Retractable Awning: Manual or Motorized?

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Both manually operated and motorized retractable awnings work in the same manner, though each is different in many ways. Comparing all of the factors and weighing the pros and cons can help you to choose which is best for your unique situation in your home.

Manual Retractable Awning Pros

Manual retractable awnings require you to turn a long hand crank to extend and retract them. The newer versions on the market today are very easy to open and close and not in the least strenuous as the older models were when they first hit the market. If your electricity goes out due to a storm, you can still easily open a manual retractable awning to have shade in the summer to cool you off or to block snowdrifts in the winter or rain. Manual retractable awnings are very dependable with few moving parts that could need to be replaced as on a motorized awning.

Manual awnings are also a little less expensive than their motorized counterparts are. They are also less labor-intensive to install because the installer doesn’t need to run and connect wiring from the awning’s motor to the home’s electrical supply. Extra labor always is more expensive for an installation because it takes more time from a professional. Manual retractable awnings have vertical support rods that run vertically in the rear of them and they fold down when the awning is opened. These rods give additional support for larger awnings and you do not find these on motorized retractable awnings.

Retractable Awning: Manual

Manual Retractable Awnings Cons

Even though it doesn’t take a lot of strength to open and close a manual retractable awning, some older people may not be comfortable with the cranking motion.

This type of awning does entail that an operator goes outside to open and close it using human power. If it’s already raining or snowing outside it can make for treacherous footing for older and disabled people.

Motorized Retractable Awnings Pros

If you are a person who loves your automated smart home and all the devices that it can operate, you might prefer to purchase a motorized version of an awning. This type of awning takes less time and effort to open and close, as you only need to push a button on the remote control or app on your smartphone. This feature makes motorization attractive for more elderly and disabled people because it is easier for them. Many studies have been conducted comparing motorized retractable awnings and manual retractable awnings. They show that the motorized options are used at least four times more than the manual models because of the simple and easy operation.

Motorized retractable awnings are made differently than the manual ones. They have telescoping arms that extend out and retract to open and close the awnings respectively. They don’t have the vertical support members in the rear as the manual awnings do. Another great pro of a motorized retractable awning is that you can find wind sensors that will automatically close your awning if the wind suddenly blows hard. There are also sun sensors available that will deploy the awning on a sunny day automatically to help keep your home cool in the hot summers in PA. Rain sensors will also automatically close your motorized version if it detects rain falling.

In bad weather outdoors when you want to retract the awning to make certain it isn’t damaged, you can press a button on the remote control or smartphone from inside your home, and you don’t even need to venture outdoors to do it.

Automatic retractable versions will usually work well for an elderly parent that wants to keep their home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, but doesn’t want to need to operate it on their own.

If you happen to have a power outage, you have a backup system for operating your motorized retractable awning in the same manner as a manual one with a hand crank.

retractable awning

Motorized Retractable Awnings Cons

At some point in time, you will need to replace some electrical parts on a motorized retractable awning, as mechanical and electrical parts do wear out.

The small electric motor does use some electricity, but you won’t notice it in your monthly energy cost.

The Final Decision is Yours

You should do research comparing both the manual and motorized retractable awnings to decide which is best for your situation. If you are on a budget, you may choose the manual version. However, if you love automation you may want the motorized version. Your level of comfort, tastes, and preferences can help you to choose a model that is just perfect for your home. At Sunshades of Pennsylvania, our knowledgeable staff can help you make the best decision based on your unique situation. We have over 30 years of experience with high-quality products, do awning installation and no matter which of the two you choose, you will be adding instant class and curb appeal to your home.

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