Installing a conservatory is a superb way to extend your living space and to enjoy the great outdoors even when the Great British weather doesn’t quite live up to expectations. As we all look forward to spending more time with friends and family in 2021, garden living is set to become a summertime staple, and where better to spend the cooler evenings than in a conservatory or orangery?
Whilst these rooms are brilliant home additions, there’s often concern about how best to keep a conservatory warm. Not much wall space often means that standard column radiators aren’t best suited to these spaces, and something more heavy-duty than a towel-style radiator rail is required for a room with so much outside exposure. As a result, many find underfloor heating the best way to keep a conservatory warm.
Is underfloor heating the best way to insulate a conservatory?
Insulating a conservatory is key to maintaining an ambient and comfortable temperature throughout the year – not too hot in the summer, and not too cold in the winter. As conservatories have so much glass, it’s really important that the insulation used doesn’t allow any warm air generated by a heating solution to just hit the glass walls and windows and dissipate. Similarly, the heating appliances installed will only work to their optimum performance when the room is properly insulated; otherwise, they’ll be working harder and for longer to maintain a temperature. This results in sporadic temperature hikes and drops, higher energy bills and a lack of energy efficiency.
There is much debate on the best way to insulate a conservatory, with companies offering both specific insulation products and extending those used traditionally in homes out conservatory rooms too. However, investing both the time and money into the insulation of a conservatory is unnecessary, as both can be covered by one solution: underfloor heating.
Underfloor heating products vary, and Great Rads stock several options. Dry electric underfloor heating systems, like those we have available, are rolled out under the floor like mats. These mats are (usually) connected to the home’s existing central heating system and distribute warmth under the floor through this mat by heating and cooling. The heating mat has an ultra-thin heating wire woven through it and spaced out for optimum heat spread.
It may seem like quite a complicated appliance to install – after all, not many people install their own radiators – but underfloor electric heating mats are relatively inexpensive to purchase and can be laid by a competent DIY’er in just a few hours. However, we do recommend consulting with a professional if you’ve not done it before, as mistakes can be costly.
Conservatory flooring ideas
Underfloor heating is now one of the most popular conservatory flooring ideas because of its efficiency in both warming the room and maintaining its temperature.
Underfloor heating works brilliantly for conservatories because it evenly heats the whole room, doesn’t take up any precious space and is energy efficient. The warm air from the floor rises and gives an ambient temperature throughout, all while keeping feet warm in a notoriously cold room. The minimalist approach underfloor heating gives to a room allows for the optimum use of space without having to install full radiators or work on covering up large insulation pads.
Over the top of underfloor heating, conservatory owners can choose to install whichever floor finish they prefer. The most effective at conducting the heat are ceramic tile or natural stone, and both are widely available through flooring retailers. Rugs can still be placed over the top for comfort and unless very thick, should only have a negligible impact on the warm air moving through.
As soon as you look up information on how to insulate a conservatory effectively, search results are full with specialist insulation products and pads and the promise of expert builders ready to visit your home to quote and install. However, there’s no need for ambitious building projects – underfloor heating can insulate and heat a conservatory with an easy do-it-yourself install and some know-how.
The Great Rads team are able to advise and talk through underfloor heating options for conservatories or other rooms and can give more detail on the products we offer. Our Thermosphere products all have accessible online guides to installation, so you’re able to make an informed purchase decision and pick something you’re comfortable to work with. What’s more, if you have someone living in the house with allergies or asthma, the DQ Underfloor Heating mat works to distribute warmth through infrared sensors; so there’s no airflow or air movement involved. Technology in underfloor heating has moved rapidly in recent years, so if there’s anything you’re unsure or would like clarification on – just ask!