summer sun overheating the room

July 8, 2019

Hello, my parents need some help. They downsized last fall into a great 2 bedroom house after doing a number of renovations. Among other things still to do is replace the furnace and possibly the air conditioner in the next year or so. After installing new blinds on all the windows, they are finding this summer that the sun is making the living room incredibly hot and the a/c unit can not keep up. they have installed a window film of frosting in the top arch, but are needing ideas on how to tastefully keep more of the heat out, other than replacing the brand new blinds, which match the ones at the other end of the room in the dining area. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Comments (20)

  • millworkman

    Need to get a true solar film applied to the windows.

  • branson4020

    Aside from the window, how's the house insulation? One story house? Exposure? Location? Is exterior shading possible?

  • calidesign

    You can add awnings to the window outdoors, plant a large tree further out that will shade the area in the afternoon, or add insulated drapes across the window to fully close in front of the blinds when needed. I would start though by just putting Solar UV film on the windows. Then get the AC unit checked and replaced if necessary. That may be the true issue.

  • jlvc

    Branson4020, the house doesn't have the greatest insulation, it's west facing so afternoon soon is directly on the house. House is 1.5 stories. They have planted a tree right outside, but it will take a few years to grow. They would rather not put up an awning as it doesn't go with the exterior aesthetic.

    Will suggest the Solar UV film, does it obscure the view at all?

  • PRO
    Doug Walter Architect

    Not the most aesthetic solution, but until that tree grows, they could put up two poles and string some greenhouse cloth as shading for the summer months, take it down the rest of the year! Exterior shading is more effective than interior shading or films because it stops the sun's rays before they hit the glass. Calidesign may have hit the nail on the head; how is the ac delivery to that room?

  • calidesign

    Solar UV film is completely clear. It will give you a better result than the frosted film also. A reputable film company can go over all the details - how much it will help with the heat and exactly what it will look like.

  • everdebz

    If all else fails [and they aren't fussy about the exterior] - could do what we did on both west-facing windows: Costco exterior solar shade in neutral. With hand crank it lowers. Works great and can see through a bit. I won't open the windows cause it stinks so bad... but if that hot, the A/C is on anyway....

    jlvc thanked everdebz
  • jlvc

    everdebz, that's funny, I was just at Costco last night and saw them! Took pictures and sent it to my mom for them to think about! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • K Laurence

    Start with solar film on the entire window. They are available in different grades of UV protection. In addition to providing relief from heat they also help prevent fading of furniture & artwork.

  • wmsimons85

    I ordered from these people the 60% film and am pleased.


  • wmsimons85

    But just make sure that any warranties on the windows aren’t effected. Mine haven’t been a problem but remember someone here mentioning it. The glass does feel hot to the touch probably because they don’t allow the heat to pass through.

  • Flo Mac

    New window screens designed to block light and heat worked great for us until we could afford to have the original AC duct work redesigned for more efficient air distribution in our house that was built in 1979. Screens dropped the back room temp by 5 degrees. This room has 6 windows so even with drapes and blinds it still got warm. Because they cut the amount of sun coming in, it takes a few days to get use to the interior lighting change. Visitors never noticed the reduction in light and new people always comment on how bright the room & connecting rooms look. Liked the new screens so much we eventually had the new screens installed in the entire house. These screens are also more durable than regular screens. Installed 15 yrs ago and still love them. Great investment.

  • jlvc

    Flo Mac, any chance you could post a picture of what they look like? Are they individual screens for each window?

  • Olychick

    I have a solar shade from Costco installed on a west facing window that I love. It is motorized with a remote control that works from the inside. It is really a wonderful feature!

  • Flo Mac

    jlvc, we have two smaller individual screens. A few years prior to getting this screen fabric, my husband had installed all new windows with the type that fold down for easy cleaning. These new windows had one screen in a frame that covered half of the window. He took each framed screen, to a local glass company that also made replacement glass for broken window panes. They removed each screen from the frame and then placed the new screen in the old frame. My husband wanted the full window covered with screen so he also had that glass company make another framed screen for each window, so that each window had full screen coverage. In other words, we have two have screens on each window that look like one whole framed screen. The window company did the installation. My husband said to Google a company called Quality Screen and the screen material is called Solar Screen Fabric. This company's web site explains how the screening material works. We did not order from this company but they offer the product and have a good explanation. Looking in or out the window, these screens look like normal screening. To me the mesh work appears closer and darker than the usual window screen but the view looking out is not obscured. In the daylight, the outside world cannot see in. At night with a light on inside the room, you can see in but not near as much as with regular screening.

  • artistsharonva

    My parents had a similar problem with thier enclosed window sunroom.

    I bougtht them this & they love it. It feels great in there now & even helps cool the adjacent rooms.

    The only downside is it needs to be vented outside.

    It's also a heater & dehumidfier.


  • chiflipper

    It's a common problem in Arizona. While waiting for the tree to grow enough to provide shade consider a lattice with fast growing vines. Any fencing company will be able to install "sleeves" in the ground (below grade), then place two upright "posts" into the sleeves. The lattice work attaches to the posts. The advantage to this method is the easy removal of the structure when it's no longer needed...just lift it out of the sleeves.

  • Anne Duke

    What is the insulation above the ceiling and in the walls? Insulation is usually the culprit and should be corrected, if necessary, before doing anything else.

  • Windowmaster

    I think more efficient glass is by far, the most logical investment.

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