Are you melting in the conservatory?

Posted on - June 9, 2017

 

The perils of heat & glare through your windows

A quick look at the best defences against the negative effects of the sun

If you have a conservatory, large picture windows, patio doors, a south-facing aspect or are just lucky enough to live somewhere that gets more than its fair share of the sunshine – you’ll know that it does have its draw-backs.

During the spring and summer months the heat can be unbearable. Amplified and trapped by your lovely glazed conservatory the sun’s rays not only make it extremely uncomfortable, but the UV can also harm fabrics and soft furnishings.

At other times the glare and brightness can make using the space almost as difficult. It gets into your eyes and renders TV, tablets, phones and computer screens completely useless.

So – what can you do to fix the problem?

We’ve been looking at ways to manage the negative effects of the sun through your windows – particularly in conservatories and garden rooms. What can you do to make the most of the sun – in comfort?

 

 

BLINDS

Blinds can be a great addition and add a nice finishing touch to your glazed extension. But getting it right is not always easy, or cheap or even that effective. And of course if you opt for fine or coloured fabrics they will likely get quickly damaged and faded from the strength of the sun.

 

Sometimes – if you’re south facing for instance – even blinds don’t stop the heat. You may have to open some windows for ventilation. That’s a pretty blunt way of dealing with the problem though. Venetian blinds end up getting blown all over the place with the slightest breath of wind – and yet the room can still be stuffy and hot – and in the shade!

You have all those lovely windows and fantastic view – but have to keep the blinds pulled right down in order to bear being in the room at all.

Blinds also create a gap between themselves and the glass. Throughout the day the air in this gap will heat up – creating further discomfort

 

Cost to install:             Basic = average, Quality = expensive

Efficiency:                    Glare = up to 100%, Heat = 30%

Running cost:              Excellent

Longevity                      Good

Maintenance:               Average

 

 

AIR CONDITIONING

Air Con guarantees a constant temperature when things outside start heating up. It is far-and-away the best for keeping cool in the conservatory.

 

But – there is a big financial drawback – along with physical and cosmetic issues with this approach. Even a small-scale installation of AirCon can cost a packet. And then there’s the cost of running it – not very Eco-friendly. Some times pretty noisy too.

Portable air conditioning is another option. Cheaper. No installation needed. But where do you keep the big ugly box the rest of the year?

And of course air conditioning doesn’t address the issue of glare at all. To tackle that you’d need an additional solution (blinds perhaps).

 

Cost to install:             Basic = average, Quality = expensive

Efficiency:                    Glare = 0, Heat = up to 100%

Running cost:              Poor

Longevity                      Good

Maintenance:               High

 

 

RE-ROOFING

Re-roofing may be worth considering if you have part or fully glazed roof to your conservatory. It seemed like a great idea to have an all-glass roof – but in reality it’s just not practical. So, replacing the glass with other traditional roofing materials that don’t let the light through reduces the heat and glare issues.

 

It’s a sort of backwards step though, and means you don’t have the desired sky-gazing ceiling – and of course there is the cost.

Also, re-roofing does nothing to address any problems you may get with lower glazed areas. The windows and doors will still be at the mercy of the elements – meaning we’re back to having to use blinds or something again.

 

Cost to install:             Basic = average, Quality = expensive

Efficiency:                    Glare = 50%, Heat = 40%

Running cost:              Very good

Longevity                     Very good

Maintenance:              Low

 

 

FANS

If you’re looking to make things a little cooler you can use fans. They do work a bit. But they’re more about moving the existing air about than cooling it down per se.

 

If the air gets too hot you’re basically just blowing hot air around. And of course the hotter it is the stronger setting you need on the fan. So you could end up facing a force 10 gale whilst trying to read the Sunday newspaper.

Like air con, they are intrusive, can be ugly, and need to be stored in the winter months.

Fans have absolutely no impact on glare of course.

It’s fair to say that – although they have their uses – we are not big fans of fans.

 

Cost to install:             Basic = good, Quality = expensive

Efficiency:                    Glare = 0%, Heat = 40%

Running cost:              Average

Longevity                      Good

Maintenance:               Good

 

 

WINDOW FILM

With window film you can not only cut out the heat by up to 70% – but also reduce the glare. And it’s relatively economical to install, with little disruption or impact on the existing room.

 

Hi-Tech Window Film, professionally installed, prevents the transference of heat through your glass so stops the room heating up in the first place. You don’t need to cool it down – it’s pleasant enough already J

You can use the room perfectly as intended. And its not just the spring and summer months that benefit. Window film can help to insulate too. Just as the sun’s heat is kept outside – the heat that is in the room stays in – meaning you should be able to use the room for much more of the year and even in the winter too – without having to put the heating on.

Window film protects your curtains, carpets, soft furnishings and artwork from the suns damaging rays. This is a real bonus. You’d be amazed at how quickly and how badly fabrics can fade. Window film cuts harmful UV too.

 

Cost to install:             Basic = good, Quality = expensive

Efficiency:                    Glare = 70%, Heat = 80%

Running cost:              Low

Longevity                      Good

Maintenance:               Good

 

 

So – which solution do you think you’d go for? It’s a toughie…

Window Film from Durable.

Call us today on 0118 989 5200 or email mail@durable.co.uk or visit www.durable.co.uk