Windows add to the distinctive look of a home, from Cape Cod dormers to the casement windows common on the traditional ranch house. Not only do windows play an important role in a home’s aesthetics, but with the right placement they’ll let in amazing natural sunlight, provide a breeze on a spring day, and offer views of the surrounding landscape. But what’s the best direction for a home’s windows to face?
South-Facing Windows = Top Choice
For residents of the northern hemisphere, the top benefit a south-facing window offers is sunshine. Our city of Cincinnati enjoys approximately 2,600 hours of sunshine each year, so let’s take advantage of it with south-facing windows. During the winter, throw open the shades or curtains from south-facing windows to allow the sun to naturally warm the interior of the house. In the summer, shades and curtains help reduce solar gain and keep the room cooler. Year-round, south-facing windows are ideal for natural light.
Windows that Face East Pros and Cons
When your home’s windows face the east, it’s easier to enjoy natural light and warming sunshine in the earlier hours of the day. Beams of sunlight streaming into a kitchen first thing in the morning can make the room, and its inhabitants, feel cheerier and more peaceful. The ambient warmth, especially during the winter months is another benefit.
East-facing windows can have a downside. According to This Old House, “windows facing east and west accept the very low angle of spring and fall sunlight, which can often be blinding—especially troublesome in a room used for watching television or working on a computer.” The solution for this issue is to install easy-to-use blinds, shades, or curtains that block the light. Another option if in the design or build stage of a home, simply “set the sill more than 4 feet off the floor to reduce glare.”
Window Placement and Design
Natural light, even on grey days, helps a home’s efficiency. The more natural light comes in, there’s less need for artificial light, which reduces energy waste. When a home’s designed, windows often are placed to enhance the exterior aesthetics. However, their placement needs must connect with how the room is used. For example, a large picture window in the living room seems logical but not if that room faces a busy street instead of a more enchanting view. Placing windows strategically to offer cross-ventilation and to take advantage of the area’s typical wind direction can help save on energy costs as well by reducing the need for air-conditioning on some days.
Regardless of which direction your home’s windows face, you do need to maintain them and that includes regular cleaning. Window cleaning can be a big chore for any homeowner, especially if your house has more than one level. Let United Window Cleaning handle it for you. We clean all types of windows from single- and double-hung to casement windows and skylights. Call us today at 513-721-5987 or schedule an appointment online.