High-Tech Awnings Controls Optimize Benefits

Jan 12, 2010, 08:00 ET from Professional Awning Manufacturers Association

Improve comfort and increase energy efficiency by balancing the use of sun and shade.

ROSEVILLE, Minn., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some days, there's nothing more vitalizing than the sun's warmth. Other days, cooling shade energizes with relief from the heat. More than just a matter of personal comfort, research shows that managing sun and shade can have a significant impact on a building's energy efficiency. Awnings with high-tech sensors and controls make it easier than ever for homeowners to optimize these benefits.

By applying shade controls, homeowners have the potential to reduce heating and cooling bills, which account for 56% of energy consumed, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. "By extending awnings when shade is beneficial, and retracting when not, homeowners can significantly reduce energy consumption, while improving home comfort," says Michelle Sahlin, Managing Director of the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

Homeowners demand convenience of control

According to Steve Englund of G & J Awning and Canvas, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, "People have learned to expect the convenience of push button control. Garage door openers, for example, used to be a luxury, but now are standard features in homes. Homeowners expect the same convenience with retractable awnings."

The ease of extending and retracting today's awnings enables homeowners to enjoy the comfort benefits, while enhancing control of internal temperature and energy use.

Advanced home-control devices employ wireless radio technology, making installation quick, easy and cost-effective. Following is a sampling of devices that can help manage solar gain to optimize energy performance and comfort in homes.

  • Sun and motion sensors: Trigger the extension or retraction of awnings based on the sun's intensity or preset threshold for wind movement.
  • Anemometer: Measures wind speed, retracting awnings when speed exceeds preset thresholds.
  • Timers and Remote Controls: Extend and retracts awnings on a schedule or by user.
  • Combination sensor: Combines benefits of two or more devices. For example, a combination anemometer and sun sensor allows awnings to extend to shade windows from bright sun, while retracting awnings in the event that wind conditions threaten damage.

Homeowners are encouraged to contact an awnings professional in their area to find a retractable awnings system to best fit their needs.

About PAMA

The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International, is the only international trade association committed to the awning industry. For more information: www.awningstoday.com.

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Michelle Sahlin


SOURCE Professional Awning Manufacturers Association