Retractable awnings are becoming increasingly popular in the US as they help to save energy and, implicitly, reduce energy costs.
Additionally, they allow homeowners to take advantage of areas like decks and patios, essentially expanding the living areas.
Retractable awnings allow homeowners to roll them up when they are not required. The advantage is that during cold weather they can be protected from the elements while also allowing the sun access for added warmth. Then, when summer comes and the sun is too strong, they can be opened up.
Manual Retractable Awnings
Manual retractable awnings need to be open and closed manually. They feature vertical support arms that can be positioned on the floor or against the building, at an angle, keeping the awning open while also providing stability. This makes manual retractable awnings perfect for areas that suffer from severe winds due to the increased stability.
Additionally, they are also more cost effective than motorized retractable awnings, which is another reason they are so popular. Thus, homeowners who live in areas where they don’t need to retract their awnings regularly or areas with high winds should consider purchasing manual retractable awnings, especially if their budget doesn’t allow for the motorized version.
Motorized Retractable Awnings
Motorized retractable awnings run on electricity and an electric motor that is housed in the roller bar opens and closes the awning. They are sometimes referred to as electric awnings. The controls for the awning can either be mounted on the wall or come in the form of a remote control. The latter is generally the best option since you can retract the awning, even if you are inside.
However, it should be noted that motorized retractable awnings do not feature the additional stability arms of their manual counterparts, making them more susceptible to damage caused by winds. It’s true that there are a range of motorized awnings that have wind sensors fitted to them, which retract the awning as soon as winds exceed a certain speed, but these are usually more expensive than the standard version.
Free-Standing Retractable Awnings
If your home doesn’t permit the installation of an awning or there are other areas you wish to shade, you can always opt for a free-standing retractable awning. The latter doesn’t need to be mounted on a wall as it comes with a frame that allows it to stand on its own. Thus, it can be moved to any location, from the pool to the barbecue area or even the patio.
Free-standing retractable awnings can also be motorized or manual and the type you choose depends greatly on your budget. If you don’t mind opening and closing the awning manually, then you can opt for the manual version and save quite a bit of money.
Shopping for Retractable Awnings
Choosing the perfect retractable awning for your home doesn’t have to be difficult. All you have to do is work out how much you are willing to spend and then find retractable awnings that match the style of your home. Note, though, that it is important to check the warranty of each awning before deciding to buy, since they can easily suffer damage. Thus, the longer the warranty, the better.
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