FAQ

What is a retractable, or lateral arm, awning?

According to the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, a retractable or lateral arm awning is entirely supported from a building and constructed so that the awning cover and supporting frame retract completely against the building’s exterior wall. In a retracted position the awning is relieved from wind, rain and snow pressure normally associated with fixed frame awnings. Retractable awnings are commonly used to shade large outdoor areas, such as a deck or patio, and are operated using either a manual crank or remote-controlled motor to extend or retract the awning.

How is the fabric treated?

All fabrics featured in the exclusive Sunesta collection are 100% solution-dyed, acrylic fabric. The colors in the fabric are dyed into the fibers so that they can’t fade or run. In addition to their inherent long-lasting durability, all Sunesta fabrics are covered by a 10 year warranty.

How do retractable awnings save on energy costs?

A 2007 study conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota concluded that awnings can save homeowners up to 25 percent on energy costs. The reason? Because awnings result in cooling energy savings by “reducing direct solar gain through windows.” In addition, according to the Department of Energy publication, Cooling Your Home, awnings block up to 90 percent of solar heat that is absorbed through windows.

What does TÜV mean?

All Sunesta Retractable Patio Awnings including The Sunesta, The Sunstyle, and The Sunlight are designed with consumer safety in mind. These models have been tested by TÜV, an independent organization headquartered in Germany with regional offices in North America. In English, TÜV means Technical Surveillance Association. TÜV tests automobiles, computers, medical devices and other types of consumer products. Because of the large demand and popularity of retractable awnings in Europe, TÜV also tests retractable awnings for safety and reliability. It’s the only independent testing agency in the world that provides this function. In addition to the Sunesta models and parts being tested, our facility is inspected by TÜV every year (a certificate of this inspection is available upon request). The inspection is necessary to ensure that we are using the parts that were actually approved.

There is another organization associated with retractable awning ratings called CE. This organization does not perform any testing or inspections, it just creates guidelines (wind classes) for rating retractable awnings. Awning manufacturers are then left to voluntarily determine which wind class rating applies to their products without any independent testing and confirmation.

Once an order is placed, how long will it take for the awning to be installed?

Our dealers usually specify a two to three week order to installation period for our shade products.

What mounting options are available with a Sunesta retractable awning?

Sunesta awnings offer wall, ceiling, and roof mounting options. Plus, our dealers can assist with mounting solutions beyond our standard mounting suggestions.

What warranty does Sunesta offer?

Depending on the model a homeowner selects, Sunesta offers a warranty of up to 15 years on the frame; up to 10 years on the fabric; and 5 years on the motor. For more information regarding the warranty for a specific model, please refer to the products portion of our website.

How many fabric options are available in the Sunesta custom fabric line?

In our current fabric selection, Sunesta offers 193 exclusive fabric patterns for homeowners to choose from, encompassing both solid and striped patterns. In addition, we also offer a selection of 22 choices for our bindings, and 10 choices for our SmartDrop valance fabrics. All of these patterns are stocked at our facility. We can also order hundreds of other acrylic fabric brands, on a special order basis.

What projections does Sunesta offer?

Sunesta offers projections ranging from 3’4″ up to 14’8″, depending on the model you select.

Does Sunesta offer any other products besides patio awnings?

Yes, we offer shade products for your windows, doors, open spaces and for skylights and sunrooms.

How long has Sunesta been in business?

Sunesta has been owned and operated by the same family since first opening our doors for business in 1981. Before that, Sunesta’s founders owned a custom fabric awning shop and worked on a number of commercial fabrications and installations across the United States.

As a pioneer in the American retractable awning industry, Sunesta takes much pride in our proprietary engineering innovations and manufacturing machinery and software. We are dedicated to offering best-in-class technology for our awning systems.

What optional features are available with Sunesta awnings?

There are many options to choose since each Sunesta Shade Product is custom made just for you. You can add a motorized drop valance, an aluminum hood, an aluminum SmartCase, a remote-controlled motor, automatic sun and wind sensors, consumer adjustable pitch controls and much more. Contact your local dealer to find out more information.

How do I order a Sunesta retractable awning?

You can start by locating your dealer on the Sunesta website, through the “Find Your Local Dealer” button. Next, a Sunesta dealer will schedule a free in-home consultation and meet with you to determine the product best-suited to your needs. The Sunesta dealer will take measurements and review fabric options and product features you may be interested in. At that time you’ll be able to place your awning order. Your Sunesta dealer will return with your custom made shade system within 2 to 3 weeks.

What are the factors I should consider when purchasing an awning?

By scheduling an in-home consultation with one of our dealer representatives, you’ll take the first step toward learning how an awning will benefit your home and lifestyle. A few questions to keep in mind while meeting with a Sunesta shade expert include: What outdoor space are you looking to shade? How large of an awning will you require, including width and projection? How will the awning be attached to your home – roof, soffit or wall mount? What fabric color or pattern are you interested in? What type of options should I include for my needs? What type of warranty comes with the awning model you select? What is the timeline from the time you place the order to the time of the install?

How do I care for and clean my retractable awning?

Sunesta awnings are not only easy to operate, they’re also easy to maintain. To start with, the location of your awning determines the frequency we recommend cleaning it. If your home is located inland, you should clean your awning twice a year. If you are on or near the ocean, you should clean your awning once a month due to the salt exposure.

To clean your awning, spray off loose debris and dirt with a water hose. For bird droppings and other attached residue, use warm water and a soft bristled scrub brush on the spot requiring attention before rinsing with your hose. After you have removed any loose dirt and/or residue, allow your awning to dry completely before coating with a rain repellent such as Scotch Guard.

If your awning fabric has tougher stains such as mildew, you can attempt to remove the stains with a mild soap, such as Ivory Snow or Woolite, with warm water and a soft bristled scrub brush. Avoid using any product with the word “detergent” in it. Again, only use a mild soap. After using the soap, rinse the awning thoroughly with water from your hose. Allow the awning to dry completely before coating the fabric with a rain repellent as mentioned previously.

Proper care for the frame of your awning includes rinsing it with water from your hose, wiping it down with a soft cloth and using a 100 percent silicone lubricant on all moving parts of the lateral awning. Again, the lubricant must be 100 percent silicone. Avoid using lubricants such as WD-40 as they will leave a residue and may stain your awning’s fabric.

By following these simple recommendations, you will extend the life of your awning and your enjoyment of it. For any additional questions about the proper care and cleaning of your Sunesta awning, please contact Sunesta’s customer service department at 800.874.2001.