How Eco-Friendly Are New Awnings for Your Home?

Are you someone who won't make a major purchase without first considering its environmental impact? This principled approach can sometimes be quite straightforward with some large purchases, such as electrical appliances (where you opt for energy-saving devices), or a new car (where an electric or hybrid vehicle makes the most sense to you). But the environmental impact of a given potential purchase may not always be so clear-cut. Is adding awnings to your home an environmentally friendly thing to do?

Providing Shade

In many relevant respects, awnings are an eco-friendly addition to any home. Their primary purpose is to provide shade. When awnings are installed over windows or on a patio, the amount of direct sunlight entering the room is sharply reduced, which in turn reduces the temperature of the room. Awnings can reduce your electricity usage when it comes to cooling your home—your air conditioner may require less effort (and less electricity) to achieve the desired results once awnings have been installed.

Extending and Retracting

Depending on where you live (and the subsequent average temperatures and amount of sunlight), you might prefer to keep your awnings permanently extended. However, if the winters in your particular part of Australia tend to be crisp, permanently extended awnings may contribute to increased heating bills. Retractable awnings are useful in this instance. The retraction mechanism can be electrical or manual. Manual retraction is best if you want your awnings to be as eco-friendly as possible. Manually-operated awnings are also less expensive to install, and it's not as though you'll need to be constantly extending or retracting them—it's only going to be a seasonal requirement.

The Materials

Of course, you'll want the awnings themselves to be made of sustainable materials. Canvas (or any organic material) should actually be avoided. These materials will not withstand ongoing exposure to UV light as well as their synthetic alternatives, resulting in a shorter lifespan. Tell your awnings provider that you're interested in synthetic awnings made from recycled materials. Synthetic materials typically need less maintenance, which means that fewer resources are needed to keep them presentable and in good working order (periodic washing with soap and water is generally all that's needed).

Yes, purchasing awnings for your home can be an eco-friendly decision. However, to truly be environmentally responsible with this new addition to your home, a few relevant decisions must be made when choosing your awnings. For more information on awnings, contact a professional near you.