Solar Radiation: Problems Caused by Solar Radiation and Solutions to Prevent Entrance into Homes and onto Porches

Part 1 of 3:

Solar radiation causes problems for homeowners and business owners.  Most likely if you live or work in a building that has windows and doors that face east or west you have experienced the effects.  In this three-part series, we will help you understand the three types of solar radiation, the effects, the science, and solutions to prevent solar radiation with different types of solar screens.

image001The sun produces three types of solar radiation:

One type is Infrared Rays, which are felt as heat.  This heat passes through windows, doors, open spaces, walls, and roof tops, causing heat gain.  In wintertime when leaves fall from trees solar heat is appreciated on porches and in homes.  This warming energy is welcomed.   In summer this energy heats

Porches, making them too uncomfortable to enjoy, and worse, warms rooms inside a home and business, prompting us to lower thermostats to get relief in these rooms.  Often times the one or two rooms that receive this heat gain need to be cooled at a lower temperature, causing other rooms in the building to be too cold.

image006A second type is Visible Spectrum, which is light.  This feature of the sun is beneficial to the planet and to us, like photosynthesis in plants and allowing humans to see colors and helping humans manufacture vitamin D.  However, when sunlight peers into windows it causes glare and decreases view. Sun’s bright light causes visual discomfort, distorting our vision.  It makes television viewing or computer work impossible.


The third type is Ultraviolet Rays, which are not seen nor felt.  However, Ultraviolet Rays cause the most damage:

  1. material-fadingCauses photodegredation, degrading materials and fading colors on floors, walls, and furniture
  2. Causes Skin Cancer
  3. Causes Premature Aging
  4. Causes Cataracts



Need for Protection from Solar Radiation:

Most everyone is familiar with these harmful and damaging effects caused from these three types of solar radiation and know how to protect themselves from these dangers by wearing protective clothing, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.  It is important as well to protect your home to eliminate or decrease these dangers and nuances.

image007Solar Screens are one option to significantly reduce or prevent solar heat gain and transference of solar radiation, depending on the screen thickness chosen. Solar screens filter and block the damaging UV Rays that cause color fading on floors, walls, artwork, and furniture.  Some materials even become brittle and disintegrate over time.  Solar Screens also prevent up to 95% solar heat gain when installed on the outside of the home or up to 50% solar heat gain when installed on the inside of home. This valuable solar screen feature decreases summer cooling bills by 20% according to the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioner Engineers, making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Another valuable feature is they allow for a view to the yard, mountains, or lake, unlike traditional curtains or window treatments.

Solar screens are retractable and made for the interior of the home or exterior.  They are available in many colors and openness to suit your home’s or outdoor living space style.  We will learn more about the science and Shading Coefficient, how the fabric is measured for effectiveness at blocking Infrared Rays, Ultraviolet Rays, and Spectrum Light in Part II.

In the meantime, take a look at our Aristocrat Solar Screens for the Exterior of Home link to learn more or Interior Solar Shades for Preventing Heat Gain link.  Solar Screens are designed to deflect UV Radiation and Infrared Rays from the sun.  Depending on the color chosen, they can also filter or block Visible Light Spectrum.  Make your home and porch more comfortable with solar screens and solar shades offered by Palmetto Outdoor Spaces. Contact Us for a free evaluation of your sun problem.

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