Buying An Awning – What To Know

It is always interesting to notice how styles change and that doesn’t mean just in clothing or hair. The time was when it was stylish (and functional) for homes to have awnings. You could go down the street and see the old folks sitting out in the shade of their awnings. When every town had a thriving downtown area people would find relief from the sun or the rain under business awnings. Then for a long time awnings weren’t at all common.

Not that long ago businesses started adding highly decorative awnings with the business name and clever graphics on them. The design objective of that generation of awnings doesn’t seem to be to provide customer relief from the weather, just promoting their business.

Awnings for shading, weather protection and business advertisement seem to be making a come back and with aesthetic flair.

You may have noticed the latest awnings in your travels, or maybe on television commercials. There are plenty of benefits for a modern awning. New designs actually add attractiveness to a home. The material used to make the awning can add eye appeal to the home. The shape and design can add space to the home, or the appearance of more space.

Obviously awnings provide shade, but they also reduce the heat inside a home by defeating the effect of the sun before it can get inside. Blinds and shades do stop the sun’s rays, but awnings work better because it stops the heat of the sun outside the home, not inside. You can actually feel the difference. This can have a much greater effect on the temperature throughout the home, not to mention the protection it provides for furniture and carpets from the rays of the sun.

Because it is possible for awnings to reduce the amount of heat that is allowed inside your home by more than 50%, it is important that awnings are selected that are of the proper size and design for your needs. If they are right for your home you will notice a major reduction in your utility costs.

It is also interesting that the heat reduction on the west side of your home can be more than 75%. The temperature outside, on your deck or patio should be reduced by 20 degrees under the awning. The right awning gives your entire family a place other than inside when it is raining.

The style considerations are, of course something you love to look at, but style goes well beyond that. The size and shape of your windows is probably the next most important in what style or design you select. If you live in a state with significant snow accumulation, the design strength is important too.

The size and shape demands, along with your window configuration, are the amount of space you want to provide protection for and head clearance (or clear height). Depending on how low your clear height is, color maybe important. The lower the awning the more critical color can be. Lighter colors tend to reflect the sun and are less likely to hold heat under the awning.

A couple of design features that have little or nothing to do with aesthetic appeal are awning drainage and venting. As for drainage, you won’t want rain water to accumulate in little pools on your awning. The weight of the standing water could easily be much greater than the awning was ever intended to support. Certain awning styles or designs provide venting, which releases any heat that may otherwise build up under the awning. Proper venting and releasing built up heat will make the temperatures inside even that much better.

Once again it looks like history is repeating itself, only better this time. Awnings are coming back not only in front of businesses, but on peoples’ homes. Awnings can add appeal to your home, they can make you much cooler on hot days and give you additional space for family activities when it is raining. With the price of gasoline going up, along with everything else it seems, the proper awnings can reduce the temperature inside your home from 50 to 75%, reducing your utility costs. You get the added benefit of protecting your furniture and floor covering. It appears that awnings are a cool way to save money.