Do you consider your conservatory a success story, or has it become an expensive store room, the place to store garden furniture in the winter?

Conservatories are common place now in a variety of styles and shapes and it is thought that there are around 5% of houses with one installed. A conservatory, it was hoped (and sold as), was a perfect way of bringing the outside in and allowing you to enjoy your garden at any time of the year with a near uninterrupted view from the mostly glazed walls and roof and with prices at an average of £1000 a sqm, it wasn’t a particularly cheap vision you were sold either.

Now a few years have gone by you realise that it perhaps wasn’t the greatest investment you had ever made and if you’d ever taken the time to add up the months you have used it as it was intended in the time you’ve had your conservatory, it probably made pretty, alarming reading.

The problem? Solar radiation. A conservatory will get warm quickly because solar radiation passes through glass or plastic glazing freely and unobstructed and will heat the air and anything contained in the conservatory at a rapid pace and because all air is heated by the sun’s rays; the conservatory  concentrates that heat much more than the outdoor air around it because the air mass inside the conservatory is so much smaller than the air mass outdoors.

That trapped heat then becomes thermal radiation and that cannot pass back through the glass or plastic glazing, contrary to popular belief. This then creates the unbearable temperature we have all experienced on a warm, sunny day when we enter a conservatory with a conventional roof and glazed walls.

It is very likely that an outside temperature of 25- degree Celsius could equate to a 40-degree Celsius temperature inside where risks to health can now occur.

Conversely, solar radiation, or lack of it, is the reason your conservatory is so cold in the winter if you have no installed method of heating it. On a bright sunny day in January, the space will feel less cold because of solar radiation but will quickly cool once the sun has gone. This happens because a conservatory is very rarely completely airtight and cool air will find a way in through the frames, glazing or airbricks. A conservatory can be heated in winter and quite easily too but it will be greatly uneconomic and inefficient if not a low, continuous form of heating that has an inbuilt thermostatic control. This will improve the spikes between day and night temperatures.

So, if solar radiation is the cause, what is the answer?

For use in the warmer months you need to eliminate solar radiation transfer from the roof structure completely by replacing the glazing to a solid, non- translucent roof  and for use all year around, have a tiled, insulated conservatory roof fitted or leave the external roof as is and insulate the internal side only. These options will allow much greater regulation of internal temperatures during the summer and winter months, which will in turn allow the conservatory to become the room you’d hoped it would be all those years ago when first fitted.

To find out more about the available options, please click on the links below or email directly at- [email protected]

 

Solid, tiled conservatory roof.

Sunstop roof panels.

Insulated, conservatory ceilings