Most homeowners buy these items for the shade they provide over decks, making time spent outdoors more comfortable. Sure, the initial cost to buy and install a retractable awning can be steep. Yet they often end up saving the homeowner money in the long term, in part because of the shade they provide to the interior of the home. Air conditioners don't have to work as hard to cool the home, resulting in lower electric bills. Over time, these can add up to significant savings.