Many people think that an awning serves only one purpose: to create a shaded area outside your house. But it is much more than that. It can also help in controlling the indoor temperature of your home, and even help you with saving more money by reducing energy costs.
An awning prevents the sun’s harsh glare and heat from penetrating your home. Thus, it protects your its interior walls and furnishings, leaving the overall room temperature with a much cooler feel.
Most Americans who live in warmer and arid regions have air conditioning units to cool their homes during the scorching summer heat. But do you know that an awning can also help in reducing energy costs by protecting your air conditioner from the sun’s harsh heat? In that way, the air conditioning will be more effective and efficient in cooling your home if it’s not directly exposed under the sun.
However, how well the air conditioner runs will depend on its placement outside your house. Some certain sides of your house will be exposed under the sun, and others will remain under the shade for the rest of the day. The awning will be most useful when used in areas where it gets the most sun exposure. However, if the air conditioner is situated on the shaded part of the house, it may not need an awning as additional shade.
Do not enclose your air conditioner!
While it is necessary to cover your air conditioner to protect it from direct sun exposure, some people entirely enclose the unit, which can lead to some problems.
Air conditioners need proper and unrestricted access to airflow so that they could be well ventilated. When air conditioners are well ventilated, they are less likely to experience mechanical and possibly electrical issues. Thus, they will be more efficient in cooling your home.
According to Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA), the sun’s rays through the glass are accountable for nearly 20% of the load of your air conditioner. Just an awning over your air conditioning unit will be enough to minimize solar gain – or increase of temperature due to solar radiation through windows. You do not have to “box” the unit in with a full enclosure, or else, it won’t be working efficiently.
How much can you save by using an awning?
How much energy and money you can save depends on the size or type of the awning. But generally speaking, you will be able to save an estimated $200 or more every year by using either fixed or adjustable awnings, according to PAMA.
A lot of people fail to realize that there are more environmentally friendly ways to keep themselves cool. It is true that while using air conditioner results in increased energy bills, using awnings and shades will effectively make your homes cooler and minimize your need for additional energy.