What are the Best Windows for Blocking UV Rays?

When the sun is beating down outside, you depend on your home to keep you cool. However, some homeowners don’t think about the damage that UV rays can do to the inside of your home. Even if you have window treatments, the sun’s harmful rays can still make their way through the glass. UV rays are damaging to your skin, but they can also damage your belongings as well.

The problem is that UV rays will chemically break down things such as furnishings and flooring. This results in faded hardwood floors and other expensive furnishings in your home. So, how do you prevent this from happening?


Invest in Windows with Low-E

Low-emissivity glass, otherwise known as low-e, is a microscopically thin and clear glazing that is applied to the glass of your windows. This is done during the manufacturing process and is applied to different areas of the glass, depending on the product you choose. Some manufacturers place the glazing on the inside of the panes facing each other, the exterior pane, or the interior pane.

The idea for the low-e is to reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays making its way through your window.


How do You Measure the Effectiveness of Low-E?

Measuring the performance of your low-e glass is important. This allows you to understand how effective your windows are at blocking UV rays from the sun. Here is how low-e is measured for performance:

●     U-value: The u-value of a window indicates heat loss. Lower numbers are best for this measurement.

●     Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: SHCG measures the amount of solar heat transmitted through the window. You’ll also want to look for low numbers in this area.

●     Visible Light Transmittance: The amount of sunlight transferred through a window.

Low-e is an important component of an energy efficient window. It’s one of the technologies that works with others such as argon gas to make a highly efficient window. However, low-e is the solution you’ll want in your window if you are looking to help filter UV rays through your home.


Are Low-E Windows Worth the Cost?

Low-e generally adds 10 to 15 percent to the overall cost of your window. Considering that fixing faded hardwood floors or new furnishings can cost significantly more, there is a high probability that adding low-e will save you more money in the long run. Not to mention, energy efficient windows that contain low-e glazing can save you up to $465 per year on your utility bills.

If you think that you need some UV protection for your home windows this summer, contact UWD and learn how we can help.

Chris Jarvis