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The best way to heat your conservatory

Using your conservatory in the winter is a challenging prospect to some owners. The glass walls and roof offer fantastic views of the garden and create a brightly lit room to relax in. However, those same walls also make it difficult to keep warm in colder months. The glass or polycarbonate allows heat to escape too quickly, making heating an expensive challenge. In this post, Unicorn Windows offers some advice on heating your conservatory.

Building regulations

Unfortunately, conservatories are subject to certain building regulations that make it more difficult to heat them. They pose a frustrating obstacle to potential owners, as Jeff Howell writes in the Telegraph:

“One regulation that is enforced is that the wall separating the conservatory from the main house has to be retained (otherwise the conservatory becomes an extension, and must have the same strict standards of thermal insulation as any modern building). Another regulation is that the heating system of the main house must not be extended into the conservatory. This is to stop people connecting up radiators or underfloor heating (UFH) to their existing gas-fired boilers, which would result in excessive heat being wasted through the glass walls and roof.”

All of this translates into more expensive heating for conservatories.

Electric heating

The popular option among owners trying to keep tight budgets are electric radiators. They don’t need any pipes installed, can be fitted almost anywhere and work at the flick of a switch. They also warm up quickly too, saving time and energy. Unfortunately, the energy you do use can be expensive, depending on how much you use these radiators.

As mentioned, underfloor heating will also probably have to be electric as well. This solution is great in terms of aesthetics – you’d never even know it was there. However, the downsides are numerous, to the point where some conservatory builders don’t offer it. Underfloor heating usually has to be installed during initial construction. It can take a while to heat up a room too, meaning you have to turn it on in advance of actually using it.

Central heating

If your conservatory is actually a legitimate extension of your house, you might consider extending your central heating system so it’s included. The cons are obvious and immediate – it will require a plumber and disruption, as well as redecoration in parts of your house. On the other hand, it’s cheaper than electric and helps keep condensation at bay. Your conservatory will still be cooler than the rest of the house, thanks to the lack of insulation offered by glass, but it will still be comfortable.

Conserving heat

With your heating option chosen, you need to make sure your conservatory has adequate blinds or window coverings. In the dark winter months, rolling the blinds down will retain heat and help to insulate your space. This will mean less heating and lower electricity or gas bills. You can also choose to carpet your conservatory rather than going for wooden floors. Carpet will aid the conservation effort.