Our ancestors knew a lot more about the sky than most of us today. However, a little ancient knowledge can save you some money and literally brighten your home. When you consider replacement windows, which windows should you prioritize? 


The windows on the south side of your Des Moines-area home receive the most significant amount of sunlight year-round. This is true for all homes in the northern hemisphere due to the earth’s tilt relative to the sun (the ecliptic). 

If you can only afford to replace a few windows, look to the south for a significant boost:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Abundant, healthful natural light
  • Mood enhancement

Work with your local window installer to find the right combination of four essential factors for those south-facing windows: 

  • Visible transmittance
  • U-factor to avoid heat loss in the winter
  • Solar heat gain coefficient
  • Air leakage

For the most light-bang for your buck, south-facing windows bring in more light than the windows on any other wall. The larger you make those windows, the more light you receive, free of charge, every day. 

Here Comes the Sun

Want morning sun? Look to the east, where the sun “rises” each morning (it doesn’t; the earth rotates into its rays). If you are a morning person, or your household is bustling in the mornings, you may wish to invest in energy-efficient east-facing windows.

This easterly direction does not give you the most light, but it does give you that vital morning light that can get everybody feeling good about their day ahead. 


If you have lovely views of the western sky, you can work with your window replacement installer to find the ideal size and configuration of windows facing west. Sunsets may be important to you; the right picture window and a comfy couch can make for restful afternoons. 

Going Small

To maximize your energy efficiency for your Des Moines-area home, consider reducing the exposed glass area of north-facing windows. You will not receive much light from that side of your house anyway; those windows will help with ventilation in hot months. 

Right Contractor

If you select your replacement window contractor wisely, you can make the most of your home’s orientation and enjoy the healthful benefits and lower energy costs of the sunlight bathing our Iowa skies.

Please contact us today at VanWeelden Co. so that we may help you find the ideal replacement windows for your Des Moines-area home.