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MOTORIZED PATIO SCREEN 101: A GUIDE FOR MODERN HOMEOWNERS

In today's rapidly evolving world of home improvements, motorized patio screens are becoming the new must-have item in home upgrades. These screens, which can be controlled with the mere push of a button, are transforming outdoor living spaces, providing homeowners with tons of benefits. In this detailed guide, we'll delve deep into the world of motorized patio screens, exploring their many advantages, and features, and offering insights into choosing the perfect one for your home. 

The Rise of Motorized Patio Screens 

The concept of patio screens isn't new. For years, homeowners have used manual screens to protect their patios from insects, and harsh weather, and to gain a bit of privacy. However, the manual operation was often cumbersome, especially for larger screens or in adverse weather conditions. Especially in today’s world of much larger patio spaces that blur the lines between living indoors and outdoors. Enter motorized patio screens. These screens, equipped with a motor, can be controlled remotely, on a timer, an app, or even Alexa and Google devices! 

Motorized Patio Shade

Why Every Modern Home Needs a Motorized Patio Screen 

  • Unmatched Convenience: The primary advantage is the convenience they offer. Adjusting the screen is as simple as pressing a button. Some advanced models can even be controlled via smartphone apps, allowing homeowners to adjust their screens even when they're not at home. This feature is invaluable, especially in densely populated areas where homes are in close proximity to each other. 
  • Enhanced Privacy: Want to enjoy a quiet evening on your patio without becoming a spectacle for the entire neighborhood? Motorized screens can be adjusted to offer complete privacy. During the day they often offer one-way privacy, allowing you to see out while keeping your nosy neighbors from looking in. 
  • Protection from Elements: Whether it's a sudden rain shower, harsh sunlight, or a swarm of pesky insects, motorized screens can offer protection, enhancing the comfort of your outdoor living space. In the summertime, a proper motorized patio screen (typically a zipper track system) will allow airflow while keeping bugs and insects out. In the winter they can help contain the heat from your appliances. This means no more canceled relaxation time or backyard parties canceled due to bad weather. 
  • Energy Efficiency: By blocking out harsh sunlight, these screens can help in maintaining a cooler indoor environment, reducing the reliance on air conditioners and thus potentially lowering energy bills. And the reverse is true in the winter. In essence, a this screen will extend your “patio season”.  
  • Aesthetic Appeal: With sleek designs and a range of colors and materials to choose from, motorized screens can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home. They should look like they belong and are a part of the house, not an add-on. 

Features to Look Out For in Motorized Patio Screen

When shopping for these types of screens, it's essential to be aware of the features on offer: 

  • Zipper Track Retention: This is what makes the patio screen bug-proof, locking in the fabric to form a perfect seal. 
  • Smart Home: Many modern screens can be integrated with smart home systems, allowing for voice-controlled operation. 
  • Warranty: Motors, advanced fabric, finish- these are all taking a beating from the elements, it is outside after all. At a minimum, each component should have a 5-year warranty 
  • Weather Sensors: Some high-end models come equipped with sensors that detect changes in weather, automatically adjusting the screen accordingly, like wind or sun. 
  • Customizability: A motorized patio screen will become an extension of your home. It should blend in and not attract attention when not in use. 
  • Budgeting: Consider factors like warranty, after-sales service, and the reputation of the manufacturer. 

Choosing the Perfect Motorized Patio Screen 

  1. Assess Your Needs: Start by understanding what you need. Is it privacy, protection, or both? 
  1. Size Matters: Measure your patio accurately to ensure the screen fits perfectly. Different manufacturers have different size limitations 
  1. Material Choices: Screens come in various materials, each offering different levels of protection and visibility. The factory rep should be able to provide you with all the options. 
  1. Budgeting: This is a one-time investment in your home if you purchase well. It should not only last the lifetime of your time in the home, but increase its value, and certainly its “wow” factor. 
  1. Read Reviews: Before making a purchase, read reviews from other homeowners. This will give you insights into the product's performance, durability, and any potential issues. Google Business Reviews are probably the most reliable. If they have no reviews there is a red flag.  

 

The Science Behind Motorized Patio Screens 

While the concept of a screen might seem simple, the technology and engineering behind these screens are anything but. Let's explore the science and innovation that make these screens not as simple as you may think. 

The Motor Mechanism: 

  • The heart of the motorized screen is, unsurprisingly, its motor. These motors are designed to be both compact and powerful, ensuring smooth operation even for large screens. They are designed to fit inside a tube, they are in fact called tubular motors. They attach to grooves inside the tube and pivot with lots of torque despite the small package. Somewhere between 10 and 30 Newtons!  
  • Silent Operation Technology: Nobody wants a noisy motor disturbing their peace. Modern motors are designed to operate silently, ensuring a tranquil environment. This will vary from company to company, but the higher quality of the product, the more quiet it will be.  
  • Overload Protection: This feature ensures the motor doesn't burn out or get damaged if there's an obstruction or if the screen is overused. Obstacle detection is one of the cooler features of well-designed motorized screens. That means if you leave a bag out, or a chair is in the way, the motor will “feel” it and not force the shade down.  
  • Energy Efficiency: The motors are designed to consume minimal power, aligning with the global push towards energy conservation. Using less than 2 Amps will help you use your heat and air conditioning less. 

Patio Screen

 

Installation and Maintenance 

While the installation process is relatively straightforward, it's recommended to hire professionals. This ensures the screen is installed correctly, operates smoothly, and lasts long. Better quality systems are typically only installed through factory-trained professionals. This is not a DIY project. You will get what you pay for. Maintenance is generally minimal, with occasional cleaning and periodic checks of the motor being sufficient. 

 The Future of Motorized Patio Screens 

With the rapid advancements in technology, the future looks promising for this type of screen. We can expect more features, better integration capabilities, and even more energy-efficient models in the coming years.  

Conclusion 

Motorized patio screens represent the perfect blend of luxury and practicality. They offer homeowners a range of benefits, from convenience to energy efficiency. As outdoor living spaces become an integral part of modern homes, investing in this type of screen seems like the logical step forward for enhanced comfort and functionality.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

 I have a large outdoor patio room, how large can these be made? 

Typically better quality manufacturers can go up to 30 feet wide and 12 feet tall. These are engineered for larger openings. Most of these type are shades are completely custom

Will I need special power for the motor? 

Usually either an outlet or just a 110 V junction box. The company you work with should have this figured out.

Are there different options? 

There are as many options as you can imagine. Color of housing,  tracks, fabric type and color, motor style, remotes,  remote styles.

My home is over 20 years old -  will this upgrade work? 

It should be able to be installed in just about any situation.

What is Somfy? 

Somfy is probably the most well-known tubular motor manufacturer out there- it’s a niche market. That being said, modern technology and improvements in the industry have given rise to a number of other brands that sometimes have longer warranties and more features.