How to Choose the Perfect Awning
With a wide variety of possibilities, it can be daunting to purchase a new awning for those unfamiliar with the product itself. From different styles, makes, models and more, it can understandably seem like an overload of information.
We are commonly asked what the difference between an open, semi and full cassette awnings are, and what their different uses can be. In this short piece, we hope to make the difference between the three styles clear and examine the different uses for them in both domestic and commercial settings.
What are the Differences?
The cassette itself is the casing which houses the fabric, mechanism and arms, and provide protection against the elements.
A full cassette provides complete protection when the awning is fully retracted and this makes it perfect for shops, cafes and more, as well as being the ideal cassette type for the notoriously changeable British weather. This is the ultimate protection for the awning and whilst this is certainly reflected in the prices, the safety and reliability of these, as well as the impressive aesthetics, make them extremely popular.
An open cassette meanwhile provides no external casing to protect from the elements for the arms or fabric, however a protective top cover can sometimes be added. The lack of casing means these are best suited to areas involving an overhang, however the lack of casing means these can often span far greater areas than cassette awnings, and are also usually less expensive too.
A semi cassette awning contains a top that is protected by casing that will protect from a certain amount of weather damage. They can also have additional guards added to enhance protection. These are useful as a mid point between the full and open cassette awnings.
As a general rule, all of these awnings are suitable for both commercial and domestic applications, but they have specific strengths and ensuring you have the right awning for your needs and property is crucial.
How Can They Benefit You?
With such stark differences between the three kind of awnings, they are understandably useful for various purposes.
A full cassette awnings like the Markilux 990, are without a doubt the best awning for an all year round protection system, and they look fantastic, with a range of designs aimed to ensure there is always an awning that will suit your property. With the British weather notoriously changeable, these offer full protection and reliability. The cassette however does limit the sizes possible due to the need to fit the arms into the cassette. If your property is exposed to the elements, a full cassette awning is definitely the best option.
Semi cassette awnings are a little more diverse than full cassette awnings, and are a little cheaper too due to the lack of a full casing. Whilst this has benefits beyond price and adaptability, it should be noted that you do not have full protection for the fabric and mechanisms, and this can be an issue in adverse weather conditions. The lack of a full cassette also means that these can have extended arm sizes, meaning these are an excellent option for properties needing to cover larger spaces with only a little cover for the awning.
Open cassette awnings, such as the Markilux 1700, are completely unprotected, with no casing at all for the fabric and mechanism. This of course means these awnings suit drier climates or properties with alcoves and overhands to protect them from the weather. The benefits of these however are the ability to cover greater projections than the width due to lack of casing, as well as being noticeably less expensive. These are fantastic for enclosed spaces or large open areas with an alcove or overhang.
Winter has fully arrived, and with it we have harsher weather that makes spending time outside more difficult. Earlier sunsets and darker nights are combined with much lower temperatures and wet and windy weather, which can be a nightmare combination.
Luckily companies such as Markilux, Vortex and Weinor are one step ahead and have a number of different accessories that can be used in conjunction with their products to help you still enjoy your time outdoors, at low energy costs.
For wind protection, both Markilux and Weinor provide side screens, helping you to enjoy your outside space without being buffetted by the winds, whilst Erhardt Markisen, Gibus and Weinor all provide glass panels and doors for their veranda and 90° pergola systems.
The Markulux 790 and Weinor Paravento are fabric horizontal blinds that extend from vertical aluminium cases, allowing them to be neatly tucked away when not needed. The main benefit of these products is that as well as protecting from rain or wind, they also provide shading and privacy.
Erhardt Markisen, Gibus and Weinor all provide high quality glass elements, that can both slide and fold open, or fixed elements that provide 24/7 protection. These of course don’t provide shading, however certain Gibus systems can also offer blinds to provide the best of both worlds.
|Weinor Zenara with Integrated LED Lights||Veito 2000 Infrared Heater|
If heating is the main issue, then a whole host of different companies offer solutions to accompany their systems, as well as third party options that offer excellent performance.
Vortex, the makers of large commercial umbrellas, offer infrared heaters, designed to be ideal for use in the catering or hospitality industry, when outside space is at a premium and the systems themselves are more likely to be used at different times of the year.
Infrared technology saves a lot of energy as opposed to conventional heaters, and due to it’s ability to transfer heat directly to surfaces rather than air, it also requires almost no heat up time at all, proving instant comfort whilst saving money.
For this reason, Markilux and Weinor also offer similar heaters for their systems. The Markilux heaters are designed to work with any awning, and can even be combined with lighting in the shape of the Markilux Hotspot. Weinor, meanwhile, provide the Tempura. the Tempura is available in two different models with varying design styles.
Gibus also provide a 4000W bar heater, whilst Erhardt Markisen offer both infrared heaters and a unique item called the Erhardt Heatscope Vision. The Heatscope Vision is a panel that provides as much heat as possible whilst providing minimal light intrusion, ideal for creating an atmosphere.
Finally, third party company Veito also provide heaters, with an impressive range to suit every application. In business for roughly 40 years, Veito and Samson Awnings work together to supply six different models with different strengths and uses. for instance the Veito Blade S2500 is a beautifully designed wall and ceiling mounted heater mounted by brackets that is ideal for use under awnings or verandas, whilst the Veito CH1800RE is a self supporting vertical heater ideal for use in glass rooms.
When it comes to Lighting, there are a range of LED options from companies such as Erhardt, Gibus, Markilux, Vortex, Weinor. LED lighting is useful because it conserves energy as opposed to normal lighting options and is also much brighter.
Erhardt’s Light Bar attaches to the wall and provides light without looking out of place due to it’s modern design, whilst LED spot lights can be incorporated into the roof of any Erhardt veranda. Weinor also offer the Lux system which combines different LED systems, and many of their awnings come with LED lights integrated as standard.
Markilux offer the spotline bar with integrated spotlights, as well as the Hotspot system, which is a bar containing both LED spotlights and infrared heaters. Gibus also offer bar lights and spot lights, but as well as Weinor, they also offer RGB led strip lighting that runs around the inside perimeter of the system, providing stunning visuals that can be changed at the touch of a button.
|Gibus RGB Strip Lighting||Weinor RGB Strip Lighting|
As the summer winds down and we head into the Autumn, we face the possibility of another long and harsh Winter. Climate change has left many scientists warning that the previous 12 months of extreme weather could become the norm for these isles, and so the need to adapt whilst being energy efficient is one of the average household’s most pressing challenges.
So what can you do to save energy and how can we help you?
Led lights are a big energy saver, using up to 75% less energy than their comparable halogen equivalent, and need replacing less often. Many of our systems such as Markilux awnings, Weinor retractable roofs or Gibus Med Systems have LED lighting as an option, and this is something that could be extended through your home.
While LED lights save money and conserve energy, they are also very bright, and are even available in a variety of colours, with remote controls available for some LED lights which allow you to change colour, have them alternate or even set up patterns.
External shades are an often overlooked way to save money in the long run in warmer climates. During hot summers like the one we have just experienced, it can be difficult to cool down a property when the sun in beating down on the windows, cooking the room on the other side.
External shades allow you to prevent the sun from reaching the glazing and therefor stop the room from being heated without the use of fans or air conditioning, saving money and conserving energy. This is something that is going to become more important in the UK as climate change takes effect, and therefore is something that more households will need to consider than ever before.
Similarly, retractable awnings do a similar job, whilst also offering a larger shaded area outside for you to relax.
Infrared heating has many strengths over standard heating. It requires almost no warm up time and provides instant heating, making it perfect for outdoor use.
Infrared heating uses electromagnetic radiation, however it is 100% safe (our bodies actually emit infrared radiation, which is how things such as night vision goggles work). It is a different heat to our usual heating systems, which heat the air which comes into contact with it. Infrared heat meanwhile, travels through the air until it hits a solid object, at which point the object absorbs the heat. In people, this gives a deep feeling of warmth.
Because of this targeted heating, they conserve a lot of energy compared to conventional heaters and this can help you save more money. Infrared heaters are available on numerous systems available from Samson Awnings.