Stay Cool and Cut Energy Costs with a Retractable Awning

Retractable Awnings are a great way to turn a sun-scorched deck or patio into comfortable, functional real estate. We purchased a 10 x 12 foot retractable awning for our backyard patio with southern exposure and it has really changed how we live. It is a concrete paver patio with no shade during the hottest part of the day. Now we can use the patio all day long, which is great for marathon barbecue sessions or just chilling with a cold drink.

Retractable Awnings save up to 17% on Cooling Costs

Retractable Awnings save up to 17% on Cooling Costs

The air temperature can be up to 20 degrees cooler under the awning compared to the ambient air temperature. We chose a light colored fabric for a couple of reasons.

  • It was in stock so we didn’t have to special order our retractable awning.
  • We wanted to reflect as much heat and light away from the patio as possible rather than having the fabric absorb the heat from the sun.
  • We wanted to ensure it would feel light and airy on the patio when the retractable awning was open.

Our house stays a lot cooler when we have the awning deployed.  Sometimes we only open it enough to keep the sun from shining in the back door.  This alone keeps the house pretty cool.  As long as the sun doesn’t shine into the house, the heat doesn’t transfer to the inside air.  You can save up to 17% on your cooling costs by using a retractable awning.

We can sit on the patio on hot summer days and also when there is a light rain.  We just have to watch the fabric to make sure water isn’t pooling on it too much.  This 10 x 12 awning adds 120 square feet of comfortable living space to our 1100 square foot home.

Light colored fabric helps keep you cool!

Light colored fabric helps keep you cool!

Retractable awnings are a good way to add value to your home.  While they are growing in popularity, they are still quite rare and could set you apart from the competition at resale time.

What to look for when choosing a retractable awning:

You’ll need to decide whether you want a manual or a motorized retractable awning.  The manual version typically is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the motorized.  The motorized does offer the convenience factor.  Some even have sensors that detect rain or high wind and will automatically retract.  We chose a manually operated awning.  It came with a removable wand to crank it open.  It takes about a minute to crank it open all the way, but it doesn’t take much effort at all.

Choose a model with a powder-coated finish.  This will ensure it looks good and lasts for a long time.

Get UV resistant fabric.  It will resist fading and also reflect more light and heat away from your living area.

Pitch control is a good thing.  Pitch control adjustments allow you to raise and lower the front edge of the awning to be able to block out the sun if it is low in the sky.  It is sort of like using your visor in your car.

Pitch control allows you to customize your comfort level!

Pitch control allows you to customize your comfort level!

Choose a high quality retractable awning and you’ll enhance your Backyard Life experience!

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • Jameel Johnson

    I love the new look you guys did with the awnings. My sister is a interior designer and is considering installing interior retractable awnings in CT. We’ve been debating on whether it will look good.

  • Anne

    How do you like your awning three years later? Would you still go with manual? Light fabric? Thanks~!

  • Lawrence Fabric

    I would recommend retractable building awnings to anyone who wants to use a patio or deck area during the summer. They are a great way to provide shade, and do a much better job than patio umbrellas.

  • Lawrence Fabric

    I would recommend retractable building awnings to anyone who wants to use their patio in summer. Retractable awnings are much better than patio umbrellas.

  • James Henry

    Hey! Same with us awnings makes the patio the favorite place in the world! Thanks for posting this, great information!