How Do Retractable Awnings Work?

Folding Arm Awning Brisbane

Like most awnings, a retractable awning is an overhanging covering attached to the outside wall of a building. Traditionally, awnings have been created to be set in place without the ability to be adjusted.

However, recently, there has been a surge in the popularity of a motorised/electric, retractable awning. A retractable awning can be extended or retracted depending on your preference and weather condition, unfurled when the sun is too hot or retracted when exposure to the gentle sunshine is prefered.

In order to decide on what kind of awning is right for you, it is important to understand ‘How Do Retractable Awnings work?’. So to learn more, read on:

Arm Types & Function

Folding Arm Awnings

Folding arms are articulated with an elbow, and are spring-loaded so that they push the shade fabric out when a Folding Arm Awning is being deployed. It is essential to use good quality arms and arm shoulders as they are responsible for taking the majority of the load on the system, applied by the weight of the cloth, front bar, and any wind gusts that may happen.

Pivot Arm Awnings

Pivot Arms are a pair of straight shafts located at the sides of a Window Awning, which is a type of Outdoor Blind. They are fixed to the wall using a spring-loaded mechanism that allows them to “Pivot” down from the vertical position to the horizontal, or further. They connect to a front bar that brings with it the fabric, and so creates shade for windows.

The function of the arms, shoulders and movable pieces on any Folding Arm or Pivot arm Awning is to ensure a smooth operating deployment and retraction motion, allowing the fabric to move in and out as required by the user. Quality must be sufficiently high as to allow this in/out movement for many years, and to be able to withstand harsh and corrosive outdoor elements.

Motorised Electric or Manual

Folding arm awnings are available with a motorised electric gear unit or a crank handle; the crank is a conveniently located part of the awning that allows for manual retraction and extension. By installing a motorised awning, the extension and retraction is simplified at the touch of a button. Automation can be done via:

  • wall switches
  • remote control units
  • smartphones
  • voice activation

There really is no end to your imagination.

Folding arm awning on a balcony

Wind Resistance & Rain Sensor Functionality Options

Wind and rain sensors can also be added to a retractable awning, and this allows automation of movement when you’re away from home, giving you the confidence that your investment will be safe and sound.

Retractable Awning Cost By Functionality

As with anything, optional extras do increase the cost of your purchase. You’ll also want to consider that an off the shelf product may cost less than a tailored product. The installation of the product will also have to be factored into the cost.

What to Look for in an Awning Supplier

Investing in a product to beautify your home and reduce heating or cooling costs, such as an awning means you might want to look for a tailored solution rather than an off the shelf product.

You want to look for a supplier who can deliver a quality product where you have the ability to select powder-coating and fabric colours that will blend seamlessly into your existing home’s design and style. This also allows you to create an item that is specifically designed to your home specifications so you can get the most out of the functionality of your new investment.

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