A bare window in the wrong position can be subject to all sorts of weather issues. And it can cost you more money than you realise.
In summer, the sun can stream in, beating against the panes, making a room unbearably hot to be in, even with the drapes drawn. You’ll probably need to boost your air conditioning or fan use inside the home (which, we all know, equals big bucks). And too much light can also fade your carpets, upholstery and costly artworks if left unchecked—that’s more of your hard earned cash down the drain.
In winter, driving rain can destroy paintwork and the resulting drafts can make your heating bills skyrocket. Condensation build up can lead to rising damp problems inside your home and even encourage toxic black mould to appear, which can be hard to get rid of without professional help.
Thankfully, awnings were invented centuries ago to solve these exact problems. And they’re just as useful and popular home additions today!
While early awnings featured a simple fixed frame with canvas material that could be rolled by hand up to the rafters, in the late nineteenth century, operating awnings became more popular. These had extension arms that could be retracted with a rope and pulley system, allowing you to adjust the awning incrementally depending on weather conditions.
While an improvement on those earlier fixed awnings, operable awnings tended to bunch up when you retracted them, looking untidy. They were hard to deploy in gale force winds and the cloth rolls could pool moisture, hastening their deterioration over time.
Today, there are so many different kinds of awnings—from aluminium designs to fully mechanised and motorized versions—that it’s easy to find the perfect solution for your home. You can add an awning to your windows, patio, garden or porch. They can cover thermal solar panels during the summer months or create a new outdoor room with the addition of a screen add-on that keeps out bugs and lets you extend and enjoy your space more, late into the night.
You can still purchase manually operated awnings that are affordable and flexible for a wide range of uses—particularly patios and decks where you might not have easy access to electricity. These can be especially useful if your home suffers from high winds regularly, like near the ocean.
Motorized electrical awnings allow their lateral supports to retract fully at the touch of a remote control or switch located on the wall nearby. Instead of canvas you can now choose from a range of awning materials, including aluminium, corrugated fibreglass or polycarbonate.
Think outside the box: you could set up a complete home automation system for your awning that unrolls it at a touch of a button when hot weather looms and makes your space unbearable. Some awning systems even come with sensors to automatically retract when high winds become a problem.
Studies show that the right awning can instantly protect you from UV rays and heat, dropping the temperature beneath the canopy by up to 20 degrees. In summer, they can reduce solar heat on southern windows by up to 65 per cent and 77 per cent on western windows.
It makes sense to add awnings to your windows and outdoor spaces—they’re the perfect way to get that indoor-outdoor lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about.