A conservatory can be a great addition to your home – if only it wasn’t too hot to use in the summer, and too cold in the winter.
Research has shown the average south-facing conservatory reaches a comfortable temperature for just two hours a day if there’s no fan in the summer and heating in winter.
The extreme variations in temperature are because glass or polycarbonate roofs and walls have very little insulation. But there are steps you can take to insulate your conservatory.
There’s the more expensive options, such as having a lightweight metal roof professionally fitted before insulation and a new ceiling is added.
Alternatively, some companies will put insulation between the conservatory roof rafters and conceal it behind a new ceiling, or install multilayer foil insulation to the underside of the roof. These measures can provide good insulation, although they prevent any light from entering through the roof. But condensation may form on the underside of the roof, and this can drip on to the insulation, causing damp patches.
However, you don’t have to spend a fortune employing a company to either insulate the roof or turn it into a standard house roof.
Here are a few DIY ideas you could try instead:
1. Fit another layer of polycarbonate underneath the glazing bars, creating an insulating air gap between the existing polycarbonate or glass roof and the new layer. Try using double-sided sticky carpet tape to secure it, but make sure the additional layer can be removed easily in case condensation forms. Gaps also need to be left for any vents.
2. A similar but less aesthetic idea is to cut sheets of 1 to 2 inch thick thermal insulation bought from a DIY store to fit the roof panels. Again, use double-sided tape to secure it, or a good contact adhesive.
3. Try attaching laminate floor underlay with silver reflective foil, which can usually be bought at DIY stores, to the existing roof panels with good adhesive or double-sided sticky tape. Keep the foil side facing down to reflect the heat. Again, this option won’t look great, but it will make a difference to the extremes of temperature in a conservatory.
4. A very simple option is to buy blinds or drapes for the space between the rafters. Using a heavy fabric or insulated curtains can reduce the amount of heat that escapes in the winter, and it will also help in the summer by reducing the amount of sunlight that comes in. However, watch out for condensation on the inside of the conservatory roof, as this could make blinds damp and mouldy.
5. Use bubble insulation for greenhouses, which has a smooth side and a bubble side. Fix it under the roof with double-sided tape, and while it’s not going to look great, you could disguise it with a decorative voile fabric over the top.
6. If you have draughts coming through the roof or walls, fit filler strips bought from a DIY store.