Installing a shading system for your Austin home can be an extremely effective way of reducing energy costs while ensuring that the interior of the house remains comfortable all year round. However, there are multiple shading systems available in the market. Two relatively popular options are retractable awnings and motorized solar screens. Both tick off all of the main requirements for a solid shading system, leaving many wondering which might be best. The truth is that while both are very similar in terms of the benefits they offer, their individual designs make them slightly more appropriate in some situations than others. Depending on the design of your house and your particular needs, you might discover that one solution is much more relevant to you than the other.
What Both Systems Have in Common
For starters, both systems were created with the intent of providing homeowners with protection from the sun. While some amount of exposure to natural sunlight is healthy, excessive UV rays can be harmful, in addition to increasing the temperature of your home and forcing you to deal with increased energy bills.
In addition, both retractable awnings and solar screens with motorization allow for a wide amount of flexibility. Depending on the weather or your intended use of a certain space, you can adjust your awning or screen as needed, adjusting the amount of UV rays and natural light that are blocked.
Individual Factors to Consider
One of the biggest differences, in addition to protecting the inside of your home from the sun, is that retractable awnings also provide a moderate amount of shade to areas outside the house. Homeowners who would like a versatile shading system that enables them to step outside onto a cozy porch or balcony would benefit from installing this particular system. Retractable awnings also provide shelter against precipitation, allowing residents to keep their windows open to a degree without fear of ending up with rain inside the house.
This is extremely useful if your main concern is in protecting your home and outdoor spaces from being impacted by visible sunlight. However, when using awnings, your windows remain uninsulated, which can continue to invite outside heat into your home. Solar screens, on the other hand, are very effective insulators.
Another key difference is visibility. When fully extended, awnings allow homeowners with unobstructed visibility in regard to the outdoors while blocking overhead light. However, when fully retracted, awnings can significantly block your view. Homeowners can generally decide how fully they would like their awning to be retracted, and as such determine how much to limit visibility. However, on days of extreme weather or high winds, awnings must be retracted for safety.
Meanwhile, solar screens can be fully raised or lowered without any additional effects. In addition, solar screens are available with varying degrees of transparency, allowing more or less light through. As such, homeowners can decide if they would prefer a model that allows for more visibility even when using the motorization feature to keep them lowered to the fullest extent.
Ultimately, while both systems are effective solutions to protect your home from excessive heat, each has unique benefits more suitable for specific scenarios. Determining which of those are most applicable to your situation will be the key to concluding which system is best for you.