What’s the best way to cut your air conditioning bill? How about: Keep your house from heating up in the first place. A good old fashioned way to help: Install window awnings. We’ve talked before about the energy benefits and history of window awnings, and we researched 12 places to buy them. Today we have another source to add to the list — General Awnings — which offers 44 different options of window awnings made of aluminum, fabric and steel gathered into one online store, making it even easier to assess the various styles, features and price points. That’s one of their awnings, above.
We received the tip about this relatively new to the market company via reader Populux, who purchased the Vista style awning (shown above) in ivory for her midcentury home.
According to the company’s website, General Awnings was founded by a Colorado custom home builder with many years of experience, who saw the need to think about practical ways to reduce a home’s consumption of energy. General Awnings has a huge selection of aluminum and cloth awnings for doors, windows, patios and more, plus they offer free shipping. From the company’s impressive lineup of awning styles, several are appropriate for midcentury homes and most are available in several solid or striped color ways.
From the General Awnings website:
Why use awnings?
- Window and door awnings reduce your consumption of energy by keeping your home cooler during the summer months
- Window awnings will prolong the life of your furniture and flooring by protecting them from direct sunlight
- Porch and patio covers will prevent premature deterioration of your exterior doorways, keep your porch or patio cooler during the summer, and save energy by decreasing absorption of heat by the walls of your house
- Awnings increase the value of your home by enhancing curb appeal and adding beautiful accents
- A set of simple awnings, when correctly installed, will noticeably reduce your energy bills
Reduce Your Home’s Energy Consumption
A study by the University of Minnesota and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) initiated by the Professional Awnings Manufacturers Association (PAMA) (www.awningstoday.com) reports that awnings save energy on air-conditioning. Another benefit is that awnings also reduce maximum electricity demand, which potentially results in lowered mechanical equipment costs. The study showed that savings of cooling energy from awnings vary from 10% to 69% and peak electricity demand is reduced by 15% to 49%, depending on the location. This makes your awnings an investment that will save you money year after year.
Studies conducted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) show that window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65% when installed on the south side and up to 77% when installed on the west side of the building.
Depending on the climate you live in and how much your home is shaded by trees, awnings could make a significant difference in your summer energy bills at the same time they add some retro curb appeal to your home. For those who have midcentury homes already fitted with awnings, we encourage you to think twice before deciding to remove them. With all this data backing up the impact awnings can have on your summer utility bills, you have to admit that adding our thrifty parents and grandparents knew what they were doing when they added awnings to their homes.