As the name implies, retractable awnings can be extended to provide shade or withdrawn to protect itself in adverse condition. It is safe to say that such awnings offer a myriad of advantages over its’ fixed counterparts. This includes a more straightforward installation and longer service life. That said, the question remains — what would make these awnings a good option for you?
In this article, we’ll explore some practical use cases for retractable awnings and what homeowners can generally expect out of them. Only then can you decide whether they are worth getting.
The purpose of retractable awnings
- Over 70% of awnings are bought mainly to provide shade. This shade is primarily for comfort, to minimize the brightness of the sun, cool down outside ambient temperatures, and make entrances more inviting; however, other advantages warrant some consideration as well:
- Saves energy — retractable awnings can reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 75 percent. This, in turn, reduces the strain on air conditioning units, thereby lowering one’s energy expenses.
- Security — similar to roller timber blinds, retractable awnings provide homes with protection against the harsh elements like rain and harmful UV rays.
Why a retractable awning?
Retractable awnings can be utilized for any direct outside exposure, like patios and seating areas, and indoor locations, such as over doors and windows.
As you might imagine, retractable awnings differ from their fixed counterparts in many ways:
- Unlike fixed awnings, retractable patio awnings don’t require stanchions (posts) that can ruin the outdoor view. They are suspended on air with spring-loaded bearings or guide wires. Other than these, they require no additional support giving homeowners an uninterrupted view of their surroundings.
- Simple to setup — retractable awnings can be mounted on a wall or beam with not much effort
- Retractable awnings can go in small or unique locations, such as over windows, where fixed canopies would not be appropriate.
- Retractable awnings can move according to prevailing weather conditions. For example, you can change the angle of the awning to stave off rain or sunshine from reaching the outdoor spaces surrounding your home.
The answer to the question of whether or not retractable awnings are a good fit for your home will depend on the purpose of the outdoor area as well as aesthetic preferences. Hence, it would be prudent to start asking yourself the following questions:
Why do you need the awning in the first place?
Ask yourself why that area requires protection and what component you wish to manage. Keep in mind that requirements can vary depending on the benefit that you have in mind. For example, awnings deployed in humid areas need to maintain a 3-inch slope to ward off moisture from reaching the base of the awning. By contrast, awnings used in dry places can be almost level.
In some regions, awnings may not be ideal at all. The sheer weight of ice and snow can ruin an awning. That said, there are sensors that you can purchase that automatically extends or retracts an awning depending on current weather conditions.