Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:36:35
Bettering the Customer Experience Retractable awnings can create a more pleasant outdoor experience. This has subtle but tangible effects on customers. The area around entrances is cooler and shaded, protected from rain, and generally more pleasant to be in. The primary function of a better customer experience is better foot traffic. The stylishness of the awning makes customers want to browse, and the glare, heat, and rain protection makes it more comfortable for them to do so. The sun protection has a dual utility, though. The UV protection (since suns rays never reach the interior) preserves window displays and interior furnishings and prevents fading. Even the inside of the store is more appealing for customers, and the heavy investment in signs and merchandise is protected from passive sun damage.
In addition to the practical reasons, Europe has had a long aesthetic tradition with awnings, so retractable awnings are a natural part of any home design, and that organically led into creative and adventurous designs, which made using awnings even more appealing. The US, on the other hand, has had historically cheap and accessible energy, with widespread air conditioning and central air systems. Combined with suburb-motivated home designs, neither energy nor aesthetics has given a compelling reason to include retractable awnings on homes as a standard practice. Energy shortages and price increases in the 1970s, though, did begin bringing retractable awnings to the popular mind as a functional solution for energy efficiency.
UV rays, high wind, gusts, and rain - basically, normal weather - cause the most damage to awnings. Fading, molding, and tearing fabric. Twisting fixed frames from high wind damage or the weight of snow or pooling rain. In only two or three years, fixed awnings and canopies already show substantial wear, which is why the lifetime of most fixed awnings and canopies is only five or six years before the awning need to be replaced. Retractable awnings are closed when not in use, which cuts weather damage. That makes the maintenance much easier on retractable awnings compared to permanent awnings and canopies - there is no need to hunt down replacement parts, replace fabric every couple of years, or attempt to wrangle awnings down and into storage for winter.
Longevity. Fixed awnings have a fabric lifetime of five years or less because of constant exposure to the sun, snow, rain, and wind, all of which can fade or tear the fabric. Retractable awnings have a huge advantage in being able to retract - the fabric can be protected in adverse weather conditions. Combined with options like a motor and sensors (for light, wind, rain, and motion), the awning can be closed automatically in conditions which would normally damage the fabric or frame. Retracting the awning when its not in use, like on shady or cold days, cuts down on sun damage to the fabric from UV exposure. With a retractable awning, the average lifetime for the fabric is 15 years - three times better than a fixed awning. Since retractable awning frames have warranties of up to 25 years and motors have warranties up to 5 years, motorized retractable awnings offer a really excellent cost investment.