retractable patio awning

Retractable awnings are a great way to extend shade to your home and patio in the hot summer sun while allowing maximum sunlight in winter. Are you curious about how they work? We’ll explain the inner workings of retractable awnings.

How Retractable Awnings Work

Retractable awnings work through the movement of two specialized arms with heavy-duty springs or cylinders inside of them. They can extend to unfurl your awning fabric and provide shade. Or they can be retracted to roll up the fabric, allowing more sun into your space.

These arms can be operated with a hand crank system, but modern retractable awnings are motorized, which means you can run the arms with a remote control, and a motor will engage the arms to close or open your awning.

The Components of a Retractable Awning

Retractable awnings, whether they’re manual or motorized, have the same basic set of parts:

  • The canopy: This is the awning fabric that provides shade when extended. You can choose the design and size of the canopy before installing it.
  • The roller tube: The part attached to your wall or rafter to stabilize the awning is the roller tube. The fabric of the canopy wraps around this when it is retracted and rolls off when it is extended.
  • The arms: These parts of your awning pull out and hold up your canopy from the roller tube. There are two main types, namely spring-loaded arms and telescopic arms. The spring-loaded arm is filled with heavy-duty springs, and the telescopic arm is filled with gas-filled cylinders. They move and hold the canopy at your desired position.
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Manual vs. Motorized Retractable Awnings

There are two main types of retractable awnings — manual and motorized. The crankshaft of a manual awning lets you control how far you want the awning to come out and is easy to maintain. But the continual rolling in and rolling out of a manual retractable awning can quickly get tiring.

Motorized awnings are more convenient, allowing you to operate the arms of your awning remotely. Some motors are also compatible with your smartphone or smart home device, maximizing convenience.

While motorized retractable awnings may require slightly more maintenance, the convenience can outweigh the drawbacks when facing the hot summer sun.

Get the Retractable Awning You Need for the Texas Summer

Get the Retractable Awning You Need for the Texas Summer

As the leading exterior shading experts in the central Texas area, we proudly offer a five-year warranty for installations and a lifetime warranty for your awning parts.

Learn more about our retractable awning products or contact us today via our online form.