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FAQ | Exterior vs. Interior | Energy Savings with my Awning | UV Protection

Can I install my retractable awning by myself?

In most cases, standard flat wall or under ceiling /eave, the answer is yes. (For Roof installation, which is more difficult, we strongly recommend using our Professional and licensed installation service.)

However, you need to have some basic knowledge in the area of tool usage, and home projects. We do provide a handy Installation Guide & Tips with each Solaris awning. The average time to install an awning is 2-3 hours and is a two or three person job, depending on the awning size.

It is Important to Note: If you do decide to install the awning yourself, any damages that occur would no longer be covered under the Warranty.

Choose between Manual or Motorized?

All of the Solaris retractable awnings have a standard manual operation on your choice of either the left or right side. However, for even more ease of operation, you can choose the optional accessory of a Somfy RTS radio-controlled motor. We recommend to motorize awnings over 14 feet in width. Also available as an accessory is the Somfy wirefree wind or sun sensor.

What about the electric outlet?

Our Solaris Valance, Cassette and Pergola retractable awnings come with a standard 12 foot plug-in electric cable, left or right, your choice. You will need to have an electric outlet on your deck or patio. The Solaris window awning and window blind are hard-wired to the nearest available electric source.

What type of tools would I need?
You will need the following tools:
  • 2 (two) 7 foot Ladders for an 8’ to 19’ awning (2 people)
  • Level
  • For installation on stucco, stone, bricks or concrete: Hammer drill with stone drill bits
  • For installation on wood: Power drill with wood drill bits
  • Wrench 13mm, 17mm, 19mm.
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring Tape
What are the differences between retractable awnings and fixed frame awnings?

The main difference between retractable and fixed frame awnings is movement. A fixed frame awning is a permanent structure that offers continual weather protection and is always present for constant, uninterrupted shade. While a retractable awning offers movement due to spring-loaded arms that support the awning and provides the option of sun or shade.

Why should I get an awning instead of a deck or patio umbrella?

For starters, an awning is more durable and can be designed and constructed to meet the unique configuration of your home. An awning can cover a larger area and set the boundaries for an outdoor room. On the other hand, an umbrella is highly susceptible to wind damage, must always be operated manually and shades a much smaller space.

If there are no poles on retractable awnings, what supports the awning?

"Retractable" or "lateral-arm" awnings as they are technically called are designed to be self-supporting and eliminate the need for poles and framework (a good-quality retractable awning should not need support poles). This style of awning relies on a secure structure mounting and its spring-loaded arms for its support.

How will the awning mount to my home?

For applications on flat walls, under ceiling or eaves of your home, installers will mount brackets that tie indirectly either to wall studs or header plates. For roof-mounted applications, installers will mount brackets that tie indirectly into the rafters. Consult your installer for more details on the best way to mount your awning.

Does the awning really make it cooler on my deck or patio?

Your awning will keep your deck or patio up to 20 degrees cooler, and will subsequently keep the inside of your home cooler as well. By preventing the sun from shining through a patio door or window, the inside stays cooler, which reduces air-conditioning costs and prevents fading of your carpets and furniture. Also, Sunbrella® fabrics are woven, which allows air to circulate through the fabric instead of letting heat build up under your awning.

If my retractable awning is motorized, can I adjust it if my power goes out?

No. However, if you live in an area where power outages are common, we recommend the optional Somfy motor with Override crank. This will allow you to manually crank the awning with the power out.

If I don't initially install a motor with my retractable awning, can I add one at a later date?

It is easier to include a motor with the initial awning installation, but it is possible to add one at a later date. Research has shown that a motorized awning is used four times as often as a manual unit. Also, adding a motor later will be more costly than if the awning and motor are installed together with your initial purchase.

What is the "pitch" of an awning? Is the pitch of an awning important, and what should it be?

The pitch is the angle of fall made by the front bar of an awning. The pitch determines how much water may puddle on the awning when the awning is fully extended. The less pitch an awning has, the more impact rain will have on the awning. All awnings will eventually fail if too much water or weight is allowed to collect on them. When set at the minimum pitch, an awning may collect rain even when the fabric is tight. We recommend a minimum pitch of 15 degrees.The more pitch you have, the less you will have to worry about rain collecting on the awning. Increasing the pitch, even a few inches, will have a dramatic reduction on the awning's ability to collect rainwater. Keep in mind that too much pitch will decrease your headroom.The pitch of an awning is not a factor if the awning is retracted during rain events. It's always best to retract the awning when not in use no matter what the weather forecast.Adjusting the pitch can also provide better shade depending on the angle of the sun in relation to the angle of the awning.

Do I have to fully extend my retractable awning?

Retractable awnings are designed so you can stop the awning at any point with the remote control or the hand crank. There are three buttons on the remote, one for extension, one for retraction, and one to stop the awning at your desired length.

What kind of fabric is on our Solaris awning?

We use high-quality Sunbrella® fabrics for our Solaris retractable awnings. These high-grade fabrics have the color embedded in every fiber, ensuring that they won't significantly fade over time. Sunbrella fabrics are available in over 140 decorator patterns and can easily coordinate with your outdoor furniture. Sunbrella fabrics block 98 percent of the harmful UV rays of the sun and have been awarded the Seal of Recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

How much wind can an awning handle?

There is no definite rating for how much wind an awning can handle. Light winds of less than 5 mph should not harm most awnings. However, wind gusts can rapidly reach very high speeds, and in extremely windy locations, an awning may not be suited for your application.

For a retractable awning, it is best to retract the awning before wind speeds reach the point of causing the awning to sway side to side or up and down.If you live in an area where winds come up often, you can protect your awning without worrying by installing the optional Somfy Eolis 3D Wind sensor, which will automatically detect windy conditions and retract the awing.

It is best to retract the awning when not in use regardless of the weather conditions. Excessive wind and rain are the leading causes of damage to awnings.

What about rust and corrosion of the frame, cables and other metal parts?

To minimize corrosion, it is essential to use the proper material during construction. The framework of the Solaris awnings are made from high grade, extruded aluminum, with a powder-coated finish, and all metal hardware parts are stainless steel.

How do I clean my Sunbrella fabric awning cover?

Your Sunbrella awning fabric should be cleaned regularly before substances such as dirt, roof particles, etc., are allowed to accumulate and become embedded in the fabric. The fabric can be cleaned without being removed from the home. For detailed instructions, please visit www.sunbrella.com.

How does Sunbrella fabric lock in color?

Sunbrella fabrics are made from 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic yarns. Solution dying is the manufacturing process of adding color to fibers while they are in a liquid state. This feature of Sunbrella fabrics allows them to lock in color, be easily cleaned and provides them with a long life.

If you have any other questions that are not answered above, please email us at Rolf@Home-Teck.com and we will be happy to answer them for you.

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interiorshading vs. exteriorshading

Exterior shades reduce heat more effectively and are less noticeable in relation to your interior design.

Exterior window covering system offers both economic and environmental benefits. While many claim that exterior shades are more efficient due to their ability to stop light and heat before it enters the home; you don’t have to use energy to remove heat that never enters the building.

Exterior shades work best for skylights, sunrooms, greenhouses, windows, doors and other locations that contain large areas with glass. You can choose from exterior vertical rollup screens, drop arm window awnings, or retractable folding arm awnings. The last option is also a popular choice for protecting decks, patios, or other outdoor living spaces. Retractable awnings not only shade the outdoor area they cover, they also cool the indoor room to which they are attached.

Exterior Shades often solve tough sun control

challenges that interior systems can't.

NOTE: Exterior shades must be retracted in high winds manually or with an optional automatic wind sensor.

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Energy Savings with my Awning
Solaris custom awnings help save on your energy bills.

Solaris awnings will keep your energy costs down by blocking the sun’s heat in warmer months. The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers shows that an awning can reduce heat gain by 55 to 65 percent on southern-facing windows and 72 to 77 percent on western exposures.

Plus, you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors since you won’t have to close blinds or draw your draperies. Spring, summer, winter and fall, your awning will serve you indoors and out.


UV Protection
You will enjoy excellent protection from the sun.

Our Solaris Retractable awning uses Sunbrella® fabric which offers cool comfort and excellent protection from harmful UV rays on the sunniest of days. In fact, Sunbrella fabrics have been proven to provide up to 98 percent protection from the sun's harmful effects when used in shade applications. After passing rigorous testing, Sunbrella fabrics earned the "Seal of Recommendation" by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the only global organization concerned exclusively with cancer of the skin. As a result, you know that you and your family can enjoy the outdoors while being safe from the sun.

Your Patio Becomes Extra Living Space

A retractable awning powered by Somfy will allow you to create extra living space. Thanks to Home Motion by Somfy, you can enjoy your outdoor living space more. Remote control, weather sensors, heating, lighting...All year round your motorized awning brings you more comfort.

We recommend Somfy RTS Motors with Eolis 3D WireFree RTS Wind Sensor and Sunis WireFree RTS Sun Sensor.

Solar powered outdoor sun sensor

Automatically extends an awning or lowers a screen based on the sun's intensity to provide energy savings and comfort. Solar powerered -- discreet and compact design. Compatible with Somfy's RTS motors, controls and sensors.


Eolis 3D WireFree RTS Wind Sensor


Wireless, battery powered RTS wind sensor

Wireless, battery powered wind sensor that will automatically retract an awning when it detects wind generated movements. Simply installed on the front bar of the awning and uses 2 'AAA' batteries. Compatible with Somfy's Telis RTS transmitters and RTS accessories.

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Our Products

Solaris Valance Solaris Valance
Solaris Cassette Solaris Cassette
Solaris Pergola Solaris Pergola
Solaris Window Awning Solaris Window Awning
Solari window blind Solaris Window Blind

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