In a west-facing room, what is the most effective way to stay comfortable in summer and winter: replace windows or add shades?
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West-facing room has 30-foot-high ceilings with 10 windows from floor to ceiling. We just bought this home, so we are unsure what summer is like. The hardwood floors are faded in spots that weren't under rugs. We have had folks tell us sunshade blinds (Halcyon, and others) would be our best bet at reducing heat in the summer, keeping warmer in the winter, and allowing us to keep our valley views. Others have said the most energy efficient and cost-effective method would be to replace t
I would start with UV shades on the exterior of the house.
That way the sun is deflected before it ever gets to the windows. You can get these with electric controls so you don't have to go outside to lower them.
Of course this does nothing for the winter warmth, so if you need that too, you'll likely have to replace the windows. If you want winter shades to keep you warm, you need shades that don't allow the cold to infiltrate around the edges, so insulated shades on a track.
You will lose your view with these, so if it's too cold in the winter, a double or triple-glazed window with low-E glass for summer will be the ticket. That is likely to be very expensive, though, because your windows are so big, so I'd try the summer shades first.