Homeowners looking for a way to loosen a tight budget or even to save money so as to be able to beat high electric bills can find substantial relief by installing sun shades or retractable awnings. Whether you live in a warmer climate or only think of staying cool during the summer, the cost savings can reach 50 percent or more with this simple solution.
How Retractable Awnings Save Energy
Most people picture an awning as a way to keep beat the heat with a tall, cool drink on a shaded patio. But the enjoyment doesn’t have to remain outside. An awning can keep the inside of your home cool and comfortable while it keeps the sun from heating up the windows. This certainly translates to a better bottom line since the heat from the sun is capable of raising the air conditioner load by almost 20 percent.
In a 2012 energy study conducted by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), sun shades or awnings installed on the exterior of the home saved homeowners up to $200 a year. Participants were those homeowners living in all 50 states. The amount of energy they saved was based on the location of the home, the climate, the number of windows and type of glass in the home. The study found that a home was not restricted by its age. Even older houses were more energy efficient when awnings and solar shades were strategically placed on the hottest side of the house or where windows received the highest amount of heat.
Sun Shades Let In Light, Keep Heat Out
Sun shades or solar shades can not only be decorative, but also energy efficient. Canvas was the original fabric used for awnings because of its thickness and resistance to tearing. This fabric, however, is prone to mold in wetter climates or if it is retracted before being completely dry. Many of today’s new installations are made of laminates consisting of acrylic fibers and polyvinyl. The more opaque and lighter the fabric, the more energy efficient the product.
Solar shades can block the sun in the summer and keep heat inside the home during the night and in the winter. These are not room darkening shades. The fabric is woven and breathable, letting light in and allowing the air to circulate.
When placed on windows that receive the most sun, solar shades can drop room heat up to 25 percent during the summer. They also block up to 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays. While they are more expensive than standard window shades, the savings solar shades generate make them a cost effective option to cool a home.
How Air Conditioners Drain The Budget
Air conditioners use over eight percent of the electricity produced in the U.S., but homeowners can avoid paying their share of the $15 billion power bill this generates. Take a closer look at your home and think twice before turning on the air conditioner. If the sun is causing a temperature spike in your living environment, well placed retractable awnings or sun shades just might be the lower cost solution over the long run.
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