Window Orientation May Determine Most Effective Window Treatments

Window treatments play a large role in determining the amount of light and heat that is allowed into a home and the orientation of each window may be important for deciding which types of window treatments are most effective for your windows. 

The intensity of the sunlight can vary depending on the type of day and the direction of the window and by understanding the difference in the light between orientations, you can make a better decision on window treatments.

The following is a guide for choosing window treatments for windows facing each cardinal direction.

North: Windows that face the north allow cold air into a home through infiltration and conduction which can be a problem in the winter.  The most effective window treatments that minimize cold air infiltration include metalized pleated shades, insulated shades and shutters, and lined or insulated draperies.

East: Windows that face east allow in sunlight that is warm and bright, but the brightness from direct eastern sunlight can actually be damaging to wood furnishings and fabrics.  Using light-diffusing window treatments can help limit the brightness while still allowing the light into the home.  These window treatments include sheers, semi-sheers, casements, pleated shades, blinds, and shutters.

In addition to extra brightness, east-facing windows also let in more heat due to high solar gain in the mornings.  This solar gain can be beneficial during the winter but in the summer it can make a home too warm.

Certain window treatments such as exterior awnings, sunscreens, metalized pleated shades, vinyl pull shades, mini blinds, and opaque fabrics can help limit the effects of solar gain and these treatments can also be opened later in the day when the solar gain is less intense.

South: Throughout the year, south facing windows allow in sunlight and heat that can help warm up the home in the winter.  However, it is important to choose window treatments that can protect furnishings from damage caused by direct sunlight because during the winter, the sun is in the south skies all day long.

These windows could benefit from glare reducing window treatments or heavy, opaque treatments for better protection against heat loss.

West: The sunlight that enters a home from the west is the warmest and has the biggest effect on the temperature inside the home.  Using window treatments on west facing windows such as vertical and horizontal blinds, pleated shades, shutters, shears, casements, or lightweight fabrics should help limit heat gain.

When you are choosing new window treatments for your home, make sure to take the orientation of each window into account.  Choosing the right window treatments can help you better control the temperature within your home for lower heating and cooling bills.

If you think your home could benefit from having the windows replaced, contact Green T Windows to learn about our replacement options.