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  • FIRST POST
    taliz
    Keeping heat in a conservatory
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 10, 8:29 AM
    Keeping heat in a conservatory 27th Nov 10 at 8:29 AM
    I've put underfloor heating in the conservaory so we can use it all year. I am looking at ways of retaining as much heat as possibe.

    I know its not an easy thing to do and I'm probably going to get loads of people telling me to stick a proper roof on it, but thats outside my skillset.

    It has one full hight wall and three dwarf walls. Im considering dot n dabing thermal board to these and then skimming. Is this the a good idea?

    Roof blinds cost way too much.
    Ive looked at polycool strips but they seem kind of flimsy. Do they work? Has anyone used these?

    Cheers
Page 1
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 27th Nov 10, 10:23 AM
    • 4,066 Posts
    • 2,654 Thanks
    MX5huggy
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 10, 10:23 AM
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 10, 10:23 AM
    The Heat losses from the walls are minimal compared with the glazing. The walls may have a u Value of about 0.4 now you could get this down to 0.2 but the glazing could be 3. So you could halve the heat loss from walls but the walls are probably only 10% or less of the heat losses.

    How about fitting a wood stove to pump the heat in?
  • Inactive
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 10, 10:42 AM
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 10, 10:42 AM
    A conservatory is not designed for all year normal usage, you would be better off having it removed and having a properly insulated extension in it's place.
    • Shimrod
    • By Shimrod 27th Nov 10, 11:31 AM
    • 919 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    Shimrod
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 10, 11:31 AM
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 10, 11:31 AM
    The Heat losses from the walls are minimal compared with the glazing. The walls may have a u Value of about 0.4 now you could get this down to 0.2 but the glazing could be 3. So you could halve the heat loss from walls but the walls are probably only 10% or less of the heat losses.

    How about fitting a wood stove to pump the heat in?
    Originally posted by MX5huggy
    We have the same problem as the OP (and I guess most other conservatory owners) in retaining heat. We looked at wood burning stoves but costs were a minimum of £2500 upwards. A big chunk of that is the insulated flue that costs £150 a metre - and has to extend at least 1 metre above the gutter line.

    We've opted to just take the hit on the heating. Rather than underfloor heating we use a convector heater that gets the conservatory warm in about 20mins. Not the cheapest solution, but also not as expensive to run as I expected - around 30p an hour. But as it only gets used in the evenings (and not every evening) it is bearable for us. We did look at split inverter air conditioners (which act as a heat pump and can also heat the conservatory). They are much more efficient (around 12p an hour) but cost around £1500 and for a decent one needs to be professionally installed. You will also end up with an aircon box somewhere on the outside of your house.
    Here's a picture of what I mean http://www.fortisbc.com/powersense/e-library_home_heating010.html

    I would expect for the OP the challenge is the underfloor heating needs to be on for quite a while to get the conservatory warm in the first place. I can't really offer any suggestions on this other than do the calculations for how long it would take to payback in energy saving costs - for us we were looking at at least 5 years for the split inverter.

    As Inactive says, if we were doing it again, we'd have done a proper extension instead with some big windows. Wouldn't have cost much different and we'd have a much more usable room.
    • 27col
    • By 27col 27th Nov 10, 11:41 AM
    • 6,450 Posts
    • 4,215 Thanks
    27col
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 10, 11:41 AM
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 10, 11:41 AM
    If you are trying to keep heat in a conservatory you are on a loser all the way. It is basically an uninsulated structure, even the solid wall is likely to be a single brick or block one with the associated high heat loss.The glass is the main source of heat loss, closely followed by the roof and the brick walls. Save yourself a lot of money and only use it when there is a bit of sun to give a little solar gain. Conservatories are really not suitable for use in very high or very low ambient temperatures, in spite of what the manufacturers might say.
    I can afford anything that I want.
    Just so long as I don't want much.
  • taliz
    • #6
    • 27th Nov 10, 7:39 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Nov 10, 7:39 PM
    Thanks for the replys.

    We only bought the house 2 months ago and the conservatory was there. Had I built it, it would have been a sun room with a tiled roof, but I didn't and its not. Pulling it down is silly, it looks lovely and its a good size 10ft x 12ft. I'm just goint to make the best out of what I,ve got.

    The underfloor heating works quite well but it does need to be on for about 30 - 40 mins in advance, the room is always slightly cooler than the rest of the house and the moment it turns off, its cold. It was one of those diy kits that hooks up to the central heating loop.

    There is no isulation in the brick cavity so I guess thats the first job.

    The roof and windows must be where most the heat is going so I've sent of for a quote for those polycool strips to fit in polcarbonate roof panals. I think they're mainly designed to keep the heat out in summer but they do have some thermal properties.
    For the windows I think I'll just get some nice curtains with a thermal backing, not much use daytime but I don't think there's much more you can do..

    Great idea about the wood burner MX5huggy & Shimrod, I'm looking into that, http://www.fluefactory.com/index.php?function=DISP&CID=111
    That will probably by the topic of another thread at some point!!
    My wife likes that idea so it will probably end up happening.
  • knowloads
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 10, 1:11 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 10, 1:11 PM
    Neither roof blinds or the shiney strips keep much heat in. The polycarb roof is the main heat eater. We had a victorian shape one with the same issues. I just bought some 3" thick kingspan insulation boards (8x4) and made a false ceiling affair using the roof shapes as a size template. I decided to put them on the inside, but considered the outside too. Made the place ugly as hell, but sure warmer for the winter.
  • Inactive
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 10, 2:02 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 10, 2:02 PM
    Neither roof blinds or the shiney strips keep much heat in. The polycarb roof is the main heat eater.
    Originally posted by knowloads
    Spot on, most heat keeps the birds warm through the PC roof panels.
    • Arfa__
    • By Arfa__ 29th Nov 10, 5:28 PM
    • 447 Posts
    • 1,455 Thanks
    Arfa__
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 10, 5:28 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 10, 5:28 PM
    Just having a new conservatory built right now. Got Pilkington Akive-Blue KGlass in. u-value of 1.5. Similar we have a 3/4 wall one side, then two side dwarf walls. All of which are double thickness with insulation. We've also had a radiator off the central heating put in. Didn't push the quote up much at all and really makes it quite pleasant in there.

    So yeah, check out costs of an extra radiator (or two) off central heating.
    Maybe consider swapping roof for decent glass; probably be able to simply swap the units into existing frame.

    Oh BTW, if you got a wood burner, the flue can only got through a poly panel and not a glass one.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 29th Nov 10, 7:42 PM
    • 2,328 Posts
    • 1,172 Thanks
    the_r_sole
    Just having a new conservatory built right now. Got Pilkington Akive-Blue KGlass in. u-value of 1.5. Similar we have a 3/4 wall one side, then two side dwarf walls. All of which are double thickness with insulation. We've also had a radiator off the central heating put in. Didn't push the quote up much at all and really makes it quite pleasant in there.

    So yeah, check out costs of an extra radiator (or two) off central heating.
    Maybe consider swapping roof for decent glass; probably be able to simply swap the units into existing frame.

    Oh BTW, if you got a wood burner, the flue can only got through a poly panel and not a glass one.
    Originally posted by Arfa__

    be careful with replacing poly with glass, glass weighs an awful lot more than the poly, if it's a upvc conservatory i'd take some serious advice from the company that supplied it first.
    • oldandhappy
    • By oldandhappy 29th Nov 10, 11:04 PM
    • 954 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    oldandhappy
    We had a poly carb roof with ceiling blinds that were already installed when we purchased this property.. the blinds bill in 1997 was £700.00 and they were a strong coated paper type material...we soon found though, with them pulled closed across the ceiling in winter/cold nights the drips from condensation was like a waterfall....literally...another reason why we have a solid sloped roof on ours. Dianne
  • new666uk
    I've put underfloor heating in the conservaory so we can use it all year. I am looking at ways of retaining as much heat as possibe.
    Originally posted by taliz
    Hi,

    We had a conservatory build 2 years ago. 6mt x 5mt with a 3mtr high 25mm glass roof. One of the long walls full height, the other a low and medium level dwarf wall. The remaining short wall is full height but with double doors to outside. I build our kitchen into the half furthest the house and have installed 2 x 9000BTU radiators.

    The radiators raise the temperature quickly to a comfortable level and althought they are dialed up to to 4 or 5 compared to the rest of the house being around 3 to 4. The boiler is usually set to 1, occasionally 2 out of 5.

    My point is that yes, the heat goes up into the headspace but I have ceiling fans I can circulate the air down when it's especially cold. In the recent -15 degree Christmas we've just experienced the radiators kept in cosy.

    Yes, with suitable heating the conservatory is an excellent way to extend your home. We cook and dine in there more days, especially the summer.

    Hope that helps some. We looked at underfloor but at £3000 it wasn't as economical as fitting the radiators (£600ish) and we're not heating the kitchen cupboards

    new666uk
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