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Energy Advantages of Retractable Awnings

Aug 3, 2008
The advantages of retractable awnings go far beyond comfort in your outside living area. They offer shade for the inside of your home just as they do for the outside, and since the typical house has glass double doors and several windows that face the patio, the advantage is easy to see. Retractable awnings offer energy saving benefits as well as shielding furniture, walls, and carpets from fading caused by UV rays from the sun.

With a retractable awning, you can really feel the energy saving benefits. In most homes, the majority of heat is transmitted through sliding glass doors and windows. And not just from convection during the cold months - on a hot afternoon, more energy comes through a single, standard window than is absorbed through the entire rest of the containing structure. The sun's radiation shines right through glass and is accountable for over 18 percent of the heat that your air conditioner must remove from your living area. Homeowners can fight this problem in one of two ways - put a film on the window that blocks or filters out UV light, or keep the direct sunlight from actually striking the window (and thus everything behind it) in the first place. A well placed awning can achieve the same ends as the window tinting, and give you the additional advantage of extending and improving your outside living space. A study conducted by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers indicated that when sun strikes the inside of your house directly through southern facing windows, blocking it (by using an awning, for example) can decrease heat transfer by 55 to 65 percent. On a western facing window the benefit is even higher at 70 to 77 percent.

If you are taking into consideration ways to improve your home or give a new aspect to your outdoor living area, a retractable awning can offer real long-term advantages and additional living area at a fraction of the cost of a three season room or an addition. On hot days your awning will keep the sun away, and on rainy days it will keep you warm and dry. With the advantage of easing the load on your air conditioner and lowering your electricity bill, they're no-brainer if you actually run the numbers and analyze the situation.

You will want to think about all the options when purchasing patio awnings for your home, vacation home, or business. Movement, venting and fabric color all weigh the energy performance of the awning, and there are many stores that offer countless designs. Do your investigation and find what options are most important and most advantageous to your distinctive situation, and select a company that you trust.
About the Author
Allen Wright is a freelance writer who follows whatever topics hold his interest. Look for more information on retractable awnings and other retractable awning facts here.
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