The benefits of awnings go far beyond aesthetic appeal. Awnings can enhance the look of your home or business by adding shape, dimension and color. Awnings save energy and protect furniture, floors and carpets from fading.
You actually can feel the energy saving benefits. In a typical home, more energy is transferred through glass doors and windows than through any other construction element. In fact, on a hot day, more energy comes through one square foot of glass than through an entire insulated wall. Solar radiation (infrared light) through glass is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the load on an air conditioner. Property designed awnings can substantially increase energy saved over film and tinted glass alternatives. Studies by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers show that during the period of the day when the sun shines directly on southern-facing windows, a fabric awning reduces heat gain by 55 to 65 percent. For western exposure, the reduction in heat gain is 72 to 77 percent.
It’s important to select a style that will accommodate how much the sun penetrates the windows. For northern and southern exposure, sides may need to be added to the awnings for additional protection. For eastern-facing windows, less protection is necessary. Seasons make a difference. In order to take advantage of the sun’s warmth, some awnings are designed to roll up and out of the way. If you are considering an addition to your home, an awning over your deck or patio offers a long-term solution to needed space at a lower cost. An awning will shade your deck from the hot sunrays and provide outdoor protection to your entire family. Awning style, color and fabric selection effect the energy saving performance of the awning.
Color choice and types of material are important energy- saving considerations. Awnings with low solar-absorbing surfaces (light colors) maintain temperatures closer to the outdoor air temperature. As a result, air temperature under the awning isn’t raised appreciably. Awnings that absorb solar radiation (dark colors) may need to be vented to reduce radiation and heat build-up underneath the awning. Fabric construction also can effect heat dissipation.