Those sunny bay windows add so much curb appeal and are a delight to lounge in front of in cooler weather but can make your home unbearably hot in the summertime. Large and fully exposed windows can lead to higher cooling costs in the summer and have the potential to damage your home furnishings or even your health! Finding ways to prevent unwanted sunlight from coming into your home is challenging, but there are a few solution to try. Too Much Sun Can Be Dangerous Most people love spending time outdoors when the sun is shining, but we know we must shield ourselves against overexposure. That's because, despite how great the sun feels on our skin, there is a hidden danger associated with too much sunshine, ultraviolet (UV) rays. Believe it or not, UV rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation and can cause everything from sunburn to wrinkles and even certain types of cancers. So, heed your mother's advice and wear sunscreen when you go outside. But did your mother warn you that you may still be at risk of UV rays while at home? Most people believe windows block UV light, but that's not true. In fact, according to the International Ultraviolet Association, close to 100 percent of UV-A waves easily pass through standard windows. Although not as destructive as UV-B rays, UV-A rays can still cause indirect damage to your DNA, promoting premature aging and some varieties of skin cancer. And while a person's physical health is of the utmost importance, UV rays can damage the items inside of a home as well. Exposing furnishings to UV rays can lead to unwanted fading. This process is called photodegradation and is due to the UV breaking down the chemical bonds of dyes. Sun damage is most apparent in drapes, curtains, rugs and upholstered furniture, but it can even affect hard surfaces. How Do I Block Sun Heat From Windows? Fading furniture is annoying, but it's the fact that sunlight can raise the indoor temperature significantly. The rising temperature caused by the sun passing through a window is called solar heat gain, and it's a crucial issue for many homeowners, especially those with large and fully exposed windows. If you're wondering how to block sun heat from windows, you'll be happy to know that there are several options. Awnings and Shutters Can Block Sunlight Though They Change the Look of Your Home The first approach is stopping the sun before it reaches the windows with some sort of awning, shutter or other physical object outside the home. Homeowners can see decent results with this method. However, there are several downsides. Awnings and shutters change the appearance of the exterior of a home, often for the worse. Planting a bush or tree not only permanently obscures the view but is expensive and impractical and requires additional landscape maintenance. Curtains or Blinds Block Light But Not Heat. Perhaps the most popular solution is to stop the sun from the inside using curtains, shades or blinds. This option doesn't physically alter the outside look of the home and can often even improve the interior appearance. However, since these kinds of sun-blocking options don't prevent the sun from passing through the window, any material used to block the sun will still get hot. This heat is then transferred into the room, even long after the sun goes down! In addition, since using interior blocking methods requires the covering of the windows throughout the day, you lose the ability to look out of the window or even, in some instances, install an AC window unit. Sun and Sound Windows Maintain Your Home's Appearance. Perhaps the best option is to leave the inside and the outside of the window alone and just change the window itself. Replacing windows can be costly, but they can save you money every month on your heating and cooling costs. Plus, sunlight isn't the only harmful thing coming through your windows. Excessive outside noise is just as annoying. But you can significantly cut down on the level of noise up to 95% entering your home by installing window inserts from Sun and Sound Windows. You can even get them tinted in bronze or gray to help prevent sun damage! These windows minimize both noise and harmful sun rays, keeping your home cooler in the summer. Contact a Sun and Sound Windows representative to learn more.