Properly designed, energy efficient windows represent a cost-effective way to use the sun for light and reject the heat gain in this climate.  In Houston, it is important to select, orient, and size glass to maximize solar heat gain in winter and minimize it in summer.

Particularly effective strategies include preferential use of North-facing windows and generously shaded

South-facing windows.  North-facing windows collect little solar heat and provide useful daylight.  Overhangs and canopies work well for shading South-facing windows.  East and West windows are more difficult to shade with an overhang, due to the sun’s low position in the sky.  Low-E coating and reflective glass help reduce solar heat gain on vulnerable east, west, and south windows.