Brilliant White

 
 

Why you should cover your house in sunscreen

What do white paint and sunscreen have in common?

We all know black attracts heat, so it makes sense not to paint your house black if you’re living in a warm climate.

But by painting it white you can have an impact on how warm your house is going to get. White and pastel coloured paints are commonly based on a pigment called titanium dioxide, which helps your house stay cooler for a simple reason: it reflects sunrays! This is why it’s also used in sunscreen.

Colour matters!  So can painting stuff white affect how warm it gets?

Definitely, and people in warmer places have known it for centuries; it is the reason houses in Southern Europe are painted in lighter colours than they are in the North. It is also the reason you can put water in a black plastic bag on a sunny day and have a hot shower, and the reason why renting a black car on your summer holiday to Spain is less than ideal.

By using titanium dioxide in paint, scientists have discovered that it can actually repel the effects of sunlight, by insulating the house and helping it stay cooler even in the warmest days. This not only helps your body from sweating, but it also means lower energy bills: protecting your pockets and, well, saving the world by increasing energy efficiency.

What’s more, titanium dioxide makes your paint last longer meaning you can spend less time painting your house and more time eating sweets.

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