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Myths and Facts Surrounding Patio Awnings

Aug 3, 2008
There's a large number of homeowners who are interested in retractable awnings, but never perform the investigation and realize the real benefits of having one installed at their home. This article will cover some of these benefits, and dismiss a few myths about patio awning use and installation.

Myth
The only thing that retractable awnings are only good for is enjoying your out of door areas while it's raining or inclement weather.

Actually, patio awnings can drop the ambient temperature of the area underneath them by a significant amount. Studies show that they perform this function so well that temperatures can be lowered almost 20 degrees in some cases. So not only do they allow you to fully utilize your outdoor areas when it's raining by providing a extra large rain cover, they keep harmful UV rays off you when you want to be cooler than the surrounding area. And when you want to enjoy some sunshine on a warm spring day, you simple roll up your awning and you're back to full exposure to the sun and sky.

Myth
Retractable awnings are disproportionately expensive

Not true at all. In most cases, a manually operated patio awning costs less than a nice set of patio furnishings. If you're interested in an automatic version, it's a few hundred dollars more; nowhere near the huge monetary saddle that they have the reputation for. For some perspective, think about what you paid for that nice furniture set on your patio with the 8' umbrella, and then contrast that with the cost of a 20' x 10' retractable awning.

Myth
Retractable awnings block out windows

Not so. As a matter of fact, what they really do is provide light-filtering for the interior of the house. So even while you're not out doors actively enjoying your comfortable space, your awning is sitting quietly over the windows, out of direct sight, keeping direct sunlight from shining in your house and raising the ambient temperature. It's one less source of heat for your air conditioner to battle, and that translates into lower electric cost.

Myth
You need a lot of room to install a large patio awning

In actuality, you need less than 8 feet of overhead space to easily install a retractable awning. Unless you're over 84 inches tall, this amount of overhead room will give you plenty of area beneath the awning, and enough space overhead to install brackets and hardware required to attach it to the supporting structure.

A final advantage of retractable awnings is that they arrive with the capability to use a pretty amazing collection of accessories. You can turn your patio into a screened in deck to get rid of bug problems, or just use screening on two sides to reduce wind and splashing from rain showers.
About the Author
Allen Wright is a freelance writer who follows whatever topics hold his interest. Look for more information on retractable awnings and other retractable awning benefits here.
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