Saving Money & Energy with Awnings

An Awning’s Purpose

Awnings are essentially supplemental fabric covers that are useful for controlling intense heat and sun exposure occurring outdoors and indoors. There are retractable awnings as well as stationary awnings, drop shades and canopies. Wood, vinyl, and aluminum are some of the materials that are used for manufacturing awnings but are outdated, costly & require a higher degree of maintenance. A lot of home and business owners use awnings to cut down increasingly high home energy costs by decreasing their air conditioning needs.

 

Uni-Lux Awning

 

Old Awnings vs. New Awnings

Back in the day, people mostly had aluminum awnings, which are actually made of tin. These awnings had horizontal or vertical tin slats held together by silicone and were designed for utility and ease of production. Awnings are critical in today's landscape and have gone through a multitude of changes that make them an extremely beneficial option for anyone looking to save energy, money and protect their homes and furnishings from intense sun radiation.

Modern Awnings can be retractable, and through the years, retractability has improved significantly and has become a frequent consumer choice. Not only do they provide a steady cover for shade, but they also protect upholstery, outdoor as well as indoor furniture, carpets, wood floors and artwork from losing its shine. Smaller awnings that don't retract are cheaper while larger stationary awnings can cost more than a retractable awning due to the need of posts, post fittings, custom footings & structural metals required to reach the same span as a retractable awning. A general rule of thumb is that the smaller the area you want to cover, the better suited a stationary awning is.

Modern motorized awnings come with hard wired switches or remote controls. Alternately, you can always have a hand cranked awning to lower the cost of the product and the installation. A modern motorized awning is available with an extensive number of options which were either not available or too expensive in years passed. Options include home automation integration, Wind Sensors, Sun & Wind Sensors, Timers & even the newest Rain Sensors. All you have to do is press a button for retracting for full or partial sun protection. There is an abundance of tubular motor framing and internal wiring in these awnings to make them extend or retract according to your needs.

Energy and Cost Savings with Awnings

Your home’s interior could be damaged if there is dust and debris flowing throughout your home due to improper protection for your windows. Cleaning it every day is a tiring and costly process, which is why installing a retractable awning or drop shade on your window helps eliminate this nuisance. An awning helps retain the quality and integrity of your expensive interior decor, making sure that you do not have to spend more money buying new items or refurbishing the older ones.

Awnings or drop shades provide significant savings on your utility bills. People tend to leave their air conditioner on at the same level for several hours. They get outrageous bills that could devastate their budget. Awnings make these problems easily manageable and avoidable. For example, installing a front-door awning prevents ultraviolet rays from entering your house and significantly reduces solar damage to your door at the same time. This helps to make your house cooler, essentially cutting down on the consumption of energy as you will not need to raise the cooling levels of your A/C as much as you used to.

Moreover, with the help of retractable awnings, you will reduce energy consumption during the summer. Homeowners can use retractable awnings for reducing heat loads on their houses or buildings. Fabric awnings mounted on glass doors facing the south can potentially reduce heat by 65 percent, especially when the sun is at its peak. The percentage jumps to 75 if glass doors face the west.

 

Vari-Pitch  Accent awning

 

The Many Ways to Save Energy with Awnings

Mounting awnings or drop shades to your business or home will automatically give it a classic or modern touch of color as well as depth and add to its personality. Besides their sophistication, color, and aesthetic benefits, awnings have several functional purposes. Install Them in the Right Direction Did you know you could reduce your energy costs by choosing the right direction for your awning or drop shades installation? Install them on windows facing west, and you will bring down the solar heat gain by as much as a phenomenal 77%. Installing them on windows that face south will reduce solar heat gain by as much as 65%. That’s a significant reduction in solar heat as you can see from the data. Imagine how much money you will save on air-conditioning by reducing the heat gain to such an extent that you could see your bills split in half.

It is up to you to decide which awnings are right for you, but an awning professional can help with making the style and color selections to fit your needs and budget. The smaller awnings or shades are just big enough to cover the windows, whereas big awnings can save one side of your house from the sunlight almost entirely. The larger the awning, the larger the upfront costs will be higher a big installation, but the long-term gains unequivocally warrant the investment.

Retractable Awnings Save More Energy

The type of awnings or drop shades you choose impacts your total energy savings at the end of the year. When you are shopping around, you might favor fixed awnings because of their sturdiness and lower price. The disadvantage of fixed awnings is that they can be counterproductive in winters. Of course, your energy needs are different in summer and winter i.e., you want to block sunlight in summers but may want to do the opposite in winters. With fixed awnings, you are blocking the sun even in winter, which causes your heating costs to rise which is counter-productive.

Retractable awnings or drop shades are the perfect choice to save on energy costs throughout the year. The upfront cost might be higher, but the overall savings are better than what fixed awnings can provide. Retract them during winter to let the sun heat your rooms when needed. As a result, you can save on heating costs. Keep in mind you can close a retractable awning in inclement weather. Never use your retractable awning in the rain or windy season… remember they are sun control products. Keeping your retractable awning closed protects them from water pooling and structural damage. Pick the Right Material for Increased Energy Efficiency.