Natural Cooling with Awnings
Warm air rises and cool air sinks. Upper storeys receive heat not only from windows and deck doorways, but from warm air rising up from the floors below. This combination makes rooms, apartments and offices warmer on the second floor than rooms on the first floor. That means it also takes more power – more fans and more air-conditioning to cool upper floor rooms.
Installing window awnings, shade sails and patio covers on the first floor to cut glare and heat, and to create cooler outdoor spaces is a given. Protection from the sun on the first floor keeps exterior walls cooler and prevents heat from penetrating the home. But window awnings and deck coverings for upper storey rooms is just as important. Those rooms will be warmer from additional heat accumulating as it drifts upwards. They also have as much exposure to the sun, and sometimes more (!) than first floor rooms, and so receive heat from two sources – interior heat drifting up through the building and direct heat from the sun through their own windows and doorways.
Dome awnings, box awnings and retractable awnings for upper storey windows will all offer protection from the sun’s heat. A fixed structure like a box awning or dome-shape are easier simply because it’s more awkward to manipulate a retractable awning. Awnings for upper level exposure reduces the amount of heat to those rooms and reduces the power needed to cool them.