In many ways, awnings are the forgotten member of the window dressing family. While they are widely used throughout Europe and were a distinctive element of many Australian homes built in the first half 20th century, window awnings have fallen out of favour over the last few decades. However, this is starting to change, with homeowners and architects alike embracing both the practical and aesthetic benefits of awnings.
What are window awnings?
An awning is a special type of cover, mounted above a window on the outside of a building. It is designed to protect the window – and, by extension, the inside of the property – from the elements.
Window awnings come in many different styles and can be made from a wide range of materials. While traditional awnings have a fixed shape and are locked into one place, newer options are increasingly automated and can be adjusted and pivoted to provide maximum protection.
How can window awnings help protect my home?
The primary purpose of an awning is to protect your window from the sun. It is designed to limit the amount of light shining onto your window which, in turn:
· Reduces the amount of solar heat coming through your windows. On a hot day, an awning can lower the heat gain of your windows by 50%. This means your house will stay cooler and you won’t need to use your air conditioning as much. This, in turn, can help you save money on your electricity bills and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
· Helps protect you from harmful UV rays. Untinted glass offers minimal protection from solar radiation, but a window awning – particularly one made out of sunscreen material – can significantly lower the UV rays that come in through your windows.
· Prevents sun damage to your furniture. You have probably noticed that any items of furniture that are in direct sunlight tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear. This is because the suns ray’s cause the furniture’s material to prematurely age.
Awnings don’t just protect your home from the sun, though – they provide protection from all of the elements:
· Windows fitted with an awning are protected from strong winds. This can help your home retain heat during the cooler months and reduces the occurrence of cold drafts.
· An awning can also help protect your window frame from water damage caused by rain. It does this by stopping water from coming in direct contact with the window frame and directing any backflow away from your house.
· Some people who have had window awnings installed even report a drop in the number of bugs coming into their house. This is most likely due to the awning acting like a bug screen.
Choosing an awning
If you are thinking about having window awnings installed, there are a few important things to consider.
First, you need to work out which windows you want awnings installed on. Depending on your budget, adding an awning to every window may not be cost effective. As such, it’s best to focus on those that will benefit most from the protection – like the windows that get the most sun.
Next, you will need to choose the style of awning you would like. As there are many different options, each with their own benefits and restrictions, you may wish to talk to a professional about what will best suit your property.
Finally, you should consider what you want your awnings to look like. While the current trend is to choose a colour that coordinates with the property’s exterior, you may wish to make more of a style statement. Bear in mind though, while darker colours are better at reducing glare, lighter colours provide better heat protection.
Want more information?
If you’re thinking about installing window awnings, but still have questions about how they work, give 1800 Blinds a call. We supply a wide range of awning options and can help you pick the style that best suits your home. To discuss how window awnings could help protect your property, contact the team at 1800 Blinds today!