help with west facing windows

m2twoJune 23, 2012

We are in the very beginning stages of building our new home. We found a house plan that we like a lot. The great room sticks out the front like a prow but with a 90 degree angle so that when you look at the house from the front it looks like it has a triangle attached to it. Each of the two walls are 15 feet and solid windows. On our lot one side would face south and the other would face west. We would put the fireplace on the west wall to help block out the sun. The house is 2 story so the eaves would not help block out any sun. We live in Eastern Washington so more cool than hot but summers can get extremely hot. My concern is that this room would get too hot in the summer or make our cooling costs unbearable. I've been researching windows that are supposed to block out heat. Do they work? Are they a lot more expensive? Should I mix the windows so the southern wall lets in heat in the winter? Or are we crazy to build a wall of windows to the west? Thanks in advance for advice.

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Since you are at the beginning of your design process, now would be a very good time to possibly reconsider the idea of having a large wall of glass facing west.

While the heat blocking LowE glass coatings really do help (a lot) in preventing excessive solar heat gain, you are also talking a lot of glass in the wall as you described it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Spokane Washington is near 17:1 heating to cooling degree days.

While a big wall of glass is extremely beautiful, they can be a bear when it comes to heating and cooling.

If you are spending the money to design the home, make sure the window schedules are right for your home.

Do you research on passive solar and thermal shades.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Windowsonwashington does the 17:1 mean that we have 17 days that we have to heat the house for every one day we have to cool the house?

I've been doing some research on passive solar but a lot of the information I have found has been for warmer climates. Do you know of some websites I might find useful?

I found some thermal shades that go on the inside that allow you to still see out. Do those work?

I've been looking at the plan a little more and trying to figure out it I put the point of the triangle due west then the windows would be more northwest and southwest. Would that help do you think? Also once I put the fireplace on that wall that only leaves two windows 3 feet wide by 6 feet tall on the northwest wall.

Thanks so much for everyone's help. It is so hard to balance our view lot with the sun.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:15PM
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