This is unofficial advice given neighbor to neighbor; accuracy is not guaranteed, and any work on a unit should be done by licensed professionals with proper permissions from the building management.
South facing units get a good deal of sun. In the summer, North facing units get a good deal of afternoon to evening sun. Using blinds keeps the heat of the sun out.
The top floor’s arching windows are a challenge to cover. Some residents have used corrugated plastic which can be cut with scissors; this works well for these windows. Over time this corrugated plastic can succumb to the effects of the sun. Placing a protective reflective contact paper on the outside surface of the corrugated plastic can prolong it’s life.
Some of the windows in the building have become blotchy or foggy which means that the seal between the two panes of glass has failed allowing moisture to enter. Please see an explanation here. Many people in the building have used Riverside Glass Co., Inc. to repair their windows.
Periodically, there will be discussion about having the exterior of the windows professionally cleaned. This has been done building-wide once that I know of, at significant expense to the Association, and the sparkle didn’t last long so it hasn’t been considered a good use of Association funds ever since.
The Lowell Historic Board has rules banning permanent screens and colorful window coverings from marring the historic appearance of our building. Some people use little sliding screens inserted into their open windows to keep out bugs.
Our windows can be difficult to open and close. Part of it is the way they’re set back into the wall and part of it is simply the size of the window. Each sash weighs a significant amount and is not counterweighted the way windows were in days gone by. It may be possible to make them somewhat easier to operate by spraying a bit of lubricant like WD40 [I have since been told that WD40 is not the best idea: white lithium spray is recommended instead] along as much of the track as you can reach with the window open. Personally, I’m waiting for the engineer/inventor who’s going to move in someday and decide to solve the problem by developing custom jacks/winches to raise and lower our windows for us. 😉
As mentioned above, the building’s exceptionally deep window sills do not help the issue when it comes to raising and lowering windows since they reduce access and leverage. A number of people have altered their sills in various ways and/or replaced the surface of the window sill with something more attractive than the original plywood. The original window sills behind the unit walls/sills are the same stone-like sloping material that can be seen beneath each of the atrium windows.
In our unit, we had our contractor split the 2′ deep sill in half and drop the inner half a foot as allowed by the slope of the original stone sill behind it. He used pre-finished oak flooring for the new sills. This not only gave us nicer sills and easier access to the windows, but also made the room look noticeably bigger by moving back that piece of wall below the window 10.”