AwningsAwnings have been used since ancient Egyptian times. As air conditioning became a standard in homes awnings became less popular. With ever rising energy cost, ways to save money at home with a few simple changes has brought them back as a simple, inexpensive home improvement project that will save you so much money on energy cost that they will pay for themselves in a short amount of time. Of course the new longer lasting and beautiful fabric choices make installing awnings on your home not only a way to save, but also a way to add value and beauty to your home.Energy Savings & BenefitsThe Professional Awning Manufacturers Association has done a new study which shows awnings can save up to 50% on cooling cost. Byron Yonce, MFC, chairman of PAMA states “People don’t realize that there are more eco-friendly ways to stay cool.” “While turning up the air conditioner results in higher energy bills, awnings and shades work with the air conditioner to keep your home cooler and reduce the need for additional energy.”Window Awnings can keep more than just the interior of your home cool. They also protect your furnishings and hardwood floors from sun damage.Window Awnings not only are attractive but more energy is lost through one square foot of glass than through an entire insulated wall. Window Awnings will reduce the internal temperature of your home and will reduce your cooling energy bills.Solar heat gain can be reduced by 65% on south facing windows.Solar Heat gain and glare from direct sun entry can be reduced as much as 77% by adding window awnings with sides to east and west facing windows on your home.Retractable Awnings on your deck or patio can create an outdoor living space an entertainment area for your friends that will keep them cool on the hottest of summer days. With all the color choices from Sunbrella fabrics, it can turn your backyard into a “beachy” feeling oasis retreat with a retractable awning and some outdoor furniture. Sunbrella also makes upholstery fabrics that you will find on the high end outdoor furnishings. With Sunbrella’s long lasting fabrics, the awning and furniture upholstery will give you years of enjoyment.Types of AwningsThere are several types of awnings you can use on your home. There are different styles for all uses around your home. You will find the higher end Sunbrella Fabric Awnings, may cost a bit more to purchase, but in the long run they last so much longer they will actually cost you less per year. Let’s take a look at the different types and styles of awnings.Retractable Patio Awnings used to be seen only on upscale homes. Now they are more affordable and can last for years without needing any maintenance. These Retractable Awnings can be easily retracted or extended with a hand crank or motor. Motors are available with remotes and wind sensors that will retract the awning automatically in case a sudden storm comes and the awning was left extended. They are also great for outdoor entertaining and will keep any large slider or French doors shaded so your home stays cooler.Window Awnings are available in traditional and contemporary styles. Traditional style window awnings have sides that will give you more sun protections than awnings without sides. Awnings with sides are especially needed for East and West facing windows. Spear Window Awnings are made with wrought iron frames with spear finials. Spear Awnings look great on adobe and more modern homes. Drop arm Awnings for windows roll up on a roller tube and can be motorized. Drop Arm Awnings with motors are convenient for second story windows so they can be retracted easily from indoors.Porch Awnings around the perimeter of your porch adds privacy and protection. Porch Awnings can keep your porch cool will protecting it from rain and the sun. You can use Window Awnings around a porch or Canvas Porch Roller Curtains which will can roll up and down with a simple rope and pulley system. Porch Valances are also a popular decorative addition to porches. These Canvas Valances are for decorative purposes but do not have much sun protection because they are a small accent to a porch. They are 12″ – 14″ tall and wrap around a porch to add color and will soften the hard lines of a porch. They are especially popular on coastal homes on the East coast.Shopping for AwningsBuying Awnings online and installing them you can save a substantial amount of money. When shopping online for awnings, there are a lot of different price ranges and it can be confusing on which awning is the best value for your money. The best way to tell the quality of an awning is to look at the warranty that comes with the awning. You’ll find the least expensive models have a one year warranty, the middle grades will have a 5 year warranty, and the top of the line models will have a 10 to 15 year warranty. So what one is the best value? The top of the line models may be a bit more in price, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your awning is going to last for years to come without any inconvenience of fixing problems or needing to replace it. Comparing the time the awning will last, and the cost, you will find investing in a quality awning will cost less per year. Longer lasting high quality awnings will equal less cost per year and more time for the energy savings. With all the colors and choices, you can enjoy the savings knowing that your awnings will pay for themselves in just a short amount of time. Not to mention all the curb appeal and style it will add to your home.