With the warmer months coming soon, now is the time to boost your home’s cooling capabilities, starting with windows exposed to the sun.
I love almost everything about my master suite. The one thing I don’t like is that in the summertime it gets a bit of the setting sun. I live in Arizona, so any summertime sun adds several degrees to the temperature of the room, and by the end of the day my bedroom is just flat out warm. Over the years I’ve tried several different ideas to cool down my master suite — some have been met with success and others, not so much.
Reflective window coatings
Last summer, in a fit of desperation, I ended up at Home Depot trying to find a DIY reflective window coating. After conducting some in-store research, I ended up purchasing the Gila Advanced Energy Saving Titanium peel-and-stick product to try.
I’m not the handiest person, but this looked easy enough. Unfortunately, it was harder than it looked. I ended up with a bubble-filled layer of window coating on two of my western-facing windows. It looked ugly, but it was on the back of the house, so I didn’t really care. I think it helped cool my room down, but perhaps I just thought it did.
During one particularly hot summer, I decided to try a stand fan. I have a ceiling fan and use it religiously, but I needed more air circulating in the room.
Unfortunately, the portable fan was not very energy efficient and was rather loud. To make matters worse, something shorted inside the fan and a piece actually caught fire. It took several days for the toxic smell of burnt metal to clear the room. Portable fans just aren’t the long-term solution I was looking for.
One option I haven’t tried is an awning. I know that you can purchase both fixed and retractable awnings for the house that block the setting sun from shining in your windows. I have never tried this because of the price factor. I didn’t want to delve into a more permanent and pricey solution before I’d tried other remedies.
Fixed exterior screens are an alternative to reflective window coatings. This is typically a less obtrusive option than an awning and depending on how many windows you have, it may even be less expensive. You also won’t have to deal with the ugly bubbles from a botched DIY job.
Although I’ve lived in this house for nine years, I never found the solution to cooling off my master suite. I think that there are two main factors that I never considered: the insulation of the house and the fact that the master suite is the last stop for the air conditioner. While an awning or an exterior screen would have certainly helped, there are probably other factors that would have limited the overall success of a given solution.
The good news is that I won’t be spending another summer in this house. My family is moving to a new house in just a few short months. The new house has a more efficient air conditioning system, better insulation and it has a north/south orientation, so I won’t have the setting sun heating up my master suite.
Have you found any effective solutions to keep your home cool in the warmer months? Share them in the comments section!