The concept of the sunroom began decades ago with the earliest homemade attempts using wood posts and stapled screens to enclose front or back porches to keep out insects. Contemporary conservatories and sunrooms utilise advance thermal window and roof systems to help you bring the outdoors inside with elegance.
Many conservatories are made from hardwoods such as oak. Generally speaking a conservatory made out of hardwood will be more expensive than one made out of aluminium or PVCu, although which you prefer is a matter of taste.
Actually known as Pilkington K glass (Pilkington being the company that invented it). It reduces the amount of heat that is lost from the conservatory to the outside world. It works through the use of a microscopic coating on the inside pane of glass in double glazing.
The glass basically doesn’t want to radiate any heat into the gap between the panes of double glazing and so heat produced by radiators, body heat etc is reflected back into the room, yet sunlight is let through. This means the internal pane of glass can feel warmer than usual and reduces the amount of internal condensation you will see.
It generally appears the same as normal glass but in certain light conditions may appear as a slight ‘film’ on the surface of the glass.
Furnishing Your Conservatory
The conservatory is a room in the house and to be fully utilised needs to be furnished as such. Cane, wicker and rattan are common materials used to make specialised conservatory furniture, although it doesn’t need to be any different from what you would buy for the living room.
The only possible cause for concern is that unless you have conservatory blinds and or a solar coating, the furnishings will be subject to significantly more sunlight and UV than they would normally be expected to see in an interior room. This may cause degradation of the materials structure and fading of the colour.
Radiators are a good way of heating your conservatory in the winter months. Conventional central heating radiators are efficient but require you to plumb into the existing central heating system in your house.
Electric radiators are convenient in that they are easier to install – just plug them in (depending on the wattage they may need a dedicated socket).
Oil filled radiators are also convenient. An additional advantage of both electric and oil filled radiators is that you will usually remember to switch them off if you are not using the conservatory.
Solar Coating is an alternative or complementary technique to conservatory blinds for reducing the heat build in a conservatory during hot weather.
In one example it is a metallic PVC coating that is applied to the roof of the conservatory which could reduce the internal temperature of the room by up to 20C on very hot day. It may also help maintain a more regulated temperature in the conservatory.