Are you looking for aluminum awnings to keep your house cooler? Check out my list of 13 places that make and sell aluminum awnings across the country — more than a few of these companies have been in business making retro-authentic aluminum awnings for decades!
Aluminum awnings are an old-fashioned, low-tech solution to keeping your house cooler
What did folks do before electrified air conditioning? One solution was that they put awnings. For much of the 20th century, aluminum awnings were popular. And yes, you can still still get these low-tech solutions to keeping cool. Above: When Scott improved the curb appeal of his house, one of the things he did was add an aluminum awning over his windows and the front door. Awnings over a front door are great for rain protection, too!
- And do you love Scott’s front door? See our list of 14 places to buy or DIY a mid century modern front door to scope out one of your own!
Occasionally I follow environmental and energy issues as they pertain to homes. There are lots of new, technological solutions out there, but I continue to read that our “first fuel” is: Conservation.
That’s where awnings come in. Properly placed, these old-time solutions — low-tech common sense! — can reduce heat gain into your interior and reduce the need for air conditioning. I believe there is even a science to placement of the awning canopy, in that you want to block sunlight from penetrating windows in the summer and maximize it in the winter (passive solar gain). Talk with your pro about this!
How much money do aluminum awnings save on energy costs?
Here is what a 1994 Department of Energy study had to say about the efficacy of window awnings to conserve energy [link now broken]:
Although their effectiveness can be affected by many factors including location, climate, window size, and glass type, the energy efficiency advantages of awnings are clear. According to the Department of Energy, awnings can reduce heat gain up to 65% in south facing windows and up to 77% on windows facing east. Awnings reduce stress on existing air conditioning systems, and make it possible to install new HVAC systems with smaller capacity, thus saving purchasing and operating costs. Air conditioners need to work less hard, less often. When used with air conditioners, awnings can lower the cost of cooling a building by up to 25%.*
Where to buy aluminum awnings
Here are links to other companies that manufacture (which often or may also install) their own awnings.
- ClimateGuard aluminum awnings in Chicago looks like a big company, with local manufacturing.
- T&M Home Improvement in Detroit has been in business since 1962 and its website says they can do lots of retro looks. Thanks to reader Holly for this 2022 tip!
- Weather Whipper Awnings, based in Davenport, Iowa, is a manufacturer with dealers throughout the Midwest. In business since 1968.
- Standard Awning in Northeastern Pennsylvania has been in business since 1948.
- Dura-Bilt Products has been manufacturing aluminum products since 1958. Note, it seems you will need to ask them for a dealer in your area.
- Ballews Aluminum Products was founded in 1958, and has manufacturing in three southern states.
- Silver-Top has been in business since 1947.
- Looks like you can get a lot of NuImage products at Home Depot.
- West Coast Awning in Northridge, Calif., designs, manufacturers and installs aluminum awnings.
- Crossworld Awning Company is in the Cleveland area. I am unclear whether they are a manufacturer. They also will remove than repaint existing awnings. Gosh: Maintaining something rather than just throwing it away and buying new; what a concept.
- Kohler Awning in the Buffalo area. Not sure if they are a manufacturer, but they look to be a longtimer.
- General Awnings manufactures awnings and also carries some products from other manufacturers, the company confirmed with me. Nicely done, easy-to-view website.
- Style-Rite Aluminum Awnings does business in the Columbus, Ohio area, it seems. Scott (photo at top) used them. In business since 1952!
- There may be more… I ran out of energy after three pages of search. If you know of another company, send me a Contact email (link at bottom of website), and I’ll work to add it! Thank you!
These aluminum awnings are not necessarily cheap, and I can’t speak to ‘payback time’ – another thing to calculate.
Although getting an exact match for the size(s) you need, patient bargain hunters may also try:
- Watch for new neighbors who rip theirs out.
- Re-Store, salvage places, Facebook Marketplace, craigslist — take your measurements now, and have them at the ready
- And remember, old products and their layers may contain hazards — such as lead paint. For more info see our page Be Safe / Renovate Safe.