A sunlit conservatory is an inviting place to relax or entertain friends on a warm summer day but older style conservatories were usually considered to be too chilly to use much in winter. Luckily, with a few adaptations, you can keep your conservatory warm and cosy and make the most of the extra space all year round.
Keep out any draughts
Old windows in a conservatory will inevitably let in draughts so as a temporary measure, try to identify any gaps and seal them. Over the longer term, installing replacement windows with thermally efficient glazing will make it much easier to heat your conservatory. For maximum warmth, triple glazed windows as widely used in Scandinavia are costlier but are the most effective solution.
Is your heating going through the roof?
Conservatories and orangeries have traditionally been designed with a glazed or plastic roof. They make the most of natural light but also allow heat to escape. A popular solution to this problem is to install a thermally efficient roof, perhaps with a stylish roof lantern. This not only gives your conservatory a new lease of life but will also reduce your energy bills.
• Tiled roof
A tiled roof will transform your conservatory giving it more the appearance of a conventional extension. However, it's much lighter in weight and can be added to any style of conservatory. It will not only keep the room warmer in winter but will also lower the temperature in summer, making it a much more comfortable space to use at any time of the year. While this might sound like a major project, the process takes less than a week from start to finish and other than replacing the entire conservatory is easily the most effective measure you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your extension.
• Hybrid roof
If you want to improve insulation while still making the most of the natural light, then a hybrid roof is a perfect choice. Constructed from energy-efficient glass and aluminium roof panels, these bespoke designs can be installed in almost any situation, giving your conservatory a stylish new look and enabling you to relax in comfort, whatever the weather.
Drive away the damp
A moisture-laden atmosphere lowers the temperature in any room but is particularly noticeable in a conservatory. The problem is often caused by poor ventilation so try leaving the door that separates your orangery from the rest of the house open as this will improve the flow of air. Damp can also encourage the growth of mould spores, which present a health hazard and can worsen conditions such as asthma. Using a dehumidifier is an efficient way to reduce the moisture levels in the whole house.
Flooring and soft furnishing
The floor is one of the largest surface areas in a conservatory and can feel cold in the winter months. While for practical reasons, conservatory floors are often wood, laminate or tiles, something as simple and affordable as putting down a big rug instantly adds an extra layer of insulation.
Soft furnishings such as cuddly throws, insulating blinds and thick curtains will also help to keep out the cold and bring a cosy ambience. If you have a larger budget, consider laying a carpet or installing underfloor heating.
There are several options for heating a conservatory - underfloor heating, as mentioned above, is an effective choice and can be retrofitted. Because the heat rises up and permeates the furnishings, the room feels much cosier. Traditional radiators connected to the central heating system are a very efficient way of heating the space but will need to be approved by building regulations. Alternatively, slimline oil-filled radiators are very efficient, cheap to run and don't take up much space. They can be freestanding or fixed to a wall and are thermostatically controlled, making it easy to maintain a comfortable background temperature and to add a boost of warmth when required. If space permits, you can install a wood-burning stove, bringing an authentic, rustic warmth and cosiness to your extension.
Bergson & Eaton: bespoke orangeries and conservatories for every situation
At Bergson & Eaton, we offer a wide range of energy-efficient windows, doors and roofs to keep your conservatory warm this winter. And if you’re considering installing a new conservatory, we can design, manufacture and install high-quality bespoke conservatories in styles to suit any type of architecture. To find out more, please drop into our Aylesbury showroom where the friendly, knowledgeable team will be happy to advise you. Alternatively, just fill in our online contact form with your details and we will get back to you as soon as possible.