when constantly exposed to sunlight. The effect is more pronounced with outdoor structures such as fences and decks.
Types Of Blinds to Block UV Rays
Blinds are window treatments designed to block or filter UV rays. While this is the case, note that some products can absorb more heat than ordinary or basic materials. To illustrate, blinds made from aluminum have the capacity to absorb light better than those manufactured with wood.
Although blinds have the same purpose, their several types differ in terms of quality, style, and design.
Vertical blinds, as the name suggests, are made of individual vertical slats that are connected through a track above the material. Depending on the style, the product can be opened by parting it in the middle or by adjusting the panels side by side.
Since the material does not sag or bend over time, they are mostly used to cover large windows and sliding doors. Apart from this, the blinds are relatively easier to clean.
The term “Venetian blinds” is a blanket term for all kinds of horizontal blinds. They are the most widely-used window covering since they feature a wide array of styles and designs, and can be pre-ordered or customized according to your desired specifications.
The material features horizontal slats connected by a string or cord referred to as tapes. They are ideal for small windows since the structure of the slats is relatively shorter and is not prone to sagging.
Mini blinds feature smaller or narrower horizontal slats as opposed to regular-sized blinds. The individual panels are usually less than the width of traditional blinds - normally an inch thick. Aside from this, the product itself is made from aluminum and can last for 2 to 4 years if properly maintained.
Micro blinds also fall under the classification of Venetian blinds, however, they feature horizontal slats that are only 1/2 inch thick. They are relatively lighter and have been proven to be a more affordable option than most types of window blinds.
Similar to vertical blinds, this type of window covering features vertical individual slats hanging down from a rail. The panels are relatively wider and have varying sizes and dimensions, making them a better material for larger windows and sliding doors.
They feature fabric panels that glide smoothly along a track installed on both ends of the blinds. When opened, the individual slats are stacked on either side of your window or door. On one hand, if the blinds are closed, the panels tend to slightly overlap to prevent light from entering the room.
How Can We Reduce UV Rays At Home?
There are various ways to reduce or filter the sun’s UV rays. Here are the following:
Use Window Coverings With Darker Shades
Window coverings act as a barrier or shade that absorbs or repels the sun’s UV rays. Choosing the right color and material considerably affects your window treatment’s general purpose.
The color of the fabric or material plays an important role in determining how well your blinds, curtains, and draperies block or protects you from UV radiation.
Scientists have proved that darker shades of red and blue have a better way of absorbing and blocking the harmful rays of the sun. Replacing your window coverings with darker toned hues will give you enough protection.
Use A Different Material
Note that some materials are better at providing protection against the sun’s radiation. To illustrate, wooden blinds are not the best option since the material may tend to crack and warp with prolonged UV exposure.
Use a solar shade, cellular window shade, and blackout blinds for ultimate protection.
1. Solar Shade
A solar shade is made from a tightly woven Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) mesh. The product’s capacity to block UV rays depends on its openness.
"Openness" refers to how tightly the material is woven - the lower the percentage, the tighter the fabric, and the lesser the sunlight will penetrate.
Note that solar shades cannot provide you with ample privacy, especially at night. It may obscure the view, however, the material is see-through once a light is open inside the home.
2. Cellular Window Shade
Cellular window shades can block 99% of UV rays while providing you with complete privacy and insulation. The material is built with a thin layer of honeycomb-shaped air pockets that functions as a barrier that regulates your room’s temperature.
Apart from this, cellular shades have varying levels of opacities that filter light in different degrees.
3. Blackout Blinds
Blackout blinds are most commonly used in bedrooms, media rooms, and nurseries since the fabric is relatively thicker than most window treatments, and it completely eliminates or blocks 100% of the sun’s light.
Tint Your Windows
Home window tinting is an excellent way to reduce the amount of UV rays that penetrate a room since it can block up to 99% of the radiation. The polyester film used in the process allows minimal light to pass through while absorbing or reflecting the rest.
Apart from its main benefit, tinted windows keep the room temperature consistent throughout the day and considerably lower the consumption and cost of energy.
It improves your home value and provides great privacy.
Ultraviolet radiation and its effects can effectively be reduced by using blinds and other window shades, just make sure that you are using the right color and material. We hope this article has been insightful!