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Awnings have been a way of providing shade for patios and decks for years. With an awning, you can block both sunlight and heat from beating down through a patio door or provide you with shade while relaxing outside on a lazy Saturday afternoon. You will also find that awnings can make a great window topper and used as a way of protecting furniture and rugs from directly sunlight, which can cause fading.

In fact, during the hot summertime, by using an awning to block out heat, you can save as much as 65% off your energy bill on windows facing south and as high as 77% on windows facing east and west. Awnings are also great protectors for woodwork around windows. Typically, as the sun shines down on the wood day after day along with the rain and snow, the wood can become warped and rot. However, by using an awning, the woodwork is protected.

An awning will also add protection for outdoor furniture on your patio or deck, let you open your windows during a mid-summer rainstorm, reduce glare on computer screens and televisions, and best of all, they add a nice decorative touch to the aesthetics of the home.

You will discover that awnings are typically made from fabric or aluminum. The awnings made from fabric do require a little more maintenance than an aluminum awning but also offer a better variety of color and shape. Aluminum awnings are low maintenance, sturdy, and provide a retro look.

The nice thing about awnings regardless of material is that they are both designed to withstand high winds and harsh weather. Although a tornado or hurricane may be too much, you can feel confident that most high winds will not damage the awning. When deciding the size of awning to buy, it really boils down to your personal preference. However, you also want to consider the amount of energy you want to save.

For example, if you will be adding an awning on windows facing east or west, you want to have a drop ranging from 65% to 75%. For awnings going up on south-facing windows, you want the drop to be shorter, ranging from 45% to 60% coverage. Just remember that window and door canopies are versatile in that they can be installed with or without side panels.

Additionally, rollup and retractable awnings are an excellent choice in that they block out the sun during the hot, summer months but then allow the warm sun to shine in during the winter. The larger the awning, the more protection you will achieve and if you plan to install the awning on your patio or deck, the retractable model is the most convenient.
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