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When the outdoor temperature is 102 degrees and climbing, just looking out a window can make you sweat. Install an awning, and you can reduce the amount of heat that comes through that too-warm window by up to 77 percent.

Likewise, you can substantially subdue the sizzle on a backyard patio by shading the whole thing with a durable, fabric awning that blocks harmful UV sun-rays and transforms your outdoor living space into the pleasant, comfortable oasis you built it to be.
Choosing the right awnings for your home is getting easier. Most awning stores can feed a digital photo of your home into a computer program that lets you visually try on awnings in different sizes, shapes and colors until you see a style you love. Sales reps will come to your home with catalogs full of photos of dome awnings, mansard awnings, canopy awnings, box awnings and swoop awnings. They’ll measure for a perfect fit, and they’ll come back to install.
First, you’ll need to make some decisions about the style and location of your awnings.
Are you buying awnings to make your home more beautiful, or to shield it from the sun? Either way, you’ll find an awning can do both.
There’s no need to put awnings on every window of your home. Indeed, most Arizona homeowners spot their awnings only on windows where the sun is most punishing—and that’s not necessarily on the home’s south side, which is typically the warmest. Instead, most cover east-facing windows, which are a bulls-eye for the bright morning sun, or west-side panes that can take a beating as the sun slips into the horizon each evening. 
The U.S. Department of Energy says south, west and east are the most energy-efficient choices. In fact, you can reduce solar heat gain on the hottest days by up to65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows by covering them with awnings.
They’ll cost you between around $400 and $1,500 per window, depending on whether the awnings are retractable or stationary, although you’ll save on labor if you install them yourself. Either way, the fabric part of the awning should last at least seven years. The metal frame will last longer.
A tip: If you buy retractable awnings, invest in a metal hood to cover the exposed part of the retracted awning. Left uncovered, that slice will react to constant sun exposure by weakening faster than the rest of the awning.
Aluminum awnings are hardier than fabric, and their price tag—which can run into the thousands for a patio cover—matches their longevity. Still, an insulated aluminum awning can be cut to almost any size or shape, including the popular “grand piano” shape of so many concrete patios.

  • Sanderson Ford

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