Awnings add home beauty and comfort while cutting costs

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A deck or patio provides enjoyable outdoor space, but it can be less enjoyable in a sweltering sun. If your patio lacks natural shade from trees, you can add it with a retractable awning.

A retractable awning will allow you to control the amount of sun or shade. Some retractable awnings have motorized controls and can easily be manipulated with a remote.

The best way to install a retractable awning is to have a professional do it. You can usually negotiate an installation package where you purchase the awning. If you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you can save some money ordering the awning online and installing it yourself.

Mark the location on the side of the house where you plan to install the awning, and make sure you have created a level line. Pop a caulk line to mark the position for the support brackets.

Next, attach support brackets, making sure they align with the chalk line. Life the awning into place and connect it to the brackets with the included hardware.

If it is a motorized awning, you’ll need to have an electrical outlet close by for a power source.

Reduces air conditioning bills

Once installed, an awning can provide shade when you want it, meaning you can probably get more use out of your patio or deck. But in addition to keeping things cooler outside, an awning can also keep things cooler inside.

A study by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers found heat from the sun, passing though windows, is responsible for approximately 20% of the load on an air conditioner. An awning can block the sun before its heat can pass through the glass.

The same study found a fabric awning reduces heat gain by 55% to 65% when the sun shines directly on southern facing windows and glass doors. For western exposure, the reduction in heat gain is 72% to 77%.

An awning can increase pleasure and reduce costs for you while you own your home, and even be a strong selling point when it comes time to put it on the market.

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