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How to stop your conservatory overheating

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It’s no surprise that conservatories and orangeries can get pretty hot in the summertime — they are, after all, boxes made of glass! A few centuries ago, their original function was to imitate the tropical growing conditions required by citrus trees so that the aristocrats of Europe could enjoy oranges and lemons at colder latitudes. So, surely your conservatory being hot and stuffy in summer is just part of the deal?

Maybe this was once the case, but modern tech, sensible housekeeping and a good conservatory company can help you out. You shouldn’t have to grin and bear it as you swelter through the summer — read this article for a handy guide on how to stop your conservatory overheating in the summer.

How to stop your conservatory overheating

Ventilation

The first port of call for anybody looking to keep a space cool and airy should be ventilation. A breath of fresh air from the outside world is a free renewable, sustainable resource, after all! 

Your conservatory will almost certainly come with windows and a door onto your back garden. If you find yourself overheating on an early summer’s day, simply open all of the windows and the door as much or as little as you like. 

Modern conservatories and patio doors, (like the ones we manufacture and fit at Britannia) can usually lock in an open position, giving you security and peace of mind and protecting against sudden gusts of wind that might send a door swinging on its hinges.

There is a problem, however. On a seriously hot day or during a prolonged heatwave, opening windows can make matters worse — bringing hot, still and humid air into your indoor island of cool. 

One useful trick to fight this, however, is using the wind direction or convection to create a flow of air through your house. This is best done by creating a path for air to flow through your home, in one side and out of the other. Done right, this will create a mild, cooling draught of air — but be careful! Changes in the wind can slam doors and send paperwork scattering.

However, if fresh air alone was completely effective at cooling our conservatories, there’d be no need for this article! Most of us are already doing everything we can to properly ventilate our conservatories, and don’t need a web article to explain it. 

We hear you — and raise you some practical solutions.

Cooling film

The principal problem for most overheating conservatories is the fierce summer sun. The UV from its rays can even damage your furniture! 

Fitting tinted cooling film to the roof of your conservatory is fairly simple and affordable, and works by decreasing the amount of the sun’s energy that enters your property. High-quality film can reflect as much as 80% of the solar rays that hit it, helping to keep your conservatory cool. 

The film usually has a minimal effect on the overall brightness of your conservatory, as most visible light rays don’t carry a whole lot of heat and are left to filter through without issue. What’s more, the film has the opposite function in winter — by adding another layer of insulation to your roof, it helps stop heat from radiating out of the glass, keeping your home warm.

This film is usually adhesive, and installed by sticking it to the underside of your conservatory roof. Some films also stretch over the frames of windows. You can fit this film yourself but should consider contracting an expert, who can pick out the right film for your property and fit it to be maximally effective. You can contact us to talk about your options.

Solar Control Glass

Solar control glass works on much the same principle as cooling film, but without the layer of plastic. This glass keeps the heat and UV light out in the summer and the warmth inside in winter, without the slight aesthetic drawback of sticking film to your windows. 

This does come at a cost, but is usually far cheaper over time than running an air conditioning unit and allows you to enjoy your conservatory all year round. Interested? You can give us a call or read more about the glass we fit here.

Blinds

Blinds are a must for most conservatories anyway — nobody likes the feeling of sitting in a lit glass box at night without them! However, your choice of blind can have a positive or negative effect on temperature control. Thin venetian blinds can look stylish, for example, but are usually best backed up with a heavy-duty thermal blind to help insulate the room in summer and winter. 

It’s also possible to fit blinds to your roof, which can be lowered in the middle of a summer’s day to keep the worst heat of the day out.

Light, soft furnishings

Many of us like rich, dark furnishings. In traditional living rooms, they’re sumptuous and inviting — but in conservatories, they can quickly lose their charm. Not only can UV light cause dark furniture like leather suites to fade irregularly, but they have a tendency to absorb and radiate heat. The result can be a stubbornly sweaty conservatory space. At the other end of the spectrum, metal furniture can become swelteringly hot to the touch.

Soft, light-coloured furnishings both suit the modern aesthetics of a conservatory and help avoid sweltering heat in summer.  

Replace your conservatory roof

If your conservatory is creaking at the edges with age, you’re spending a packet on air conditioning or you’re finding your existing temperature-control methods aren’t packing a punch, you might consider replacing your conservatory roof. While this comes at a cost, it’s a fraction of the price of replacing the whole conservatory! 

You can choose between a heat-proof tiled roof, a reflective glass roof or a simple modern polycarbonate replacement. As ever, it’s a good idea to speak to our resident experts about your options before you take the plunge.

Enjoy your conservatory year round

It can be frustrating to find your conservatory becoming too hot or cold in summer or winter. Hopefully this article has given you some helpful ideas, but if you have any more questions you can always speak to us obligation-free. Best of luck!

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