All You Need to Know About Window Directions

Your house's direction impacts how and when the sun hits each room. When choosing window treatments, it pays off to consider which window treatment to choose based on when and how the light hits that window. 

Each window direction has benefits when it comes to lighting a room. We’ll guide you through the process of identifying orientation.

The impact of windows based on the different directions a house faces 

If your home faces South, it may have higher energy bills in the summer. Direct sunlight from the south causes heat to build up, forcing the AC to work harder. However, it may also be warmer in the winter for the same reason.

Similarly, a north-facing home is often cool and comfortable in the summer but chilly and dark in the winter.

If your house doesn’t point in one of the four compass directions, the sun will hit it from multiple angles. Adding window treatments that make sense for each window will keep every room comfortable all year round.

Do south-facing windows get direct sunlight?

Rooms with south-facing windows get lots of natural light. The amount depends on whether there are an overhang, porch, landscaping, or trees near the front that filter the sunlight.

Depending on how much light you’d like to block out or let in, you could go with roller shades, which come in many different opacities and colors. This type of window treatment allows you to block out harmful UV rays that can damage furniture while still allowing some sunlight to enter the room. You can also select an opacity and color that will allow the outside view to remain visible, even when the shades are down. If this is your goal, a roller shade made from solar shade material would be your best option.BB-8-16-22-P.jpgSouthern exposure makes a room cozy in the winter. The addition of shades to the window allows the option to raise the shades and enjoy the sun's warmth during those chilly winter months. However, it can also make summer too hot or bright without the right window treatments. That’s why it’s essential to work with a professional window treatment designer to determine which product will work best for a southern-facing window.

Energy efficiency

Most energy-efficient window treatments use layers of fabric to improve insulation and control light in the room, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Whether you like shades, drapes, blinds, or shutters, there are many energy-efficient window treatment choices perfect for south-facing windows. 

Window shades

Window shades are a great way to provide insulation and control light without blocking it out, especially when paired with energy-efficient floor-to-ceiling drapes. Woven wooden shades pair well with natural interior design themes, while Roman shades look great in cozy spaces like breakfast rooms or dining rooms. 

To prevent UV rays from damaging your furniture and decor, consider solar shades, a roller shade that blocks UV rays and reduces glare without eliminating all sunlight.

UV Film

Try UV-resistant window film if you prefer a clear view but don’t want to risk damage to your decor. This film attaches to window glass, blocking 99% of UV rays and controlling glare without impeding your view.

North-facing windows

Windows that face north receive natural light all day but don’t receive direct sunlight. Light-colored decor and window treatments in rooms with north-facing windows can help take advantage of this gentle light.

Interior shutters

Interior shutters are a great way to take advantage of the indirect sunlight from north-facing windows. Their louvers can let in as much or as little light as you like. In addition, their cordless design looks clean and uncluttered in kitchens, bathrooms, and home offices. 

Try shutters in a light color or blonde, natural wood finish to complement the indirect sunlight that comes through north-facing windows.BB-8-16-22-S.jpg

Sheer curtains

Sheer curtains add gentle textures and patterns to your interior decor without restricting sunlight. Combined with blinds or shades, they can help create an elegant, versatile, and functional window. 

In the daytime, pull the sheer drapes across the window to allow the indirect sunlight to shine through and highlight their design. Adjust the blinds or shade behind the drapes to add privacy or control the light. 

East-facing windows

An east-facing window will catch the early sun, which can appear bright and glaring in the morning, and diffused and delicate later in the day. Dark colors will seem gloomy, but light colors and sheer materials bring out the softness of the sunlight.

Morning sunlight is welcome in a kitchen or living room, but it can be an annoyance in a bedroom. The best way to deal with morning light is to customize your window treatments to get exactly the amount of light you want.

Room-darkening curtains

If someone in your family is a light sleeper who does not want to be awakened by the morning sun, add room-darkening curtains to their windows. Floor-to-ceiling panels with a room-darkening liner will cover the entire window, blocking out those pesky morning rays. 

Those particularly sensitive to bright light may want to consider blackout shades. BB-8-16-22-T.jpg

Light control

Consider Budget Blinds' light-control options for east-facing windows in other parts of the house. Top-down/bottom-up cellular shades can let in the morning light you want, and their position can be adjusted throughout the day.

West-facing windows

Direct light from the west will bring oranges and reds into your rooms in the afternoon and evening. Sunset will amplify warm tones in a way you may find overwhelming, so west-facing windows work best with neutral or cool tones. 

On summer afternoons, west-facing windows can cause heat to build up. To keep the room comfortable, make sure to keep them covered. Another great option for west-facing windows is to utilize solar shades' temperature and light-control features. Solar shades let you determine how much light you’d like to allow into the room and how much daytime privacy you prefer. Different colors and opacities are available to suit various tastes and preferences. 

Blinds

Like with south-facing windows, you don't want to lose all the natural light you get from west-facing windows, but you also need to deal with glare and heat. Blinds are a great choice because you can change their angle as the sun moves, diffusing light without blocking it out.

From wood to composite, blinds are available in various materials and colors that suit any interior design needs.

Motorization

Consider motorized window treatments to avoid continually moving the position of your blinds. With various sensors and timers available, they can be programmed to change on their own based on the sun’s position to give you the perfect lighting without lifting a finger.

Regardless of your home's direction, Budget Blinds can help you find window treatments that make sense for your home. We’re excited to help you take advantage of the direction of your windows to get the best natural light possible for every room in your house. 

Request a free in-home or virtual consultation from your local Budget Blinds design experts to get started. You can find your local Budget Blinds at www.budgetblinds.com.