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The Definitive Guide to Sunair Awnings

The Definitive Guide to Sunair Awnings

The awning is a transformational design element that can be applied to a range of exterior contexts. Enhancing your porch or patio by creating a shady sanctuary where you and your guests can enjoy sunny days without worrying about the harmful damage of UV rays is the first step to creating your outdoor oasis. Awnings are also a great way to draw customers into your storefront and protect them from inclement weather. Whether you’re sprucing up your home’s outdoor space or elevating your business’s curb appeal, choosing the right awnings comes down to a delicate marriage of style and function. Purchasing your first awning can feel overwhelming; there are so many elements to consider. That’s why we’ve decided to compile all of our resources about the topic into one comprehensive document to simplify your awning research exploration.

The Aesthetic Look of Your Sunair Awning

The outer fabric covering of the awning is called the valance. This is the face of your awning. Sunair offers a wide array of different valence styles and colors to choose from so that you can find the combination that transforms your vision into a reality. Additionally, these valences are made from the highest quality, most weather-resistant fabric. 


The company’s extensive color swatch library includes everything from neutral tones such as Cappuccino and Toffee to cheery pastels such as Pale Peach and Sage Tweed. The collection also contains a large variety of striped patterns. Outfitting the patio or window outside of your beach house? Try the medium blue and white striped design. Cultivating a sophisticated nook on your patio? Try the Plum or Forest Green. There are a full 72 colors to choose from and custom color options are also available. 

Valence Style

The cut of your valence’s bottom edge adds just as much to the design scheme of your space as the color. Sunair carries eight valence styles including scallop-edged, straight edged, wavy, castle-cut and a few variations in between. Straight across is more popular for offices while the scalloped edge is the go-to option for patios, porches, bakeries and more.  


Sunair valences are composed of acrylic solution dyed fabric, a material suited specifically to protecting you from the sun with its UV stable pigment saturation. Acrylic fabrics are the most attractive material on the market. Their breathable fibrous composition makes them mildew and fade resistant allowing you to enjoy all the perks of your awning with little to no maintenance. Adding on a water-repellant Teflon coating is also a great option to keep it safe from blizzards, hail storms and heavy rain. 

The History of the Sunair Awning

The company was founded in 1880 in MalmÅ‘, Sweden by the Martensson family and was originally an umbrella and parasol factory which supplied the Swedish and Scandinavian markets. Sunair was passed down from generation to generation and in the late 1960’s, the 4th generation Martensson transformed it into a retractable awning and canopy business. They prospered in the Swedish and Scandinavian awning market, but they wanted to expand. In 1978, Olof and Mona Martenssen moved overseas to the U.S. and became one of the first retractable awning manufacturers to introduce the European style to the North American Market. 

Solid Mechanical Engineering

Sunair’s awnings are supported by a high quality of architectural integrity, ensuring their longevity for up to twenty years. They can be mounted on the wall, roof, an arch, a balcony or overhanging eaves. The awning’s skeleton was designed by leading innovators in the field and has many components with their own unique functions, yet they’re incredibly easy to use. You can unfurl your awning with a simple manual crank, or it will unfurl automatically if you opt for the motorized model. Each part of the awning’s skeleton has its own specialized features. 

The Arms

These are the two rods that connect the top bar of the awning to the bottom bar underneath the valence. All arms are 8’7” and use industrial strength steel springs for convenient retractability. Each of the arm’s components under stress, including the elbow and shoulder components, are made of forged aluminum, a variety of metal that is stronger than all die castings or extrusions. 

The Elbow

This is the hinge in the middle of the arms which allows the awning to fold inwards and outwards. The elbow is tripled angled with an elliptical cable radius which increases tension as the awning extends. For the bendable material in the center of the hinge, Sunair uses twin stainless, high quality aircraft cables. Since the cable is doubly reinforced, it experiences less wear and tear over time than its single counterpart. 

The Shoulders

These small parts connect the arms to the mounting bar at the top of the awning. The shoulders carry the most stress when the awning is expanded, thus, although they are small they are incredibly strong. 

Effortless Motorized Operation Capabilities for Solar Retractable Awning

You can truly transform your patio into a mental vacation by motorizing your Sunair awning. With the flick of a switch, the awning’s arms can retract on their own. Sunair’s motors are powered by SOMFY, a system which utilizes an integrated radio receiver to connect to a remote giving you the option to open your awning before you even get outside. 

Another option to mull over is the ONDEIS Sun sensor which opens and closes your solar retractable awning automatically in response to the sun’s intensity. It pairs well with the EOLIS wire free wind sensor which closes itself in reaction to excessive wind, saving the awning from damage. The motor does not require any maintenance, eliminating the need for an electrician. 

Three Different Awning Models to Choose From

One of the most crucial considerations to make about your awning is size. Everyone’s space has distinct physical constraints, so it’s paramount to pick an awning that fits snugly within yours. The renowned retractable awning manufacturer has designed three innovative iterations of its long-lasting, high quality product all of which are available in hundreds of valence colors. In addition, they can all be motorized or manual. The Sunair and the Sunstar can be further outfitted with a roll down drop valence for privacy and even more shade control. 

The Namesake: Sunair Retractable Awning

Aptly named after the company itself, this is its most popular model. It is available in custom sizes up to 40 ft. wide with a 14 ft. projection. You can truly make this awning your own, by deciding not only the valence color, but the color of the frame as well. The Sunair model is offered in nine colors as well as custom RAL colors. In addition, it comes with a 15 year limited frame warranty, a 10 year fabric warranty and a 5 year motor warranty. 

The Steal: Sunstar Retractable Awning

This Sunair system comes in custom sizes up to 24 ft. wide with an 11’6” projection. It is offered in fewer frame colors and sizes than the Sunair and Suntube, but is just as durable and stylish, and made of the highest quality materials available making it the ideal model for the budget conscious, yet tasteful buyer. The frame color options are white, mocha and ivory. Sunair offers an 8 year limited frame warranty on this product. 

The Boldly Shaped Bird Repeller: Suntube Retractable Awning

Last, but certainly not least, the Suntube is available in custom sizes up to 20 ft. wide with a 13’ projection. It has the full nine color range of frame options and custom RAL colors are also available. Rest assured that this Sunair product comes with a 15 year limited frame warranty. The unique benefit of this snail-shaped awning is that the round top dissuades birds from nesting on it since it’s tougher to balance on than the flat-topped awnings. So if this is a concern, then this is the awning for you!

Cultivate Your Outdoor Oasis with a Design-Savvy Collaborator

We partnered with Sunair to provide you with the highest quality solar retractable awnings on the market plus the benefit of our own attentive customer service. Our goal is for each and every customer to be satisfied with your exterior design investment and to provide all the knowledge necessary to match you with the awning solution that best serves your space, budget, and preferences.

In addition, our experts provide full service awning installation including mounting, motor hook-up, switch set-up and the addition of ancillary products. Drop by our showrooms at our Window Trends Chatham or Morristown locations to speak to one of our window treatment professionals or to schedule a complimentary at-home consultation for an assessment of your space and so that we can make recommendations.