Saving Energy With Awnings

Materials – There are many different types of awning materials, but for the purposes of this article, we will base our discussion on the two most common categories of awning materials: metal, and fabric. In this article metal can refer to aluminum, or any other metal, and fabric refers to canvas, soft vinyl, or any other typical awning fabric.

Fabric – Fabric awnings are more effective at providing a cooler shade than metal, due to the fabrics resistance to conducting thermal energy. However, the thinner the fabric, the less insulating qualities of the awning. Thicker vinyl awning fabric is a more effective insulator than the thinner canvas awning material, and it will shield against some of the UV rays that will typically penetrate the thinner canvas fabrics. The more threadbare the fabric, the less effective the insulating quality of the awning. This is typically what happens to RV awnings, or trailer awnings over time.

Metal – Metal residential awnings are sturdier, able to withstand stronger winds, and require less maintenance than fabric awnings, but they heat up in the hot sun and radiate that heat into the shade below. You can overcome this problem by acquiring an insulated metal awning, such as an insulated patio awning. These awnings usually consist of a slab of Styrofoam-like material that is sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum sheet metal. This is the ideal in durable, low maintenance, efficient energy savings, and cool shade.

Having an insulated metal patio awning (a.k.a. porch awning), or patio cover, along with metal window awnings is one of the most cost effective ways of lowering your energy bills by increasing the shade surrounding your house, thereby lowering the temperature inside your home, and minimizing the time that your air conditioner needs to run to cool off your home. This way of passively lowering the inside temperature of your home can be priceless during a power outage, especially if you have elderly family members, or anyone with a compromised ability to cool off effectively, living in the home. In this situation the use of awnings could save lives during prolonged periods of high temperatures.

The cost of the awnings will pay for itself in energy savings. Get a patio cover, along with window awnings, and save power without sacrificing comfort, or health.