Is your conservatory too hot? It may be time to upgrade your roof.
Older style conservatories which often feature single glazing or polycarbonate panels are notorious for becoming too hot in the summer months – even during the cooler weather, they can become unbearably warm just from the glare of the sun.
The problem with last generation materials is that they were not usually thermally efficient; for this reason, conservatories that become too hot in the summer for comfortable living are commonly too cold in the winter as well.
The best way to solve a hot conservatory is to amend the roof to a lightweight tiled option. It's not as expensive as you may think! Fill in the form below and get free conservatory roof quotes for comparison. Time to complete - 30 seconds.
What are the drawbacks of a conservatory which is too hot?
- As any householder knows, there are plenty of problems with a conservatory which becomes too hot:
- The conservatory is unpleasant to sit in because the ambient temperature is too high often accompanied by strong brightness and glare
- Homeowners may have to resort to using electric fans or portable air-conditioning units which are expensive to run and noisy
- Fitting blinds is another way to manage excess light and solar gain but blinds can be expensive and fiddly to both use and clean and can end up blocking out too much light
- Excessive light causes fabrics to fade and can bleach rugs and soft furnishings spoiling interior decor
What are the solutions for a conservatory that routinely becomes too hot?
Fortunately, there are lots of different possible solutions to the problem of a conservatory which becomes too hot and some of these can solve the opposite problem of a room which is too cold in the winter as well. Here are some suggestions which work for a variety of different conservatory styles and budgets:-
- Window films – these can help keep your conservatory cool, reduce glare and also prevent fade damage to curtains and soft furnishings. There are special films for UV filter and fade reduction sometimes called cooling films which are specifically designed to filter out at least 99% of harmful UV and reject infra-red heat. UV filters and fade reduction films are available in a variety of finishes and grades – choose ultra-clear films which are virtually undetectable or tinted or reflective films that can add visual characteristics to your conservatory whilst still offering high performance. Cooling window films are a relatively inexpensive option
- Fit roof and/or window blinds – blinds can at the flick of a switch reduce sunlight and they also work well during the colder months when there is no sunlight but there is still plenty of glare. Blinds can be manual or remote control or app-controlled from your phone so that you can adjust the blinds and change the heat within the conservatory before you go into it. Blinds are a great insulator during the winter months too, helping to retain heat. Blinds offer privacy as well as a shield from the weather and can be fitted to the windows and the glass conservatory roof
- Air conditioning – portable air conditioning units start from as little as £100 although you can spend several hundred. Some units are dual function so you can use them to cool the conservatory in summer and heat it during the winter
- Interior design - as every interiors expert knows, rooms which are south facing and have a tendency to be warm are much better styled in pale cool colours – think about the Mediterranean houses which are always white or very pale inside. Take this theme through to fabrics and furniture and avoid leather
- Roof insulation panels – made from lightweight aluminium and containing high-density foam insulation, these panels are hugely thermally efficient and can be installed in less than a day
- Increase ventilation- increasing ventilation and therefore airflow will always help lower temperatures – this is why people use fans even on very hot still days – it might seem as if it is just blowing warm air around but it does make a difference. Sometimes, it is possible to add vents to a conservatory roof or convert one or two of the roof panels to skylights which can open and help with the circulation of air
If you have tried some of these ideas and your conservatory is still too hot then it could be time to do something more major and replace the conservatory roof.
Conservatory roof replacement is not as expensive as it sounds and as well as solving the problem of a conservatory which is too hot, a new design can offer you some other big plus points in addition to being cooler in the summer. Most old-style conservatories have single glazed or polycarbonate roofs which feature a host of drawbacks of which a conservatory that is too hot is just one aspect.
Installing a new conservatory roof
A new conservatory roof will offer multiple benefits in addition to keeping the space cool and these include:-
- Improved temperature in the winter months keeping the conservatory warmer
- Improved thermal efficiency which means lower energy bills whether that is reducing reliance on extra heating during the winter months or not needing to run air conditioning or electric fans to lower temperatures during the summer or just being able to turn down the radiators
- A new roof will be quieter when it rains compared to single-glazing or polycarbonate roofing, the additional soundproofing characteristics of next-generation materials will also help reduce environmental noise from traffic and aeroplanes and disturbance from adjacent properties
- Clean-free glazing thanks to an innovative glass coating, no need to go to the expense or hassle of regular cleaning
- Leaks are less likely as more sophisticated products - both glazing and framework – offer a better fit and more reliable finish
New conservatory roofs are available in either glazed products or a solid finish that can blend the conservatory with the house and these are becoming increasingly popular.
Fit a new solid roof to your conservatory
If your conservatory is too hot then it is easy to upgrade your roof to products offering much better thermal regulation. New generations of glass products will allow you to keep the glazed aspect you love whilst removing all of the drawbacks of a traditional single-glazed or polycarbonate roof. However, it could just be time for a more comprehensive change.
New solid conservatory roofs will eliminate all the problems associated with thermal regulation and have lots of other advantages into the bargain. Lightweight products are available in a slate or tile finish in a huge range of colours to allow you to match or complement the main house. A solid roof will:-
- Manage thermal regulation in conservatories which are either too hot in the summer or too cold in winter or both – conservatories with a solid roof are 16 times more thermally efficient than a conservatory with a polycarbonate or single glazed roof – this means a much more comfortable and usable room and lower energy bills
- Reduce external noise from traffic or weather
- Provide privacy to conservatories that are overlooked by other buildings
- Blend the conservatory more effectively with the home offering a fashionable seamless and contemporary look
Homeowners can choose from a range of replica tiles available in a selection of colours and these can be interspersed with glass roof panels so you can keep some of the big sky views you love about your conservatory. Another option is a solid panel roof usually made from grey anthracite which can also be combined with glazed panels to let light in.
Both these types of conservatory roof are lightweight and easy to fit and can usually replace a glass roof on an older style conservatory without any need to upgrade the frame. For those people that want it, conservatories can be fitted with a proper roof with slates or tiles but most people opt for the quicker and cheaper option, especially as it means they don’t have to upgrade the original structure to bear the extra weight. The new materials offer exceptionally stylish results and can transform your conservatory in no time at all solving once and for all the problem of a conservatory which is too hot.
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Finding a reputable contractor
These days, more conservatory companies offer upgrades and refurbishments to existing conservatories as well as new builds. See if a friend, colleague or neighbour can recommend someone they have personal experience of. There are plenty of online trader platforms that can supply a directory of verified companies with genuine and authentic reviews from previous customers. Why not try social media sites, neighbourhood or community groups, where people are usually only too happy to make recommendations.
Always obtain two or three estimates – this will help you get a feel for the prices in your area and hopefully stop you from paying over the odds. Make sure the estimate you accept has a clear and detailed split between labour and materials and that it is fully inclusive, for instance, on things like disposing of the old conservatory roof.
Always ask your chosen contractor for references and also whether the work and/or any of the materials have a guarantee which should be supplied in writing when the work is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a new roof on my conservatory improve the value of my home?
If you are upgrading from an original single glazed or polycarbonate roof to deal with the thermal regulation issues then a new roof will add value whether it is a solid style or a new generation glass product.
Is it better to upgrade my current roof or put on an entirely new roof to manage my hot conservatory?
This very much depends on preference and budget and how bad the problem really is. Some conservatories are only too hot in peak summer conditions but others seem to be like cookers for months, as soon as the sun comes out in the spring. An occasional problem can be managed with a more low key solution but if you find yourself driven out of your conservatory throughout the spring and summer then it could be time to consider a new roof.
Do I need to go back to the original conservatory manufacturer to upgrade the roof?
No, you don’t need to. Insulation panels or new roofs can be retro-fitted to existing conservatories by a reputable contractor, you don’t need to use the original company or installer to do this work.
Do you need planning permission to upgrade a conservatory roof from glass or polycarbonate to a solid material?
Not usually but check with your contractor or the local council if you are unsure. If your property is listed and/or in a conservation area then you may need planning permission to make such a visual change to the conservatory even though it is not listed but is attached to a listed building. There could be conditions issued as part of the planning approval such as restrictions on style or colour choice.
How long does it take to fit a new conservatory roof?
A good average to work to is a week for a medium-sized conservatory. Lightweight materials may not require any upgrading of the original frame but if the conservatory is a few years old then you may find some other repairs or refurbishments are necessary as part of the project. A site inspection should capture all the work that needs doing on the estimate and based on this, your contractor should be able to provide an accurate start and finish date.
How long does it take to fit insulation panels to an existing glass roof?
Fitting glass insulation panels usually takes no more than a day if it is a simple, straightforward job with no skylights or other features.
If your conservatory is too hot for comfort, there are lots of different options you can explore to enjoy the space in the way you have always dreamed of. Sometimes, the problem can be solved with a few simple small measures or, it could be just the prompt you need to upgrade your conservatory with a complete refurbishment. There are products and options available to suit all styles of conservatory and all budgets.
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