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Iceni Magazine | July 14, 2020

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Solving the Goldilocks problem


How a solid roof can turn your conservatory into a room where the temperature is ‘just right’, the whole year round.

Let’s face it. For most of us, finding extra space at home to work in or simply to escape the hustle and bustle of the house isn’t always easy – unless you’re lucky enough to live in a mansion.  

But if you have a conservatory, you may still be luckier than you think…

A hot topic for homeowners

The name “conservatory” comes from our Victorian forbears who overwintered plants in this additional glazed room where they would be “conserved”. And it’s now perfectly feasible to overwinter people in them as well as pot plants.

How? By tackling the problem of heat. Or more precisely, how to retain it. These popular additions to the home have long been considered an occasional space from which to soak up the sun’s rays. However, due to a design that inherently uses maximum glass (remember, they are basically larger greenhouses), their thermal properties make them too cold for comfort when the temperature drops.

One rather extreme solution would be to extend your central heating system into the conservatory to keep temperatures at a comfortable level. Thankfully, this is wrong on two levels; not only would it see huge amounts of heat (and your hard-earned cash) disappearing into thin air, but it’s also against building regulations put in place by the Government as a sensible precaution against energy waste.

You could consider installing separate electric heaters, as this would meet those regulations. But again, heating costs and increased carbon emissions would still be a major issue. Not to mention finding suitable wall space to install the heaters in an aesthetically pleasing way.

hot conservatory

The roof idea designed with overheads in mind

So where do you look to find a solution? How about straight up?

Your conservatory roof is where most of the heat is lost, and even with the latest thermal glass installed, its insulation properties don’t even come close to those provided by a solid roof.

The latest insulating solid roofing technology now offers a number of ways to replace your old conservatory roof and transform it into a comfortable space that keeps warmth in during the winter and prevents that stifling build up of heat in the summer.

Choose a u-PVC tiled option and the results can look great against the most traditional architectural styles, while making it really quick and easy for a builder to install.


A whole new room without breaking the bank

The results will give virtually any conservatory a new lease of life, and will probably cost less than you think with today’s pre-fabricated, quick fit materials. Plus, with the energy you’ll save, it may not take very long at all to recover the initial outlay – though that all depends on the size of your conservatory and what you’re prepared to spend up front, of course.

As Ian Kernaghan, Product Manager at Eurocell, who are one of the biggest manufacturers of u-PVC conservatories and energy efficient building systems, explains:

“It’s all about minimising the transfer of heat from the inside to the outside. Heat always rises, so the more efficient we can make the roof, the more we can keep a lid on heat loss and energy costs.

“Architects and engineers measure how well a material prevents heat loss by its ‘U-Value’. This is a figure that tells us how much energy can pass through a square metre of material when the difference in air temperature on either side is one degree centigrade.

“Basically, the lower the U-Value, the better the insulating performance. A normal polycarbonate roof has a U-Value of 1.6 W/m². But for a fully insulated solid roof fitted with u-PVC tiles, the U-Value falls to just 0.16 W/m². That means a solid roof loses only one tenth of the heat a traditional conservatory roof does, so you can see what a difference it could make to your heating bill.” 

Finding a solid recommendation

If you like the sound of an extra room in the house that can actually save you money, then a solid conservatory roof could be one of the best investments you can make.

As always, it helps to do your homework. So take a good look at the various systems and products available from the main u-PVC tiled roofing manufacturers to get a real feel for what each is offering before you make a decision. Most have a network of approved installers, one of which will be happy to visit your home and give you a no-obligation quote.

If you’d rather leave the decision to your builder, it’s good idea to make sure they’re NFB registered and ask for references before the work starts to make sure your new roof keeps the weather out and the heat in as it should.

Staying on top of winter fuel bills and reducing carbon emissions makes sense. Gaining an extra room in your home adds space and could add value. With a new u-PVC tiled conservatory roof, you’ve got it all covered nicely.

For more information, you can download the Equinox Tiled Roof System brochure.

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