Fixed Awnings' Heating Penalties Can Overshadow Savings
In conjunction with the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association and screen manufacturer Phifer Incorporated, California firm White Box Technologies modeled the energy performance of variousin 50 locations across the U.S. In cities like Miami, with the longest cooling seasons, fixed awnings reduced solar gain and yielded cooling energy savings, but those savings decreased in cooler climates. Even when used only during the cooling season, fixed awnings in northern cities like Boston can block the sun’s heat when it’s needed and result in heating penalties of up to $60 a year at standard fuel prices—canceling out money saved on electricity for cooling.
In all but the hottest climates, retractable or removable awnings are preferable, the researchers conclude. Modeling for exterior roller shades exhibited similar trends, but with average savings of about 25% less than that of awnings.
Published October 2, 2012