You may be giving it some thought whether you want to add and spend the extra money to motorize your Sunair awning you want to purchase.  Usually the major factor is price, and everyone has a budget. Yes, a motor, a remote and added sensors add to the cost.  It is also true that a motor can usually be added later if you wish.  However, the price for adding a motor later will be much more for the motor and the extra labor to install it as it will become an additional separate trip.  In some cases, with complex installations, it may be more important to have it included from the beginning, as access or needing to remove the product to add the motor makes it prohibitive later.  The decision to motorize or not will depend on many factors, but in the end, it usually makes more sense to do so when the product is initially installed.  Also, there are many motor types available, and motor cost is not the larger proportion of the total product cost.  So, at the very least purchasing a motor, and then later adding sensors may make sense from the start.

For awnings, the two most important factors to consider are the size of the awning and how often you will be using it.   If it is a small awning and you will only use it occasionally at a vacation home, it may be ok to manually crank it in and out by hand.  If the awning is larger in width and projection is longer at 14 ft. and you also will be using it more often, it makes sense to motorize.  Larger awnings in width do have a higher ratio gear on it to give you more power but more torque, time, and power is needed to crank and turn the handle the larger the awning gets.  A 14 ft. projection awning also takes double the amount of time to crank in and out as a 7 ft projection awning, although it is measured in “seconds”, not minutes.   We are all young at heart, but many of us that buy awnings are retired and it becomes more and more difficult to crank the awning as time goes on. Motorizing the awning and adding electronic controls make the Sunair awning ultimately more convenient to use and an even better investment for you.

Motors come in two general types.  They can be either hard wired into your house electric system or more easily plugged into a standard exterior outlet depending on the model motor you choose.   The old-style hardwire wall switches to make the awning extend or retract will require you to hire an electrician to hard wire the motor so you can control it with the wall switch inside the house.  This is also an added cost you have to consider.  It is therefore usually better to utilize a Somfy RTS motor with a radio controlled handheld remote, or remote radio-controlled wall switch.  Both the handheld remote transmitter and radio RTS wall transmitter switches are battery operated, so an electrician is not needed. They send a radio signal to the motor to retract or extend depending on which button you choose.  They work up to 65 ft away from the awning motor.  You can stop it at any place partially extended or retracted.  It also has a favorite “MY" button that will automatically stop the awning at your favorite interim position.  The handheld remote you can take with you out on the patio for more convenience in operating the awning.  A Telis Patio remote is available also as an option and it is water resistant.  If you are afraid of losing the remote, the radio transmitter is available in a wall mounted version as well. The RTS radio remote motors by Somfy are also available with a plug in cable that plugs directly into an outlet .  Adding the remote makes use of the awning easier and more convenient, and adding a plug-in cord usually eliminates the need to hire an electrician.  Motor cords with a plug are available in a few different lengths depending on what works best for your installation and come as short as 1’ 4” up to 23 ft. long satisfying most installation conditions.  If you don’t want to see the cord on the wall, but desire radio RTS operation, you can still hire an electrician to hardwire the motor.  The plug on the shorter cable can be cut off and wired into a junction box.  That eliminates you seeing the cord run down the wall to the outlet.

Another great feature with motorized awnings is that you can add a Somfy 3D WireFree wind sensor that automatically retracts your awning and protects it and surro8unding property from high wind damage. It is important to note that adding a wind sensor is not a guarantee that the awning will retract and not be damaged, but it is an additional aid helping you keep the awning as safe as possible and minimize possible damage from high winds. Similarly, adding the Somfy Sunis WireFree automatic sun sensor will extend the awning automatically with the sun.   Adding a sun sensor will enable the awning to extend automatically when the sun is out.  This can be useful to keep the inside room of your house cooler rather than being exposed to the full sun and heat transferring through the window glass.   Adding a sun sensor also can help you protect inside furnishings and carpeting from sun damage.

Additionally add a Eolis 3D Wireless Wind Sensor, or for two in one the Soliris Sun & Wind Wired Sensor Adding an automatic "wind" sensor to your awning can retract the awning in high winds minimizing the possibility of damage to the awning and surrounding property. Sun sensors automatically can control your awning or screen to maximize energy savings and protect your indoor carpet and furnishings.

Another great advantage of motorizing your awning is that you can control the awning with a smart app on your phone or tablet. Home automation has experienced massive technological changes and been made less expensive and simpler to integrate.  We all want this technology for its convenience and the comfort it provides.  Today it has become very easy and affordable to control your Sunair motorized awnings with a smartphone or tablet.  You can even control the devices with the sound of your voice with Alexa and Google using a bridge device that is Wi-Fi enabled.  With the simplicity and affordability of these smart solutions today, there is no reason your awnings should not be part of your home automation solutions too.

Making a decision to motorize your new Sunair® awning is an easy one.