Easy Energy Saving Tips: Keep Cool with Awnings


According to the Washington Post, The Department of Energy estimates that awnings can reduce solar heat gain—the amount temperature rises because of sunshine—by as much as 65 percent on windows with southern exposures and 77 percent on those with western exposures. Your furniture will last longer, too.
It is the time of year when everyone will talk about air conditioner maintenance and ground source heat pumps, but air conditioning has not been around that long, and people had lots of ways of adapting before the thermostat age. It wasn’t as cool and comfy as cranking down the thermostat on a house with central air, but it used a lot less energy and cost a lot less to install. Many of the techniques logically involved stopping the heat before it got in. A good example is the use of awnings, which were seen almost everywhere.

We noted in Planet Green last spring that this can translate into a saving of cooling energy of 26 percent in hot climates, and 33 percent in more temperate climates where it might even make air conditioning unneccessary.

The awning manufacturers’ association suggests that awnings are eligible for grants under the Weatherization Assistance Program.

By Lloyd Alter

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