Awnings

Awnings
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Awnings

Awnings enhance the appearance of a home, and protect interior and exterior furnishings from weather-related damage. Awnings have different shapes, and are usually made of aluminum, water-repellant acrylic, or laminated fabrics. They are available in a variety of colors,patterns and textures.Awnings can be operated by hand or by motor, an effective option for people with disabilities of the shoulder, arm and hand. Some awnings will automatically close when there is too much wind.

Awnings can be custom designed, purchased on-line, or from local stores. In southern climates, awnings can be permanently installed over a home's doors, windows, porch and patio. Awnings are practical as well as decorative additions to a home.They can reduce energy consumption---and utility bills! The U.S. Department of Energy reports that when awnings are placed over windows that face west,a home’s solar heat gains can be reduced by as much as 77%. In northern areas. awnings can be removed before it snows. Awnings can also be portable, a source of cooling shade in changing locations for family, guests and their activities.

There is a complex relationship between health and the UV radiation in sunlight. UV radiation is necessary for the creation of vitamin D, and 90% of the vitamin D required for good health comes from the skin’s exposure to sunlight. This exposure can cause changes in skin, bones, muscles, internal organs, eyes, mood and the immune system. Significantly, the sun’s effect upon an individual can be positive and negative. Exposure to sunlight can enhance mood, increase bone density, reverse osteomalacia and reduce falls and their fractures. Yet, exposure to sunlight can also result in skin damage, eye damage, and certain types of cancer.

Awnings have a special significance for people with disabilities who, as a group,are at increased risk for sunlight deprivation because they spend more time indoors. The use of retractable and portable awnings may encourage healthful exposure to sunlight, while effectively protecting against harmful over-exposure. The use of awnings may be especially helpful to people with mobility disabilities, facilitating exposure to the positive effects of sunlight without leaving home.Awnings can also increase the range of spaces for socialization within a home, creating an environment that is both gracious and healthy.
 

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