That was quite interesting

The east facing portion of my house is well shaded and adjacent to a wooded lot with large pine trees that obscure the morning sun.  But once it reaches midday and the sun begins to arch over to the west, there is nothing on that side of the house to even minimally obscure the intense afternoon rays.  I went through the hassle of planting hedges and trees, but afterward realized it could take several decades to get any remotely sizable amount of foliage to have a measurable impact on the westward sunlight.  I was chatting with one of the employees in my local hardware store and he recommended that I buy heat control window film. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy enough for virtually anyone to do themselves with just a few basic tools.  The film is cut to fit any size window with some measuring tape, a utility knife, and a pair of scissors. It blocks some of the ultraviolet rays and excess heat entering the windows you apply it to. I was even able to paste it on my double-pane low-e windows I had installed last year.  It wasn’t a miracle fix, but I was able to cut my energy bill back a bit and noticed the air conditioner cycling less in the afternoons on hot days when the sun would normally be radiating the west side of my house like a rotisserie chicken. Although I may go the extra step and buy sun shielding window blinds soon, this is a great start.  And since I still planted trees and hedges, I can watch as they slowly grow in height on that side of the house, perhaps one day reaching the top edge of my house where the roof begins.

HVAC supplier