Summer Proofing Wall-to-Wall Windows?

Summer Proofing Wall-to-Wall Windows?

Colleen Quinn
Jul 16, 2009

Q - "We have a nice row house in Mt Pleasant that has a great wall of windows in the rear facing our newly redone deck. The problem is we have no idea how/what kind of window coverings would work for this space...

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...We've lived here for almost 3 years and in the summer the late evening sun streams in and covers half of the space, making sitting and eating at the main dinner table very uncomfortable, as well as dumping a lot of heat into the space. The back windows face north and the sun comes in from the left in the picture. I thought sun shades on the outside might work to block the sun, but they would be inconvenient to put up and take down every evening, and we don't have anchor points in place strong enough to keep them up all the time. We face the back alley and no one is directly behind us so we aren't looking for coverings for privacy, we just want to keep the summer sun out of the back room at dinner time. Thanks!"

A - John, I faced this problem when living in Kuwait and in the end had to get UV film installed on the windows to cut the heat — that project was a nightmare even when handled by experienced professionals, but the end result was a dramatic reduction in the glare and the heat. Absent some kind of UV blocker, you may begin to notice sun fading on those fabulous orange chairs and even on your wood furniture.

Sheer curtains will help cut the glare, but do little to help keep your space cool. You can get radiant barrier fabric that could be turned into curtains to help cut the heat; perhaps consider hanging those curtains on the outside of the doors and windows if you want to maintain the clean lines of your windows during the cooler months.

Have any readers successfully addressed this problem?

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