From Engineering on February 04, 2008 in Decks and Patios
Homeowners nowadays see remodeling as an opportunity to incorporate energy efficiency into the home. While the intention is there, however, it often comes second to other upgrades. A recent GetwithGreen blog reports that one in five homeowners would get a new deck, spa, or hot tub in the backyard over other projects that conserve energy.
Awnings probably fall into that category of upgrades filed away in the back of the bin. Thing is, awnings can reduce air conditioning costs significantly and help make the new deck or patio more comfortable and welcoming in summer weather. In addition, awnings can protect your landscaping material from damage and fading due to exposure to the elements. With an awning, it is even possible to barbeque on a rainy day or to enjoy watching a benevolent sprinkle without getting wet.
Awnings come in several sizes. You can install an awning in your backyard or over a window or doorway. Glass soaks up a lot of heat, as do metal doors, so awnings in these areas can affordably and effectively do away with heat buildup. There are also several types of awnings available to suit a wide range of preferences. Charles & Hudson lists several retractable awnings models that can open and close according to weather. These models, which include the Sunsetter 900XT and SunShelter Elite, may be a good option for homeowners who want the benefit an awning allows without committing to having it out all year round. Retractable awnings are among the most popular variety, and motorized versions are also available.
Other options include stationary awnings, which should be sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and collect snow. Freestanding, portable awnings can be moved about from location to location as needed.
Awnings come in various textures, patterns, and colors to complement any home exterior. Then again, if awnings simply arent the thing for you, try using a patio shade. Made from a lighter fabric that is easier to install, patio shades can provide your yard with protection from the sun and a breezy, pleasant ambiance that will draw you to the outdoors. Patio shades, however, arent compatible above windows and doors.