Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Fabric Awnings Bring Savings

Written by Realty Times Posted On Wednesday, 09 October 2013 18:14

An energy study from The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) indicates that fabric awnings and fabric shades can save you big when it comes to reducing energy costs.

Homeowners are able to save as much as $200, says PAMA. "The significance of this type of energy savings extends beyond reduced home expenses," said Joe Huang, president of White Box Technology, who conducted the study. "When numerous homeowners in a community reduce their energy use, there is less demand for energy during peak usage, resulting in overall savings to utility companies and the public."

The recent study followed the impact of awnings in 50 cities across the country. It focused on older homes, which are smaller and less insulated than larger homes. The results indicated that homeowners could be making a wise investment by retrofitting these older homes with fabric awnings and shades.

"Homeowners often ask how well awnings and roller screens will help to cool their home and make them more comfortable. So PAMA initiated this survey with Dr. Huang to develop credible information about the performance of window shading, as we work to educate home owners and the industry," says John Gant, PAMA's Energy Committee Chairman. "This research uses complex computer simulations for a wide range of variables to generate predictions of the energy conservation."

For example, the study showed that awnings on a home with single or double glazed windows in Pittsburgh, PA can reduce cooling energy 46-50% in a hot year compared to the same house without awnings. Correlating cost savings can range from $81 to $102. In a hot city like Phoenix, AZ the net savings was $193 in a typical year.

The study incorporated information about weather and energy costs, and included a number of variations (cities, shade designs and fabrics). The amount of cooling energy saved varies depending on the number of windows, type of glass in the windows, window orientation and regional climate.

"The sun's rays through glass are responsible for almost 20% of the load on your air conditioner," says Michelle Sahlin, Managing Director of PAMA. "Awnings reduce direct solar gain through windows."

According to the data analysis, in a hot year, awnings can reduce annual cooling energy by more than 25%, compared to homes with completely unshaded windows.

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