“How to make conservatory warmer” – an age-old Google search. As the proud proprietors of 2 of the most high-tech, high-spec conservatory roof glass brands around (SMARTGLASS and Celsius Glass), we’d like to think we’re best positioned to provide you with some top tips on keeping the coolest room of your casa cosy amidst the crisp temperatures of the British Winter season. Let’s dive in…
RAISE THE ROOF (STATISTICALLY).
Let’s kick off with an important one. Your roof units. Roof glass technology has come a long way in a relatively short space of time, with high-performance features such as: Low E, sound proofing, easy-clean, self-clean, UV protection and more. It will come as no surprise then that the temperature retention of your conservatory, orangery or sun room is hugely dependent on the units that are fitted above your head – because, as we all know, heat has a propensity to rise.
To stop all this lovely heat from ascending beyond the confines of your conservatory, you need a roof comprised of units with a low u-value. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the u-value of a glass unit directly relates to how well said glass unit insulates, with a lower u-value being preferable to a higher one if the goal is insulation. Therefore, glass units with a low u-value play a pivotal role in whether your conservatory is a toasty January oasis, or (quite literally) the polar opposite.
To create a conservatory environment in which you can’t see your breath, you need roof units with good insulative statistics. What you need is a high-performance roof unit, that combines warm-edge technology with an argon fill and a low-e coating. Now, standard clear glass tends to come in with a u-value of around 2.7, whilst most HP roof units operate in and around the 1.2 – 1.5 mark. Celsius Elite is the best insulating conservatory roof glass currently available in the UK, with its market leading u-value of just 0.9. Fit Celsius Elite and you’ll be feeling the benefits instantly – give your installer a call and ask about Celsius Elite.
So, when it comes to: “how to make conservatory warmer”, start with the roof.
SIDE (PANEL) EFFECTS.
Almost as important as your roof units, are the units that comprise the rest of your conservatory: your side panels and door units. Similar to your conservatory roof, your conservatory walls need to be high specification in terms of insulation. However, some side panel units fall down in this area, prioritising light transmission over insulation, resulting in a conservatory that could be used to store perishables between December and February.
Joking aside, if you value a cosy conservatory, then you’ll value a valuable u-value. The ideal side panel is one that combines this insulative power with a respectable light transmission. Introducing Celsius Clear, the perfect compliment to your Celsius Elite roof, with a visible light transmission of 61%, alongside a u-value of just 1.0.
When it comes to doors – regular, bifold, sliding, French or otherwise – the only choice is Celsius Bifolds, made with large adapted panes of Celsius Elite, bringing with it all the insulative power of its roof unit counterpart. Fitting all these units in tandem with each other creates a conservatory that is air-tight and unparalleled in terms of insulation. Helping you to maintain a mild space in the midst of Winter.
GET ON THE FLOORING.
So, we’ve done the roof and the walls, but what about the deck? Unfortunately, there’s currently no plans to introduce Celsius floor units, so we’ll have to think of something else.
Obviously, you could tear up your conservatory floor, and you could replace it with a well-insulated underlay and thick carpets, you could even have underfloor heating installed if this is something that appeals to you. But, you may very well be thinking: “this advice is all well and good, but realistically I’m not going to shell out the big bucks for a new conservatory floor” – and we think the same.
But we’re here to tell you that the cost of cultivating a cosy conservatory doesn’t have to cause chaos to your bank balance. A big thick rug will provide most of the benefits of a brand-new carpet, and can also be removed in the summer. If you wanted to go a bit more expensive (but still cheaper than replacing the floor) there is such a thing as an electric rug (think electric blanket but for the floor), that sits under a regular rug and will contribute to a warmer space.
CURTAINS? FOR CERTAIN.
Saying sayonara to a frosty orangery is, as we’ve established, as much about improving the insulative capabilities of the space as it is about introducing heat. With this in mind, a new thick pair of blinds or drapes could spell curtains for your old, cold conservatory.
This may sound simple, but installing a pair of thick curtains, blinds or drapes could make a significant difference to the insulative capacity of your conservatory walls, side panels and doors. Blinds in particular are popular amongst the conservatory savvy, as they come in a range of different variants; Roman, Thermal and Venetian to name but a few. Blinds also allow for a greater control of light entry, making your conservatory adaptable to both winter and summer settings.
So, to summarise, throw up some curtains or blinds, and you’ll be feeling the benefits in no time… hang on, do you feel a draught?
PLUG THAT DRAUGHT.
Conservatories that haven’t been fitted correctly suffer from air leaking in through small overlooked gaps in the framework between panels, potentially making for a draughty conservatory experience. Good luck keeping that boy warm, even if you have top of the range glass throughout. If you are the unfortunate owner of a windy conservatory, then there are things you can do.
If you can locate the gaps the air is coming through, you can strategically place seals to stop this happening, these often come in the form of a tape or a paste like substance. On top of this, draught excluders are cheap and can be used to line the areas where panels meet the floor or roof, accounting for any gaps there may be.
If you line all the windows and doors with draught-proofing, then you’re onto a winner.
MADE OF STERNER STUFF.
They say that the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. Long story short, what your conservatory is made of is going to affect how it responds to cold temperatures; to clarify, eggs and/or potatoes would be near the bottom of this particular list.
Now, we’re not suggesting that if your conservatory is a bit cold that you completely change all of the building materials that it’s made from as a first port of call. However, if you are already looking to upgrade your conservatory, then something to consider, would obviously be the glass types used in the roof, side panels and doors (discussed previously), but also the brickwork or stone that is used (this may apply more to orangeries), and whether it is thick enough to contribute to a warmer space.
Perhaps you don’t even want a conservatory at all. If you’re building it in an area that is exposed to the elements, maybe it’s north facing and receives less sun light, then perhaps an orangery is more suited (composed of less glass). Either way, these are all things to consider if you’re looking at conservatory improvements, and trying to create a warmer space.
TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC HEAT.
We’ve already discussed electric rugs, but what about an electric heater? There is a strong argument not to use electric heaters in that they are renowned voltage gobblers and will almost certainly add to your energy bills if used too often. However, they are efficient, and they do have the ability to heat up a space very quickly. Plus, if you have employed some of the insulative techniques mentioned earlier, then perhaps you need not have it on for too long.
In terms of central heating, most conservatories tend not to have radiators actually within the room, as conservatories are usually added after the house has been built, and adding the piping necessary is often messy and expensive in equal measure, you may even need planning permission. Some newer builds that come with conservatories may be different, but if you do have a radiator in your conservatory, I doubt you are reading this piece.
On the theme of heating, a strategy may be what you need to eliminate a cold conservatory from your life forever. So, we’ve replaced the roof, the side panels and door glass, we’ve put in some rugs and blinds, we’ve sealed up those draughty regions and even bought a brand-new electric heater. One last thing you can do is to plan around when you think you’re most likely to be in the conservatory.
Perhaps there is a specific time of day you like to spend in there, watching your shows or reading your books. If so, strategic heating could be the answer. Many electric heating elements will have a timer feature on them, meaning you can set the timer to come on 15-30 minutes before you know you’re going to sit down to watch bake off or read the Da Vinci code, and switch off afterwards. This is great because you can experience a cosy conservatory that will not give you chilblains, whilst simultaneously not breaking the bank from an energy point of view.
HOW TO MAKE CONSERVATORY WARMER
So, we’ve now explored 8 top tips to maintaining a mild conservatory in the midst of Winter. These tips are designed to work together and be as easy as possible, to make your conservatory a room that you can enjoy all year round. Don’t worry if you can’t apply all of the tips mentioned in this article, but any that you can do will be of great benefit to you and your grateful conservatory.
No longer will your conservatory be an environment that could sustain a family of penguins, no longer will your orangery be your go to place to store perishables, and no longer will your sun room look like a scene from a horror film, every time you breath. We hope we’ve aptly answered that age old Google search: “how to make conservatory warmer”. Thanks for reading.