Everyone has heard of the term ‘awning’, but for those who don’t know exactly what an awning is, it refers to an overhanging covering that is often attached to the outside wall of a residential or commercial building. Awnings are often constructed of polyester, acrylic or cotton canvas, though aluminium awnings are popular as well. Awnings can also be retractable; in fact, the retractable awning is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Here we will introduce you to the retractable awning and describe some of its benefits.
The benefits of awnings
Awnings have several benefits, foremost of which is their ability to protect us from the elements. If you’ve ever made your way down a busy street on a rainy day, you’ve probably been grateful for any buildings with awnings out the front – and you’ve probably cursed the name of the ones without! The same goes for the other extremes of weather; on incredibly hot days, awnings provide shade from the sun and act as a cooling structure.
Anybody who lives in Australia knows that our weather conditions are particularly extreme, with scorching hot 40-degree days in the summer, heavy and damaging winds in the winter and the potential for pouring rain at any given time of year. Because of these extreme conditions, awnings are becoming an increasingly popular addition to most residential properties, with their versatile design making them an outstanding shield from everything Mother Nature has to throw.
Why retractable awnings are better
Retractable awnings are particularly effective in this regard. Because they can be extended or retracted at the homeowner’s will, retractable awnings provide year round comfort for your front or back entertaining areas. When the weather is scorching hot and the sun is glaring down, retractable awnings not only provide shade to reduce the sun’s penetration, but they also absorb heat creating a cooler environment directly beneath.
When weather conditions are perfect, retract the awning and you and your friends or family can be soaking up the warm sun rays in a matter of seconds. Then, when the clouds come over and you feel those first drops of rain on your head, extend the awning out again and you’ll once again be protected.
What to look for in a retractable awning
Modern retractable awnings make use of articulated arms which can be folded, extended and retracted depending on the current weather conditions. Additionally, they are designed with style in mind with several dozen colours and patterns to choose from so you can find the perfect awning to complement your home. You can also usually get an optional vertically-adjustable valance that extends the protection provided by your retractable awning.
Most good retractable awnings are motorised with a remote control and the most innovative can even be automated by sun and wind sensors – particularly important when winds are strong and you’re not home to retract your awning. With that in mind, the best retractable awnings are so durable that even they are able to resist strong winds and the heavy loads that may be caused by falling objects in severe windstorms.
All in all, retractable awnings are an incredibly beneficial addition to your home and, combined with a good set of roller blinds , provide essential shade and protection to your home.