Common Questions about Awnings

Retractable awnings are a great way to shade your home from harsh sunlight while at the same time saving energy and money. Wondering how? Keep reading for the answer to this and other common questions about awnings, including how they work, how to customize them to fit your home and style, and even how to protect your awning for years of enjoyable use. 

How are awnings energy efficient?

When solar radiation passes through the windows on your home, internal heat gets trapped and rises, making your house hot and stuffy. Retractable awnings reflect or bounce sunlight back into the atmosphere, preventing it from entering your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows.” With custom, retractable awnings, your home can stay cool in the summertime without cranking up the air conditioner. This saves you money on monthly power bills.

How do I customize my awning?

There are many types of awnings from Venetian to Hood to Hip awnings which are each customized to fit certain window types. For best results, mark the direction your window faces and select a suitable awning. For south-facing windows, choose an awning that is horizontal. For east- or west-facing windows, make sure to choose an awning that extends down to cover almost the whole window. Some awnings can be adjusted to match the incoming angle of the sun.

As a rule of thumb, light colors reflect more sunlight. A bright yellow awning will keep your home cooler than a dark navy blue. Also, the awning fabric should be tightly woven and opaque to block the sun’s rays from entering your home which increases heat. Ventilation is likewise required to keep hot air from getting trapped between the awning and the window. Choose an awning with openings along the tops or sides to allow air flow. 

If you live in a place where the seasons change almost without warning, such as Utah, install a retractable awning which you can retract in the wintertime to allow more solar heat into your home, and then extend it out again in the summer to keep off the sweltering desert sun.  

How do I protect my awning? 

Awnings are generally made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic and polyvinyl laminates which are water-proof and specially treated to battle mildew and prevent fading or sun bleaching. All that is required for further protection is to retract the awnings during heavy rain storms and in the wintertime to prevent fabric tears and other weathering damage. 


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Posted by on Sep 15 2012. Filed under Landscaping. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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