Whether you want to simply minimize your use of air conditioning or avoid installing it completely, the design of your home's windows is a key component in creating a cool home. The following are a few ideas you can use to help you with this goal. Some are suitable only for new construction, while others can be implemented on an existing home.
Placing awnings over windows that receive direct sunlight will help block some of the heat that comes with sun exposure, while still allowing in the light. Awnings are generally used on the south and west sides of homes, where they are both useful and attractive. If you opt for a retractable awning, you can put it away in winter so you can take advantage of the sunlight through the windows to warm the house in colder temperatures.
In new construction, carefully plan the placement of your windows. Placing the bulk of the windows on the side of the home where the prevailing breeze blows allows you to capture the cooling winds. Just make sure there are also windows on the opposite side to use for cross ventilation. You may also want to consider windows that open higher up the walls, near the ceiling. Since hot air rises, opening these in the summer will vent the hot air in your house to the outside.
Window tinting is another way to keep the view, allow in some light, and keep out the solar heat. You can have a tinted window film applied to existing windows. When done professionally, there are no bubbles or visible seams. You can also get glass that has the tint built in. Another benefit of tinting, other than keeping your home cool, is that it provides privacy. Unlike curtains or shades, you get this privacy and sun blocking capability while still being able to see outside. For more about this topic, talk with a local residential window tinting company.
Old windows can make your home hot. The best way to cool a house without AC is to let in cool night time and morning air, and then to shut everything up tight to keep out hot afternoon air. Leaky or poorly insulated windows will cause you to lose the cool air and gain hot air. Switching to new insulated double or triple pane windows will keep your home cooler through summer and warmer in the winter. Contact a window contractor near you to find out more about the window options available.