You’ve probably noticed awnings on some of the homes in your town. They can be both highly decorative and highly functional, in that they help determine the amount of sun or shade your living spaces receive. But their benefits are perhaps best summed up in this list of five ways retractable awnings affect your utility bills.
1. Save on air conditioning and heat
In the hot summer months, you can extend your awnings to prevent the sun from heating up your patio, but also the interior of your home. Awnings over windows and particularly glass door can provide needed shade that helps cool your home and reduces demand on your AC system. In the winter, awnings are retracted to let in more sunlight and warm the home, thus reducing the strain on your heating system.
2. Save on electric bills
A permanent awning reduces natural light and leads to more energy use to maintain adequate lighting in the home, while preventing the sun’s warmth from reaching the interior and so driving up winter heating bills. But a retractable awning admits sunlight to warm and brighten your home, thus helping to drive electric bills down. A retractable awning is no more difficult to use than drapes or blinds, but those other window treatments obscure your view.
According to the federal government, window awnings can reduce heat gain in summer by up to 77% on hot afternoons.
3. Preserve your home furnishings
Your patio furniture may be designed to survive the weather, but indoor furnishings are another matter. Bright sunlight and its strong UV rays over time can have a discoloring effect that’s hard on wood surfaces and carpeting. A retractable awning can block the worst of these strong rays. This prolongs the life and reduces needed maintenance of delicate furnishings, which amounts to long-term savings on electricity.
4. Expand living space
Homeowners may opt to build an addition onto the house to expand living area and simply give up their deck or patio to the rain or blazing sun. Even a slab of bare concrete can become prized living space under cover of a retractable awning. It can be retracted when weather is mild, so that time spent outside is less electricity used inside. Awnings can be quite spacious; you can find retractable models as big as 12×40 feet with no necessary support columns to get in the way.
5. Increase home value
If you expect to be placing your home on the market, a retractable awning is an energy-efficient feature that could be a selling point setting your house apart from others in the neighborhood. The right awning can increase your home’s curb appeal and its market value.