Conservatories have come a long way since they first became popular, but historically there has always been the issue of your room becoming too hot in summer and then too cold in winter. To get around this problem and to ensure you can use your conservatory or orangery all year round, you need to think about heating.
Conservatories and orangeries generally lose heat up to 8 times faster than a normal cavity wall. Heat escaping can partly be remedied by double or triple glazing, as well as by using window blinds. This all helps since the heat built up during the day can then be trapped for use later on. Given all of this, one always needs to consider the heating options as none of them will completely counter the effects of heat loss, especially if you are thinking of using your conservatory or orangery throughout the winter.
The question is what heating options are there and why should you consider one over the other. This article will help you in this process.
Electric Underfloor Heating
This is a very convenient way to heat your conservatory and over recent years has grown in popularity. One of the major advantages is that it is invisible, meaning you do not have to worry about floor or wall radiators that can then complicate either the interior design or the living space. After all, one cannot place furniture against radiators without encountering other issues!
The other advantage of electric under floor heating is that the heating can be isolated. It will run off a 13 amp plug (UK) so it can be easily turned on or off without affecting the rest of the central heating at your home.
The main drawback with underfloor heating was the limits it placed on you regarding flooring. Historically, it used to be recommended with ceramic or stone flooring, with wooden or cork flooring avoided because of the fear of damage. These days, as the market has grown and the heating systems become more sophisticated, this problem can now largely be overcome. Speak to a reputable conservatory company to advise you on this matter to ensure you get the right system.
Water Underfloor Heating
This system is very similar to the traditional gas boiler and radiator system most people have in their homes in the UK. This system works by tapping into your current boiler and piping warm water through plastic pipes hidden underneath your conservatory or orangery floor.
The main advantage of heating your conservatory this way is because you have this system already. So assuming your current boiler will handle the additional demand placed upon it, it will often be a cost effective solution.
This raises a potential problem, you must make sure your current system will cope. In addition to this you must also remember that it is not an isolated system, so if you want the heating on, that means turning on your whole central heating. Keep in mind the point above about heat loss and there may be times where you just do not want the main system on just for your conservatory. If this occurs you can always turn off your other radiators, but that does not isolate the heating completely. This is not ideal when you just want to quickly warm up the conservatory but not the rest of the building.
Radiators of course come in two forms, plumbed in and electric. The plumbed in versions are great so long as the capacity issue mentioned above is not an issue here. Electric versions are very practical and work independently of your main central heating. They can either be portable or hard wired. The portable variety can be very flexible although do not look as sophisticated as any other options covered here; the lose wires contribute to this significantly.
One key factor to keep in mind is that radiators take space and visually impact upon interior design. Many people live with this very happily but keep in mind the size of the dwarf walls that the glass sits upon. Adding small radiators to these walls gives the conservatory or orangery more of a chunky feel and pushes furniture into the room. So for smaller conservatories where space is more critical, you need to think through interior design considerations to make sure this is not restrictive.
CONSERVATORY AIR CONDITIONING
Air condition units also make good heaters as they use the heat pump to take warm air from the outside and then direct it within the conservatory or orangery. This makes the unit very versatile because it can cool your room down while it is hot and then heat it when the temperatures drop in the evening.
This heat pump can work all throughout the winter although it may not be sufficient for very cold days. The designer from a reputable conservatory company will be able to calculate the heat loss specific to your conservatory, and from that calculate the right unit you will need.
Breckenridge offers the most comprehensive choice of conservatory, contemporary extensions and contemporary conservatories in a choice of materials as well as a range of pool enclosures, summer houses and windows & doors.