The amount of sunlight you get will vary depending on where you live.
If you prefer a sunny home with large windows, you’ll want to know which way your house must face for that to happen.
We’ve broken down the reasons why some parts of the house are sunnier than others.
Let’s get to it!
The Side of the House with The Most & Least Sunlight:
The east-facing side of the house gets the most sunlight, while the west-facing side gets the least. The south-facing side gets the most sunlight in the northern hemisphere, while the north-facing side gets the least. In the southern hemisphere, the exact opposite occurs.
How Much Sunlight Does East-Facing Houses Get?
Since the sun rises in the east, there is always the notion that east-facing houses get more sunlight than houses facing other directions. This is actually true.
In general, east-facing houses get more sunlight in the morning and less sunlight in the afternoon. This follows the logic that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Of course, the amount of sunlight that east-facing houses get can highly depend on a number of factors, such as the season, location, and the surrounding environment.
If an east-facing house is located in the northern hemisphere, it tends to get direct sunlight in the morning, especially during summer. This makes the interiors of the houses warmer, which is great if the climate is generally colder in that location.
The direct sunlight adds warmth to the house, which reduces the need to turn up heating equipment. It also brightens up the house, so no artificial light is needed. This will result in lower heating and electricity bills.
In the afternoon, an east-facing house in the northern hemisphere will get less sunlight, making the house’s interiors feel cooler.
During winter, an east-facing house in the northern hemisphere will get less direct sunlight even during mornings, but it can still get lots of natural light if there are big windows.
As mentioned above, the surrounding environment can also affect how much sunlight an east-facing house gets. If trees, tall shrubs, houses, or other structures block the windows, then an east-facing house can get less sunlight because of the obstructions.
What About Houses Facing West?
In contrast to east-facing houses, those that face west get more sunlight in the afternoon.
During this time of the day, west-facing houses get more direct sunlight, making the house’s interiors feel warmer.
Similar to what’s discussed above, the amount of sunlight that west-facing houses get will still depend on several factors, such as the season, location, and the surrounding environment.
During summer, west-facing houses in the northern hemisphere will get more sunlight in the afternoon. Come winter months, and these houses may not get as much sunlight.
Of course, it always helps to have many windows, especially on the west-facing side of the house, to get the most direct sunlight possible.
The surrounding environment can also be essential in how much sunlight a house gets. Even if the house has big windows that can light sunlight in, they won’t be of much use if trees, houses, and other structures are blocking them.
Does It Differ If You’re In A Cold Or Warm State?
It was mentioned earlier that location can also affect how much sunlight you can get in the house. Depending on the location, some houses get more sunlight than others.
In terms of location, whether a place is located in the northern or southern hemisphere is also a huge factor. However, all 50 states are located in the northern hemisphere, with Florida and Hawaii being the two closest states to the equator.
The amount of sunlight your house gets differs if you’re in a cold or warm state.
Generally speaking, houses located in colder states don’t get a lot of sunlight compared to those in warmer states. These states are located in the northern part of the country. That isn’t to say that they do not get any sunlight at all. Houses in these states do get some sun, especially during summer.
Some of these states include Alaska, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and New York.
On the other hand, houses located in warmer states do get more sunlight, especially during summer. These states are located in the southern part of the U.S. Houses tend to consistently get a good amount of sunlight the whole year, even during the colder months.
Some of these states include California, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Hawaii.
So if you want to get a good amount of sunlight in your home regardless of the season, you should consider living in a warmer state.
What Direction Should Each Part Of A New House Point?
When building a new house and planning its layout, you’d want to consider the direction where you will face each area or room. This ensures that you get adequate sunlight where it’s needed.
Here are some general guidelines on where each part of a new house should point:
The living areas in a house should face south or southeast if it’s located in the northern hemisphere and north or northeast if it’s in the southern hemisphere.
The living areas include the living room, dining room, bedrooms, and kitchen.
When you follow this orientation for the living areas in your house, you get the most amount of sunlight possible.
This brightens and warms up the interiors of your house, which can be quite beneficial, especially during colder months. This also helps reduce heating and energy costs.
The outdoor areas of the house, such as the patio and decks, are best pointed to the west when the house is located in the northern hemisphere and to the east if in the southern hemisphere.
With this orientation, the outdoor areas get some shade when the sun is too hot.
This way, you and your family can enjoy these spaces comfortably.
Garage and Utility Areas:
The areas of the house need to be generally kept cool, so you need to minimize the amount of sunlight that they get.
When building a new house, it’s best to point the garage and utility areas to the west if the house is in the northern hemisphere and to the east if in the southern hemisphere.
How Do You Position A House To Get More Sunlight?
Apart from the location and season, the positioning of a house can affect how much sunlight it gets.
To know the ideal positioning of the house, you must first find out if it is located in the northern or southern hemisphere based on its location.
Of course, this is quite easy to figure out. Just look at a map and check if your country is above or below the equator. If you live in the U.S., then you already know that the entire country is in the northern hemisphere.
Once you figure this out, position your house so that the living areas, such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, get the most sunlight while the outdoor areas get some shade.
It would be best if you place windows and skylights on the side that gets the most sunlight to maximize the amount that it gets. This is to provide your house with as much natural light and warmth as possible.
Avoid blocking the windows with trees or tall plants when landscaping around your house. If you block the windows, you will reduce the amount of sunlight that enters.
The same applies when you want to build a garage or shed adjacent to your house. Ensure they aren’t blocking any windows on the side that gets the most sunlight.