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In the summer months, when temperature regulation can be higher per month than in the winter (depending on your system), the easiest way to keep your house cooler is to avoid placing too many windows on its eastern and western faces. During this time of year, the sun is shining for more hours of the day and hitting your home at a lower angle as it rises and sets. Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, it will be shining straight into you windows every morning and evening, heating up your home and undoing the work of your air conditioning or generally heating up your home.
In the wintertime, this might seem like a good idea to warm your house. However, it can make it difficult to regulate your house’s temperature and is unreliable and difficult to adjust. Windows on a wall with a southern exposure will receive more sunlight than towards the north (assuming you live in the northern hemisphere) and will receive indirect sunlight from high in the sky. This will keep your house bright in the winter months (as well as summer) without overheating.
Directions and the Sun
While you should reduce the amount of light coming through windows on the eastern and western sides of your home, it is by no means aesthetically pleasing for there to be no windows at those ends. Instead, place smaller windows or fewer windows spaced out along eastern and western walls. Awnings are also a very good idea, as they can be adjusted with the seasons and weather. Also consider planting shrubs or trees in front of eastern and western walls, which in addition to blocking some light from your windows will block it from the actual walls of your home; this can contribute to additional overheating.