How To Choose an Awning – Overview
Awnings are a practical investment that can slash your energy bills, as well as protect your furniture, floors and carpets from the sun’s harsh sun rays.
In a typical building, more energy is lost through glass doors and windows than through any other construction element. While window films and tinted glass will reduce heat gain and glare, awnings accomplish the same goal–and substantially boost energy savings. Studies by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers reveal that when the sun shines directly on south-facing windows, fabric awnings reduce heat gain by 55 to 65 percent. For western exposure, the reduction is as high as 72 to 77 percent!
Considering an addition to your home? A canopy over your deck or patio offers a long-term solution to needed space at a lower cost. It also will shade your deck from the sun, and provide outdoor protection on rainy days. You will want to consider all angles when selecting awning. Style, venting, fabrics and color selection all effect the energy-saving performance of the awning. See our “Questions to ask an Awning Professional” article for more variables you should consider before purchasing an awning.
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 and western facing windows, less protection is necessary. Seasons also will 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. Further, frames can be designed to accommodate casement windows.
The awning design creates more air circulation to dissipate heat buildup. Select a shape that best suits the windows being protected, as well as the orientation of the windows.
Today’s fabric advances have been fueled in part by improved synthetic yarns as the basis for many laminated fabrics, giving them greater strength and flexibility Coatings, laminates, and top coatings are common methods to equip fabrics with protective qualities. See our Fabric Page for more Information.
Color choice and types of material are important energy-saving considerations. Awnings with low solar-absorbing surfaces (white) maintain temperatures closer to the outdoor air temperature. As a result, air temperature under the awnings 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.
In our upcoming articles, we will go in-depth with each of these factors, so check back soon!
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