In an effort to raise consumer awareness of the dangers of winter UV ray exposure to health and property, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) today is sharing information that strong winter sunlight, particularly in the northern United States, can actually be more damaging than summer sun exposure. As a result, consumers are urged to consider professionally installed window film in their homes and offices to help protect themselves.
“Many people only think about the dangers of UV rays during the summer, when they are outside and exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the non-profit IWFA. “However due to the low angle of the winter sun in the northern two-thirds of the country and lack of shade from trees, more sunlight can penetrate into people’s homes in the winter than during the summer months.”
Many Americans assume that they are safe from the sun’s rays indoors; however typical windows only block as little as 25% of UV rays, causing numerous negative effects. Not only can ultraviolet radiation cause extensive damage to the skin, including premature aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer, but it also may damage furniture, floors, and decor.
“If left unchecked, in addition to negative health effects, the winter sun’s in-line positioning can literally make a home’s furniture, drapes and artwork a faded memory,” added Smith. “Now is the time to invest in window film. The installation provides year-round benefits by increasing the level of fade protection for upholstery and carpets, creating a consistent home temperature, and keeping you and your belongings safer from UV exposure.”
Low angle sunlight can also have a significant impact on energy costs. As November rolls on, many will be removing or turning off their air-conditioning units and turning on the heat, trading one high cost for another. However, newer low-e window films also reduce heat loss like insulation, helping to regulate indoor temperatures – all while lowering home owner’s bills during both peak winter and summer months when energy costs are the highest.