As interest in energy efficiency and sustainable design promises to rise with the temperature and energy cooling costs this summer, a recent study found that residential awnings can provide significant homeowner savings on cooling costs and on peak electrical demand by reducing solar gain through home windows.
The study, “Awnings in Residential Buildings: The Impact on Energy Use and Peak Demand,” was conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota.
The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) funded the study and presented the results at the 51st Annual Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Show and Convention in June at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The study was conducted to determine whether awnings are a viable means of reducing energy and air conditioner usage in the home.
Most U.S. residential neighborhoods do not have a significant number of awnings, unlike Europe, where awnings are used to reduce air conditioning use in the summer. The study investigated the energy savings for single-family homes and the reduction of energy use during peak periods.
In the first phase of the study, awning impacts were measured in seven U.S. cities across various climates. The study revealed that in all cities, there were significant energy savings in cooling costs and peak electricity demand as a result of using window awnings. The amount of energy saved varies, depending on the number of windows, types of glass in the windows and window orientation.
Phase two of the study is due for release later this year and will include additional cities.