Most people think of the benefits of retractable awnings as only giving you a shady area on a hot afternoon–but there are many other benefits when you dig deeper into the subject.
The Many Benefits of Retractable Awnings
Retractable awnings can help you with benefits both when it is open and when it is closed such as:
- Energy efficiency in the summer
- Energy efficiency in the winter
- Cooling effect in the shade
- Protecting furniture both inside and outside
- Redirect water from your doors/patio/deck
- Protection from UV rays
- Motorized or manual operation
- Selection of solid color and stripes in the fabric
- Selection of hardware color
- Environmentally conscious
The great thing about retractable awnings is that you can open them on a nice sunny day to block heat from your windows and doors in either a residential or a commercial setting. This allows you to use less energy to keep your inside cool. In the winter, if it’s a sunny day you can close your retractable awning to allow some warm sunshine to enter your home or business through the windows and doors and use less heating to stay comfortable.
A Cooling Effect
When your retractable awning is open, it blocks the sun’s rays and keeps you cooler in the shade. It’s been shown to cool the area under the awnings up to 20 degrees cooler. This can make quite a difference on a warm day.
Furniture and Furnishings Protection
Your retractable awning keeps the harsh UV rays from entering the windows and doors of your home to protect your furniture and furnishings that the sun shines on. It also protects any outdoor furniture you may have in a residential or commercial setting because the fabric is water-resistant.
Redirecting Water from Doors and Windows
When open, a retractable awning tilts downward at the front to shed water off the area it covers. This means that the caulk and seals on windows and doors will last longer without replacements needed because of moisture that will make them wear prematurely. It also protects the walls of your home or business from water to keep them cleaner and resist mold and mildew.
UV Ray Protection
UV rays can cause skin disease and in some cases skin cancer. With your retractable awning deployed, you don’t need to worry about this aspect or about even getting a sunburn.
Motorized or Manual Operation
You can choose from two different methods to open and close a retractable awning. The manually operated awnings use a simple crank that you turn to open and close the awning. While motorized retractable awnings will open and close quickly with just the touch of a remote control button. Now that’s convenience.
Fabric & Hardware Selections
You can choose a solid color fabric or a playful striped fabric in many different colors to match the architecture of your home or business. Professional awning companies will also carry several different colors of hardware from which to choose to further the aesthetics.
Retractable awnings are great products for the environmentally conscious. Many studies have been conducted and evidence gathered showing that the EPA states that your cooling costs can be reduced by over 25% in the summer when your awning is open.
Retractable awnings last much longer in your outdoor space than stationary awnings. When not in use, the fabric rolls up into a protective housing at the top of the mounting area on your exterior wall. This keeps the fabric looking newer, brighter, and more effective for a long time. On a stationary awning, the sun will beat down on it and it will also encounter snow, sleet, and rain. These items will cause the fabric to get thin and eventually rip easily. The ability to close your awning also protects the hardware and frame from damaging winds that can twist them resulting in you needing repairs.
How Do Retractable Awnings Work?
Manual and motorized retractable awnings work pretty much the same as they serve the same purpose, although the engineering is different between the two.
Manual retractable awnings use articulated arms to open and close them in stages. The first arms are usually spring-loaded and the next ones will unfurl to extend the fabric and frame or furl to close the fabric and frame. You simply wind a shaft clockwise to open the awning and counterclockwise to close it.
Motorized retractable awnings use telescopic arms for their functions. The telescopic arms have gas-filled cylinders to either push or pull the awing in and out instead of folding it in and out. Once you push the button on the remote control the motor will spin quietly to open or close the awning with the telescopic arms.
Are Retractable Awnings Worth the Money?
The short answer to this question is a definite yes. You will have the upfront expense of buying the awning and installation, but after that, you will reap all the benefits and save valuable money on your HVAC bills every month. So, a retractable awning will pay for itself in a short time.
For comparison, if you decided to make an outdoor seating area into a room with a roof over it whether it’s at your home or business to gain more space, it would cost much more money than an awning. A retractable awning is your best bet to save money.
Who Makes the Best Retractable Awnings?
Your best bet for a retractable awning is to choose a professional in your area. This allows them direct knowledge of the wind, water, and snow loads that you will need for your awning. You should also choose a company that’s been in business for many years and one that offers premium fabric and frame options. At Sunshades of Pennsylvania, we are here to help you with a retractable awning. We custom fabricate them to fit your exact needs and specifications with high-quality commercial products. We have over 30 years of experience in helping both businesses and homeowners alike to stay cool in the summer.