SOLAR SHADING is a SUMMER SEASON concept to keep the interior of the home cool and a WINTER SEASON concept of NO shading for maximum heating opportunity from the sun. I recommend seasonal adjustments for some of the concepts below:

I've listed by priority of shading the sun based on my experience and simple earth rotation logic. For some of the list below, look at my house picture above to see an example.

1) WINDOWS: TO BE, OR NOT TO BE! The EAST and WEST Walls should have very limited windows compared to Southern windows, or else the summer "RISING" sun will over heat the EAST rooms and the "SETTING" sun will overheat the WEST rooms. Temperatures can near 120 degrees behind curtains rendering curtains of little help - The heat just rises up behind where you can't know it is still in the house.

This concept of little window on the east/west/north is in direct opposition to some home owners who desire to view a beautiful view to the west or east However, the choices below can mitigate east and west window issues somewhat. Note: North windows are a total loss of insulation for both summer and winter and should be even more limited than east and west walls. Since 2010, Big relief is available from ALPINE Windows of Longmont Colorado with High R value windows, some models are better R value than your walls. Alpen is the same business who rebuilt the entire Empire State Building windows in 2010, then named "Serious Energy". See more at Low-E paragraph below.

2) OVERHANGS architecturally Integrated: Southern windows must be shaded using two-foot overhangs to provide summer shade from the sun from May through August. OVERHANG STYLES: 1) Roof Awning Overhang, 2) Cantilever from upper floor shading lower floor windows, 3) Deck of upper floor shading lower windows. East and West wall won't benefit from Overhangs because the morning and evening sun is very low to the ground.

3) LOUVERS: Southern windows which don't have enough overhang can be shaded with Louvers which are seasonably adjustable. These same louvers can have a double use when adjusted as reflectors of heat "into" the house during the winter time. Louvers work well on Southern windows but NOT east and west windows because the morning and evening sun is very low to the ground. If you were to try vertical louvers on the east and west, your view would be limited to straight out and not left and right.

BELOW: Too little roof overhang so the louvers are providing shade for August and September. By October heating season, the louvers are not needed.

< August, September only: Louvers shade lower half of glass and the overhang shades upper half. May through July, the overhang is good enough. For WINTER: The Louvers can be adjusted to the bottom of the window and reflect sun into the windows for heating the house.

4) LANDSCAPING: Deciduous trees can be planted in the east and west yards to shade east and west windows. I made the mistake of planting blue spruce evergreen trees rather than deciduous on the east and west and south, which after 30 years are now too tall and shading my morning and evening sun during the winter. I have to hire Arbor Pro Tree to trim them periodically. NOTE: Even through deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall, Deciduous trees planted in the south yard will still prevent solar heating in the winter due to the many wooden branch shadows causing serious shade from a mature tree.

5) SOLAR SCREENS: Solar screens are a window screen made of a dense weave as compared to the normal transparent bug screens. The percentage of Dense weave is optional for Solar Transparency. The screens can be seasonally mounted over the windows with thumb twist hooks screwed to the trim. Store the screens in the winter to allow the most sun to heat your home on the East and West and also for Southern windows which do NOT have enough Overhang protection from summer sun, The screens come in various colors, but to best see through your windows you will want black for the best transparency. Solar Screen frames are very strong and high winds have not bothered my screens since 2003. See:    Advanced Window Systems Inc 2111 S Trenton Way Unit 110 Denver, CO 80231 (303) 755-3779.

6) LOW-E Windows: New Low-E smart glass windows since 2010 can provide high insulation values. The center of the glass can be up to R15 while the edge of the glass is compromised by the framing conduction and air leaks. The frame is the weakest link to any window and the most expensive part of the window. Alpen frames eliminate most of the conduction and leakage making them comparable to German high end windows.   The issue I have with Low-E is that they provide less cheery light into the house due to dark green glass, and they are not Seasonably Adjustable to optimize for winter to gain heat and the opposite for preventing summer heat. Ha, My Star Trek dreams. GOOD NEWS: In Winter, the super high R value will reduce the temperature swings between Day and night providing a more comfortable home and the same for summer.

    SEE: 6268 Monarh Park Pl. Longmont Colorado 80503 Todd Collins (formerly "Serious Glass" of Empire State Building fame). They have the latest technology producing the highest R value (lowest U value which is the reciprocal of R value) in the USA which compares with high end German glass makers.

7) ROLLING SHUTTERS: Rolling shutters provide black-out shading and security protection PLUS provide a small increase for the R value of the window or sliding door. These shutters have a track on each side and therefore create an air cavity which helps increase the window R value. In winter, for the best "Solar" gain advantage, I recommend using motorized automatic Rolling shutters which will raise automatically when the sun comes up and lower when the sun goes away. In the summer for example, automated shutters can roll down on the west wall in the evening to prevent sun on western windows. The installers can tap into your porch/yard light switches to obtain electricity. See:  Wayne Svenson


8) AWNINGS CLOTH: Awnings are great for seasonal shading over Windows, Porches and Patio Decks. Umbrellas which shade patio tables are also great. Awnings can be easily ripped apart by high winds and therefore owners are cautioned to fold them up when not at home.

9) EARTH SHIP concept: The most exotic form of Sun shading is to bury your house under the ground. In the Northern hemisphere, you leave the southern side of the home exposed to outside with (nearly) end to end glass for winter heat collection. From my observation however, I have not yet seen these owners shade their southern glass with simple adjustable louvers to protect the summer sun from overheating the south glass! SEE: