The benefits of letting in outdoor light are many, from a brighter atmosphere that can be a real mood-improver to reduced dust in the air to the warmth of the sun’s rays on an otherwise cold day.
However, one unintended consequence of letting in sunlight can be damage to floors, furniture, curtains, clothing and artwork – all of which could be bleached by the sun, resulting in colors and tones that are a mere fraction of the original.
Here are some tactics from Houzz.com for reducing indoor sun damage:
It helps to understand that there are three principle causes for discoloration of fabrics and materials due to sunlight (or any visible light). These include UVB and UVA rays, which account for 45% of the damage; visible light, which is responsible for 25%; and, infrared radiation/heat, which causes another 25%.
One solution for minimizing the fading effects of light is window film. And the coatings selected don’t have to be of the variety that seriously darkens a car’s windows, complete with bubbling under the surface from poor installation.
In fact, high-quality window film can block up to 99.9% of the sun’s harmful rays while only dulling down a window’s surface in moderate to marginal ways. And the film doesn’t just block rays; it also cuts down on glare, which can make it much easier to enjoy the view, even when the light is trying to stream directly through the window.
If you decide to apply film to your windows, however, you should probably use a professional installer, who can offer you a warranty that overrides the manufacturer’s, which is often voided when window film is applied. The overriding warranty is often very cost effective. And the windows can be washed and cleaned just as they would were the film not to be applied.
Other alternatives to blocking unwanted sunlight include specially made perforated fabrics that can be obtained from many hardware stores (these are especially effective for skylights).