Is your conservatory warm enough for winter?
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Don't abandon your conservatory this winter – warm it up, instead.
During the summer months, your conservatory is often the most-used room in your house. It's bright, it's airy, and it allows you to make the most of the sunshine – without even having to step outside.
But as wintry weather is ushered in by colder temperatures, it's easy to fall out of love. After all, who wants to sit in the coldest room of the house?
This is especially difficult if your conservatory is attached to another 'lived-in' room, such as a lounge or kitchen. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are plenty of options to weather-proof the space, ensuring you're using the room to its full potential year-round. Here are our top tips:
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KEEP IT SHUT
'Make sure all the windows are shut properly as this can reduce the temperature considerably,' says Mary Harrison, director of Garden Room Designs, a family-run business based in Norwich. While this might seem like an obvious solution, it's important to be thorough.
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'Lubricate all hinges and lock mechanisms,' she says. 'Spray oil is easy to use, so open the window wide and, from the outside, oil the moving parts to ensure that everything is shutting correctly.'
Savvy use of blinds can make a huge difference to how the room retains heat. 'If you are lucky enough to get the sun, have the blinds open and then shut them late afternoon,' says Mary. This trick will also help to conserve your central heating, too. Draping a throw over your furniture will take the chill off cold surfaces such as leather and, for a bigger investment, opt for thermal roller blinds.
FEEL YOUR FEET
While your choice of flooring doesn't lose you heat, it can certainly feel like it. Choosing a deep-pile carpet or fitted underlay can make a huge difference. For a low-cost measure, an over-sized rug will do the trick, too.
If you're using your conservatory as an entertaining space, light a few candles. Grouped together in the centre of a table, these will generate a surprising amount of heat and create a cosy ambience, too.
Whether your conservatory is connected to mains heating, or you're using electric radiators or a small, compact heater for use in the space, make sure you're using it correctly. Because so much of your conservatory is glass, it is easy to lose heat from the roof and windows, meaning that most attempts to pre-heat a room will be pointless. To ensure you get the most benefit – and don't waste energy unnecessarily – use a radiator or heater only when you're in the room.
If you've tried the above, and are still no warmer, it might be time to make some structural changes. 'Insulation is the best way to conserve heat,' says Mary. And it gives customers the opportunity to use their conservatories throughout the year.
For more information, visit www.gardenroomdesigns.co.uk
More interiors inspiration can be found in the Beautiful Homes & Gardens supplement.