Awnings have been traced back in time as early as 50 B.C. Of course, they have change a lot since then but their functionality and purpose remains the same. Records dating back to ancient Egypt and Syria make note of woven mats that shaded market stalls and homes. The coliseum in the Roman Empire had a large retractable awning that sheltered the seating area.
When awnings first started appearing on American store fronts they were simple and often used for utilitarian needs. At a time when there was no air- conditioning people needed a way to block the sun and heat. Awnings provided that. Stores would use them to protect their window displays form harmful sun rays.
So why now, in the age of air- conditioning do you need an awning?
There are several reason. One is to provide shade, reducing air- conditioning costs.
Tests have found properly sized awnings can lower cooling requirements by up to 20%. Your actual savings depend upon your climate, location and air-conditioning habits. Closing your shades and curtains can help somewhat by keeping the heat near the window, but the heat is already inside your house. Because of the greenhouse effect, this heat just inside the window does not easily go back outdoors. By sizing awnings properly for your area’s latitude, they can block the sun’s direct heat during summer, yet allow the sun’s rays through during winter. The size of an awning is more important than its material for energy efficiency. Both fabric and metal, often aluminum, block the sun’s direct rays.
Additionally, commercial use are also an attractive way to advertise your business, get your business noticed and set you apart from the “guy next door.” With the options for adding graphics to your custom awning, not only can you advertise your business name you can also add phone numbers, logos, addresses, etc.
There are many options for awning designs and several fabric choices. For residential and commercial use the possibilities are endless.
In my next blog, I will discuss the different types of awnings and fabric choices.