Author Topic: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer  (Read 12672 times)

obstinate

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Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« on: May 02, 2015, 12:02:02 PM »
Folks, the back wall of my house is basically all windows, and these rooms get very hot during the summer. Cooling costs, even with the thermostat set to 78, are significant.

I've been considering a few possible solutions. I'm going to get estimates to tint the windows and also to replace them with double-paned. The windows are non-standard and are a bit too large for me to consider tinting myself. Well, I might try my hand at a few of them, but some of them are more than five feet wide, and my understanding is that tinting yourself gets pretty difficult at that point.

Another thing I've been considering is hanging something like these across the back windows, which I think would completely eliminate the radiant heat that comes in during the summer. The downside of course is that we'd have no outdoor view during the afternoon, and there'd be the daily hassle of raising and lowering them.

What do you do to control radiant heat from your south-facing windows during the summer?

boarder42

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2015, 12:10:27 PM »
do they make something that can extend your roof line out and down?  south facing windows are the best b/c in summer the sun is higher in the sky so if you can come up with a way to extend your roof line out and down such that it block the angle of the sun you will have your view and it will be efficient in the winter still

cdttmm

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2015, 12:15:51 PM »
Motorized retractable awning.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2015, 12:30:20 PM »
+1 to the awning suggestion. Alternately, is there a convenient way to put plants out there? Ex, tomatoes can get pretty tall. Then you have less heat, good view, and tomatoes! This couples well with the storm shades you linked.

If you wanna go tacky with it (like we did on our farm haha) put some aluminum foil or those car shades in the window to reflect the heat back on the plants. You get a kickass microclimate when you do this.

Rural

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2015, 01:44:42 PM »
Solar screen. I can't vouch for any particular company, so the link below is just an example of the kind of product:


http://www.qualitywindowscreen.com/store/solar-screen-material-rolls-c-160.html

lakemom

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2015, 03:37:37 PM »
I've been out of the business for a decade but they make a "window tint" style roller shade (go for one with the continuous loop to open/close).  I can't for the life of me remember what they are called (I'm thinking "solar shades" but can't promise that is correct).  The nice thing about these is you only have them down when its actually needed (say noon to 7) and can be fully up during the evenings and winters. 

yep....a quick google turned up this site (one of many but I've heard of them)

http://www.blindster.com/solar-shades/?gclid=COOE8vqBpMUCFe1j7AodN3MAbg

BlueHouse

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2015, 05:50:41 PM »
Solar screen. I can't vouch for any particular company, so the link below is just an example of the kind of product:


http://www.qualitywindowscreen.com/store/solar-screen-material-rolls-c-160.html

+1. Solar screens are very clean and modern looking and are very stylish. They are also inexpensive.  And wonderful for large areas.

You may also want to put a removable solar sail outside for the hottest months instead of an awning.  Tints on windows don't seem to do much, except block uv Rays.

JenniferOnFIRE

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 06:00:16 PM »
My south windows all have 2" horizontal blinds, which lets me control the amount of light and heat versus view.  They are super easy to adjust as I enter or leave the room (they have a draw string as opposed to the twist pole).  Plantation shutters are another option.  I do think the right tint is a prudent investment, particularly for picture windows that you don't want to cover with blinds, but not too dark.

I also like the suggestions for removable solar sails or some sort of retractible awning.

Longer range solution - I plan to plant some deciduous trees that will eventually give me nice natural shade (and a place to hang a swing or bird feeders or climb or just sit under).  For lower windows, perhaps an open trellis or grid of some sort with climbing vines, either flowering and fragrant or fruit-bearing?  I set up a grape trellis outside the south side of my screen porch and love the coolness and beauty of the leaves and fruit and the peek-a-boo view beyond.  And I have a denser trellis with fragrant Madison Jasmine on the south side of my front porch, which gives me attractive added privacy from a close neighbor.

obstinate

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2015, 06:07:06 PM »
What is a solar sail? I have never heard this term before.

choppingwood

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2015, 06:20:21 PM »
I've been out of the business for a decade but they make a "window tint" style roller shade (go for one with the continuous loop to open/close).  I can't for the life of me remember what they are called (I'm thinking "solar shades" but can't promise that is correct).  The nice thing about these is you only have them down when its actually needed (say noon to 7) and can be fully up during the evenings and winters. 

yep....a quick google turned up this site (one of many but I've heard of them)

http://www.blindster.com/solar-shades/?gclid=COOE8vqBpMUCFe1j7AodN3MAbg

+1

Had something like these in an office I worked in. It did the job when the sun was on the windows, but left the room with full light when the sun wasn't on the windows.

The awning would be my second choice. Really good if you want some shade to sit in outside the window.

Lyngi

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2015, 06:55:25 PM »
I cover my windows.  I have made shades of outdoor fabric with mylar sandwiched in-between for some west facing french doors.  I took the before and after temperatures: 120 before, 81 after.  For a west facing kitchen window,  I got a nice big cardboard box, flattened and doubled it, wrapped the edges in gaffers tape and it hides behind my 2 inch  shades-ugly but effective.  I  just made covers for  DS and DD's windows, I used an insulating liner curtain, sewed some white plastic rings on the corners, pounded in a couple of roofing nails in the walls.  I have a linen shade (mylar center) for the west facing bathroom window, again plastic rings and command hooks--works fabulously-has for years.  I have a (one) plantation shutter for a west facing window, that looks the nicest, keeps the room cool, but I'm too cheap to buy any more.   
     I did replace my south facing windows with spendy triple pane windows,  great for the winter, but they still get super warm in the summer.  I bought 1 inch cellular shades which work pretty good.   The problem with the new windows is that they are too thick for plantation shutters to fit well.

bacchi

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2015, 06:59:56 PM »
Yes, solar screens. Get a kit from your local big box and try it.

ChicagoGirl

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2015, 07:06:49 PM »
OP, I used a fabric similar to what Lyngi is talking about (insulated layers w/mylar), it's called Warm Window which is not only great in the winter, but in the summer, too!  You can get it at JoAnn fabrics (use their coupons). There are easy tutorials on You Tube of how to make a roman shade out of this fabric if you like, and it's designed so you can attach a decorative fabric for a fancier look.

There is an initial investment in the insulated fabric, but within one winter season I made all of my money back on the materials.

 

Goldielocks

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2015, 10:53:43 PM »
I don't have a/c and my west facing windows make it very hot.

The best solution is to hang the bamboo blinds from the eave of me roof, about 18" away from the window. Outside.  Block your walls, too, not just windows.

Second best was to buy solar weave fabric and sew similar blinds out of that.  Hanginging bamboo was easier, though and blocked more.

Finally, I put up a 10x10 popup canopy on my deck in front of the windows. It is not great in the wind, but quick and effective temporary solution.

I have tried to grow scarlet runner and pole beans on lines from ground to eaves.  My containers were too small and it took a bit longer than I thought to get them to grow as high as I wanted.  Maybe it will work for you?

This year I will try a trellis screen, 4 ft away.

Oh, and we move into the basement when it is too hot.

brandonj

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2016, 12:59:51 AM »
Hey Obstinate,

Curious to see if you have any update on this post? What did you end up doing? I have a similar situation at my parents house and they enlisted my help. A friend of mine who works for a garage door company recommended that I use foam inserts that he can get me (I guess they use them to ship the garage door panels) and place them in the window. Then I can put a cheap faux wood blind over.

A quick Google search told me that putting the foam in the window could cause some moisture to get trapped in the window so I am not sure that is the best idea. Plus, my parents like to open the curtains they currently have over the window for sunlight in the mornings and winter days. They live in Arizona so the heat coming through the windows is insane.

Anyways, thinking of going with a some type of a solar weave screen shade. Something that blocks a lot of the light but not all and reduces the heat coming through the window. They live in a neighborhood with an Home Owners Association so I can't put up a shade on the outside of the house.

I found this Sunlera Screen Shade https://www.blindschalet.com/window-shades/solarscreenshades.html  that isn't that expensive and you can add a cordless lift which would make things a lot easier plus it is safer for their grandkids.

Just wanted to see if there was any update.

catccc

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2016, 11:26:55 AM »
Mylar "emergency blankets" taped to the window.  So this solution is very inexpensive and works really well, but it is not the prettiest.  I rent so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a solution for this problem.  Originally I intended to affix the mylar to cardboard sheets or foamboard that fit the windows, so I could easily remove them, but the heat came fast and I just quickly "temporarily" scotch taped the mylar right onto the interior side of the windows.  And it just stayed like that all summer.  They do let some light it, but you really can't see out.  The mylar blankets keep the heat out remarkably well.  Don't let anything get in between the mylar and the window.  With the heat passing through both ways, the temp can really climb, and I've heard it can melt things like plastic blinds. 




Bracken_Joy

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2016, 11:38:03 AM »
Mylar "emergency blankets" taped to the window.  So this solution is very inexpensive and works really well, but it is not the prettiest.  I rent so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a solution for this problem.  Originally I intended to affix the mylar to cardboard sheets or foamboard that fit the windows, so I could easily remove them, but the heat came fast and I just quickly "temporarily" scotch taped the mylar right onto the interior side of the windows.  And it just stayed like that all summer.  They do let some light it, but you really can't see out.  The mylar blankets keep the heat out remarkably well.  Don't let anything get in between the mylar and the window.  With the heat passing through both ways, the temp can really climb, and I've heard it can melt things like plastic blinds.

Do you have problem with moisture between the window and the mylar?

catccc

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Re: Creative solutions to south facing windows in the summer
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2016, 07:28:31 AM »
Mylar "emergency blankets" taped to the window.  So this solution is very inexpensive and works really well, but it is not the prettiest.  I rent so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a solution for this problem.  Originally I intended to affix the mylar to cardboard sheets or foamboard that fit the windows, so I could easily remove them, but the heat came fast and I just quickly "temporarily" scotch taped the mylar right onto the interior side of the windows.  And it just stayed like that all summer.  They do let some light it, but you really can't see out.  The mylar blankets keep the heat out remarkably well.  Don't let anything get in between the mylar and the window.  With the heat passing through both ways, the temp can really climb, and I've heard it can melt things like plastic blinds.

Do you have problem with moisture between the window and the mylar?

We did not. The mylar was taped right up to the glass on each pane.  Our panes are solid and don't have the little plastic decorative dividers on the interior.  I suspect these would have melted if we had them.  If you have something like that, you can either remove them or cut each mylar piece to fit the individual panes.

It may have been more ideal to somehow affix the mylar to the exterior side of the glass, but that was just much more trouble...  I still hope to affix the mylar to cardboard or foamboard for a more flexible solution this upcoming summer.

btw, 10 pack on amazon of these things was $6-7.  They are big- 54 x 84.  I think I used two for 4 large panes and had some leftover "scraps." the scraps were great for stashing in the car to throw over my lap when the heat was broken.  And then I still used it when the heat was working, but before the car was warm.  They would also make a great sensory play toy for a preschooler.  And of course, you can stash them around for real emergencies.  I think I also read you can make those types of "trimming" spa wraps with mylar if you are feeling vanity-like...  Anyway, yeah, emergency blankets, lots of fun.