How to Protect Your House from the Sun

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House (Photo: @TonyTheTigersSon via Twenty20)
Although the power of the sun’s rays can help your home (solar panels, anyone?), they can also hurt your home. Protecting yourself from the sun’s UV rays is as simple as putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat, but protecting your house from sun damage isn’t that easy.
The exterior of your home never gets a break. Apart from the odd cloudy day, it’s subjected to the sun’s rays day after day. After years, or possibly even decades, the UV light will cause fading and corrosion on the inside of your house and the exterior.
That being said, your only option isn’t standing by as your furniture washes out— here are some ways to protect your house from the sun.

Limiting the UV rays filtering through your windows

Windows are the biggest entry point for sunlight into your home. Fortunately, you have some options to reduce the amount of harmful UV rays that make it inside.
Tinted windows: Tinted windows offer a permanent solution to reducing the amount of sun that penetrates them. The outside surface of the window is covered in thin layers of metallic oxides, which help filter out some of the harmful sunlight.
Window shades: Window shades are the most cost-effective methods of keeping out the sun. Best of all, they come in a variety of materials and styles. When purchasing window coverings, look for materials that block out at least 99% of UV rays.
Window film: While cheaper than a tinted window, window films can be hard to install. That is why it might be best to hire a professional to install them for you. The film can also be quite easy to scratch so it may not be a good idea if the windows are in reach of young children or pets.

Protecting your furniture and floors

In addition to protecting your windows, you can take measures to limit your furniture’s exposure to the sun.
Move your furniture: The easiest way to protect your furniture is simply to move it so that it isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy, especially for homes with lots of windows.
Cover your furniture: In cases where you can’t simply move your furniture, you can use slipcovers to protect it. Your friends might make fun of you though.
Rugs: To protect your wood floors from fading, consider buying area rugs. They act as a barrier between the sun and your floors (and depending on the style you choose, they don’t look half bad either).

Protecting your exterior

Another option is to take steps outside of your home to protect your house from the harmful rays of the sun.
Exterior walls: Paint your exterior a lighter color, such as white. Light colors deflect some of the incoming light and help your home retain less heat.
Shrubbery and groundcover: Shrubs and other groundcover planted around the perimeter of your home creates shade and reduces the impact of the sun. Large bushes or a row of shrubs alongside your patio or driveway can also provide much-needed shade.
Plant trees: Planting deciduous trees on the south side of your home can also create shade. When planting trees, make sure to keep them a safe distance from your home so that the tree’s root system doesn’t damage your foundation.