So you’re in the market for new a house, or you’re wondering which way a bedroom window should face on for your current house. It depends on your preferences and location. But here are some of the most important points that you should consider.
Generally speaking, if you live in a climate that experiences drastic changes in the weather then it is a good idea to pay attention to the way in which your windows face. For example, during the summer months (in the Northern Hemisphere), western-facing bedroom windows will be at a disadvantage, in terms of added heat. While if you live in a colder climate (in the Northern Hemisphere), having a bedroom facing the west would help you save money on your heating bill due to the added solar radiation. Similarly, an eastern-facing window favors the summer, while disadvantages rooms during the winter.
Sunshine or Darkness in the Morning
Another important point to consider is whether you enjoy sunlight waking you up in the morning. If you enjoy it then having your bedroom window point east may be a good idea. However, if you enjoy sleeping in (and not being woken up by the sun) then having it point west might be a better idea. The common phrase ‘the sun rises in the east and sets in the west’ is only technically correct twice a year on the spring (March 20th) and fall (September 23rd) equinox. For the rest of the year, the sun is shifted by approximate 23 degrees, but this depends on much on your location (particularly your latitude).
If you’ve found the almost perfect home, or already live in one, and you are trying to control how much light makes it into your room then you should definitely consider using a blackout curtain. I personally use and highly recommend the NICETOWN Blackout Window Curtains from Amazon. I’ve found that they work great at blocking out unnecessary light/noise during the morning hours (or whenever you need them to).
How the Sun Actually Behaves Throughout the Year
Here is an example of the four cases of how the sun rises and sets throughout the year. There is the Spring Equinox (March 20th), Summer Solstice (June 21), Fall Equinox (September 23), and Winter Solstice (December 22) pictured below. In each photo, it shows the extremes that occur. The orange-ish colored line represents the direction the sun rises, while the red/pink line represents the direction in which the sun sets. The thick yellow line shows which direction the sun is pointing at that time of day and the thinner yellow curved line is the trajectory (path) of the sun for that particular day.
Finding the Direction Your Windows Face
Rather than getting out a compass, and mapping out the exact angle the sun rises and sets for the four different times of the year, I found this tool. It’s a free and useful site that I found while creating this article. Go to https://www.sunearthtools.com/dp/tools/pos_sun.php and type in your address in the search bar, and hit “execute”. Next, drag the “yellow cursor” until it’s on the same side as your window. In the upper right, you can see the time and date adjustments. Choose March 20th first, June 21st next, and December 22nd last, each time pressing “execute” so that you will be able to see the solar trajectory update for each selection. I skipped September 23rd because it’s basically the same as March 20th, try it if you don’t believe me! Look at the pictures below for examples.
At this point, you can go crazy testing out all the dates and times your heart desires. The first thing I did was put it to today’s date, and verified that the data was correct. And it was right on the money. It’s a pretty awesome tool, and I hope I answered all your questions related to the direction a window should face!