Awnings, in any season, are an essential device for life in open areas of your own house in the most comfortable and practical way possible, but it is also a simple and effective way of reducing energy consumption and maintaining optimal climate conditions within the home, especially in the hottest months. We are looking at how to make the best use of them.
How do awnings affect energy savings
Primarily, at the technical level, awnings help protect exposed parts of the house and filter the sun’s rays, thus reducing internal temperature in the home environment and optimising consumption for air-conditioning and cooling systems.
Natural shade and coolness result in reduced energy costs but are also a major benefit for those living in the house and for the environment, considering the side-effects effects of air conditioning.
Certainly, it must be mentioned that not all awnings are the same in being able to protect the spaces below them, and, by extension, the adjacent rooms of the house, depending on the type of fabric and their configuration.
In this regard, the role of home automation is decisive: an integrated and interconnected system, depending on climatic conditions, might trigger the opening of awnings, facilitate passive solar gains thus immediately enabling the reduction of heat which many external blind can do.
Moreover, thanks to motorised awnings, movements take place automatically and effortlessly, even without a direct command by the occupants of the building, ensuring maximum efficiency at all times.
How to calculate awnings’ performance
Motorisation and home automation, combined with awnings, make the necessary functionality possible for the use of external awnings as a screen against excessive heat and thus as a useful tool for energy saving, but how is it possible to calculate the savings from awnings in this instance?
ENEA, the national agency for new technology, energy and sustainable development, have placed at the disposal of the public free apps to calculate annual savings in primary non-renewable energy, in respect of expenses for air-conditioning, ventilation and similar systems.
Software enables calculation of the amount of protection, from 0 to 4, between the existing system and that which is to be acquired.
To sum up, installation of a new generation awning, automated and possibly integrated into a home automation system, would be ideal from many points of view.
Benefits and drawbacks of awnings: what the regulations specify
Cost effectiveness is also due to tax deductions provided to those who implement energy efficient projects in existing buildings.
To benefit from the deductions, sun shields – awnings, pergolas and similar systems – must meet a series of requirements:
- must be fixed, in other words may not be freely assembled and disassembled by the user;
- must be positioned to protect a glazed surface;
- may be installed internally or externally or attached to the glazed surface;
- may be opened and closed, and folded away;
- must be technical sun shields, classified as solar energy shields equal to or greater than 0,35 gTot;
- may not be oriented towards the north, north-west or north east;
- must bear the CE mark;
- must comply with national and local laws and regulations in terms of safety and energy efficiency.
The eligible expenses relate to the supply and installation of the products (for the framework and motors etc.), those for any disposal of similar pre-existing systems and everything related to professional fees due for the installation (site inspection, design, etc.). However, the deduction is not applicable for interventions involving partial replacement of system components (awnings only, motor only etc.).
What better time, then, to replace your awnings, improve the energy efficiency of your home making them more user-friendly, convenient and functional?