I like to think my home if it had feelings, would have a love-hate relationship with the sun.
On the one hand, it’s the best source of natural light out there. You are never going to get a better source of light than that big ball of fire in the sky. Plus, with the solar panels on the roof, getting a lot of sunshine is doing wonders for my many bills.
On the other hand, where I live it can get scorching. Blisteringly hot on some days. Too much exposure breaks down the vibrant colours on my home’s exteriors. In the summer months, going outside is like willingly walking into a giant oven. There is such a thing as getting too much sun.
For people, staying indoors and using sunscreen is a good way to block most of the damage the sun can do. For houses, though, that’s a different story. You can’t just slather some lotion on the walls of your home, can you?
You can’t, but I have found other ways to reduce sun exposure.
Blinds are an excellent choice. There are various types, and you can control when they’re in play, so it’s up to you how much sun you get, and when. Different styles allow for varying degrees of control, so you might want to take some time to consider that.
Trees are one way. Placing them along west-facing windows is a good way to cut down on the amount of light that comes in. Trees can also be very relaxing, which is a bonus if you ask me. You can choose to plant saplings that can grow into bigger trees if you can’t afford to plant a tree outright.
If you don’t have the yard space, awnings are also a good option. They’re ideal for reducing sunlight for the indoors and the outdoors alike. They also take up less space than a tree might. Though you want to check those awnings for durability if your area sees a lot of high winds.
For interiors, you can try curtains or shade cloth. These can block out sunlight and heat, with the latter being able to filter out up to 75% of the sun’s rays.
You can try tinting film on the windows, too. These can filter out the light and some of the heat, but you don’t have as much control as you would with other choices.
One consideration is placement.
Anything that faces east is going to be exposed to the rising sun. In most cases, the sunlight isn’t as intense as it is later on. You can survive with just curtains or mild light-filtering blinds if you don’t like the other options.
West-facing windows are also less likely to get anything too intense. West is the direction of the setting sun.
No, the real concern is midday. The sun is almost always directly overhead and is at its most potent. There is a reason solar panels are on the rooftop! The rooftop isn’t the most direct route for heat to enter the home, but it can do damage to any colours or pigments up there.