Retractable Awning vs. Solar Shades

Sunny day with some clouds

Did you know that a roller awning and solar shades can reduce glare in your home by 94 percent and heat by 77 percent? This means a reduction of your home’s temperature by 8 to 15 degrees, saving you up to 25 percent in air conditioning costs.

Adding solar shades or a retractable awning can be vital for your comfort and even for your wallet, but how do you choose which option is right for your home?

Let us take a look at the benefits each option offers.

Roller Awning or Retractable Awning

A roller awning, also called a retractable awning, is an option that can be simple to install and can offer the protection from the sun and heat you need. It can offer a number of benefits.

Reduces Direct Sunlight

Installing one will minimize exposure to direct sunlight on your patio, terrace, or any other outdoor space. This not only protects you but your outdoor furniture from harmful UV rays, ensuring they do not fade and lengthening their overall use. With sun protection of this type, you can enjoy the summer without the discomfort and even danger of direct sunlight.

Maximizes View

With a retractable awning, you do not have to sacrifice your view for sun protection. You do not have anything blocking the view, and a retractable awning does not affect your home’s design since you can close it and open it when you prefer. They work to allow you to enjoy your view throughout the entire year.

Ease of Use

Retractable awnings range from those that function via hand cranks, which are the easiest to operate, to those that are remote-controlled. If you want to be able to get the perfect level of shade, many times, all you have to do is press a button.


When you choose roller awnings, you are giving yourself the chance to use them or not. You can easily retract them when you want to get more light, like during the winter months, and open them when the sun is bothering you. Flexibility of this type will ensure that your home and even patio or deck space are comfortable throughout the four seasons.


Retractable awnings are also highly durable as long as you offer maintenance and you work to prevent damage from extreme inclement weather. Most retractable awnings can last between 10 and 20 years, making them an investment worth making.

Solar Shades

The other option you have for enjoying your deck or patio and even some rooms in your home is solar shades. Read on to see the benefits this choice offers.

Create a Protected Outdoor Enclosure

With solar shades, always called solar blinds, you can create an entire outdoor space protected from the sun. People use them for porches as well as outdoor dining areas and decks. They can be custom-fitted to create an all-seasons bonus space.

Not only do solar shades provide protection from the sun, but they can also offer privacy. When you choose solar shades, you do not have to worry about anyone peering in as you spend time outside. For homes that have lots of neighbors, these shades can give you back some privacy.

Solar shades can also protect from insects and other pests. They provide a solid barrier that can reduce your dependence on bug sprays. 


Solar shades come in lots of styles and opacity levels, ranging from 40 percent to 1 percent openness, to help you find what works best for you. For spaces that get a lot of direct sunlight or for maximum privacy, you want the opacity level to be closer to one percent.

Easy Maintenance

Outdoor solar shades are very easy to keep in great condition. You want to clean them once or twice each season to ensure there are no leaves or other debris sticking to them. Since they are made from a combination of extruded aluminum and fiberglass or polyester mesh, you can easily wipe them clean to remove dust and dirt.

Many of these shades have sensors that can identify high winds and retract them automatically, ensuring they do not get torn. Rain does not damage them and most mild weather events will not have an impact on their function.

Protection From UV Rays

The different opacity levels work to protect your property from UV rays. Solar shades that have an openness level of 1 percent will protect you against 99 percent of UV rays, while higher openness will offer a bit less protection. Depending on the level of sunlight your home receives, you can find the best option.

Retractable Awnings vs. Solar Shades

Although they both offer protection from the sun, there are differences in the benefits they provide.

Solar shades tend to be longer-lasting than retractable awnings because of the materials they are made of and the features they have. They are also better at keeping out insects, which is a concern in the summer months.

Retractable awnings can be easier to install and provide a simple shading solution if you want something that is straightforward and fuss-free. Solar shades offer privacy as well as sun protection, but retractable awnings do not get in the way of your view. 

Deciding on the option that works for your home can come down to personal preference and the use you intend to get from your outdoor space.

Turn to the Experts

When getting ready to decide on whether you want solar shades or a roller awning or retractable awning, you need to have experts helping you. At Screenmobile, we can ensure you find the perfect option for your property.

Request an estimate today!


Request an Estimate