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Saving Energy with Awnings, Screens and Interior Shades

Whether it’s a time where finances are stretched a bit thin, or you’re just interested in making your family budget as lean as possible, saving energy can really help.

Energy is a recurring expense that can feel uncontrollable. Families often try to cut costs in other ways, like using coupons at the grocery store or trying not to spend too much on online shopping.

But saving energy is actually one of the best ways to save money, because many energy-saving interventions are one-time investments that do the penny-pinching for you.

This article is about three things you can do to start saving energy today. Read on to learn how much you stand to save with awnings, screens and interior shades.

Saving Energy with Awnings

As we’ve written about before, residential awnings cut your energy costs simply by providing shade for your windows. That’s because when sunlight passes through your windows, it turns to heat. On hot days, this makes your air conditioning work harder to keep the interior cool.

Just how effective are awnings for saving energy? Here are a few facts:

  • They can save you up to 34% on annual cooling costs, or around $187 per year.
  • If it’s an especially hot year, you may be able to save an extra 18%.
  • Darker awnings are better than lighter ones because they absorb more light.

Of course, heat gain in winter is a good thing. That’s why retractable awnings are best. You can pull them back in the winter to let more sunlight hit the windows and reduce your heating costs.

How Screens Can Help

Awnings are a great start, but unless they extend all the way to the ground (and who wants that?), they don’t block 100% of sunlight. It’s going to hit east/south-facing windows as it rises and west/south-facing windows as it sets.

This is where exterior solar screens come in. Solar screens (or “sun screens”) helps you save even more by reducing solar admittance - sunlight radiating through the window and turning to heat - by up to 82%.

There are different options for exterior solar screens: manual, motorized, and programmable.

  • For manual exterior screens, if you want to let in more sunlight, you have to go outside to lower them on sunny days. That’s obviously not ideal if you want saving energy to be effortless.
  • Motorized screens are obviously better, because you can use a remote control to retract or lower them as needed. You just have to stay energy conscious and remember to lower them when the sun is hitting the windows.
  • The best option is to program your motorized screens to retract mid-morning, when the sun has risen above the awning, and lower in the evenings. That way, saving energy is truly a no-brainer.

Solar screens make a great companion to awnings, but there is one more approach you can take to maximize your energy efficiency: indoor window treatments.

Interior Shades Help Even More

The final touch is to combine saving energy with interior design. Unlike solar screens, opaque interior shades can completely block sunlight and reduce solar gain to zero. That’s especially useful when you’re away.

In spring through fall, unless you have a plant that needs sunlight, solar gain is wasted on empty space. But interior shades have an added benefit in winter, as they help to insulate your windows and prevent heat loss.

If you don’t have exterior screens installed, you may also want to install interior solar screens to complement your opaque shades, curtains or drapes for times when you want to let some sunlight in.

Just like exterior solar screens, interior screens can be installed on a track that is motorized and programmed to automatically open or close at optimal times for saving energy.

Work with Coastal Canvas as Your Energy Saving Consultants

This basic principle is too often overlooked: shade, when properly applied, is one of the most effective approaches to saving energy you can invest in!

We’re shade experts at Coastal Canvas. That makes us the energy-saving consultants you didn’t know you needed.

In a visit to your home, we can:

  1. Examine the orientation of your home.
  2. Calculate the course of the sun throughout the day.
  3. Determine where and which awnings and window treatments will work best.
  4. Save you money!

It’s just that simple.

So if you’re looking to save some money, give us a call. Schedule your free estimate for residential awnings, screens and interior shades today!


“Thank you for excellent service. It was very rewarding to do business with a company with employees like yours!” - Scott Residence

Coastal Canvas serves these and surrounding areas:

  • Savannah, GA
  • Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Bluffton, SC
  • Palmetto Bluff
  • Beaufort, SC
  • Richmond Hill, GA
  • St. Simon’s Island, GA

A Note About COVID-19:

Coastal Canvas Products is deeply moved by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are acutely aware of the impact that it has had on all of our lives. We are committed to our customers and their deadline commitments, and are therefore working with a minimal on-site staff to keep production moving forward on all orders. We are insistent upon safe practices, repeated hand washing and social distancing at all times.

For some good news, we are proud to say that we are donating our time and equipment to manufacture PPE for medical workers on the front lines and are so happy that we can serve our country in this way. We will get through this together!

- Andrew and Ellen Barber, Owners of Coastal Canvas

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1674 Chatham Parkway Savannah, Georgia 31405. Phone: (912) 236-2416. Open Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.

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