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Keeping conservatory warm - diy ideas

(12 Posts)
WeAreGoingOnABearHunt Sat 15-Aug-15 23:05:36

Hi all,

I'm just gearing myself up for autumn/winter cold and wanted ideas to use our conservatory better.

Each year, it's the same old same old... The room becomes a storage area and we never venture in there unless it's to dump something quickly and leave (tiled floor freezes ones toes!).

Once it warms up, it's a great place to eat and our dining table is in there. So in winter, we usually make do by eating dinner on the sofa . I've tried using a fan heater to warm the place up which works if you turn it on for abt a half hour before you go in. Not great but it worked last winter.

Was reading up on some old forum posts on MSE and other places that some people have tried using greenhouse insulation (basically huge bubblewrap) on the roof to keep it warm in winter. Read elsewhere that some have tried thermal insulation (reflective foil with bubblewrap - can be either double or single sided) on the roof. All this has been done by using either Velcro or double sided tape on the inside of the roof.

I'm game to give it a go but just wondered how on earth does reflective foil keep a conservatory warm - be it double or single sided? My physics is abit rusty and abit sleep deprived with a toddler and infant keeping me up at night with their colds so will gratefully appreciate simple explanations.

I get that the bubble wrap can create an air gap and this insulates. But reflective foil would reflect sunlight out of the conservatory and hence keep it cool in winter, no? Or am I missing something here?

Anyone tried this and can recommend a simple way to keep warm in a conservatory (aside from wearing slippers and sweaters etc which we would do anyway)?

Already tried the talk with hubby to convert our polycarbonate roof to glass or even a solid roof, or even a proper sunroom/extension but it's just way out of our budget at the moment so I'm resorting to simple diy ideas. Anything I can do with a bit of tape or adhesive will be great.

Thank you!

wowfudge Sun 16-Aug-15 05:31:44

I would use an oil filled radiator to keep the chill off. They are not expensive to run. My mum puts one in her conservatory and we have one in our cellar over winter.

MissCardew Sun 16-Aug-15 09:38:58

Would second an oil filled radiator, we used it to heat our unheated loft room. The room was freezing in winter but one 6bar heater made it very warm (and it was a large room). Ours cost about £50 and had a timer on it. Also it cost very little to run.

Waitingimpatient Sun 16-Aug-15 09:49:07

Db had a large conservatory at his previous house and it was really warm as they had underfloor heating and a radiator in there

We stayed there just before Xmas a couple of years ago and I was actually too hot sitting in there so I think the underfloor heating obviously works very well !

If that's too expensive I'd second using il filled radiator heaters. We stayed in a caravan one Easter and it was freezing, got a couple of heaters and it made a huge difference, we got some nice slippers too as the floors were hard and very cold !

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 16-Aug-15 09:50:10

The cheapest lowest hassle solution is a heater on a timer.

We have a similar issue and found a rug and heater on a timer worked well in last years mild winter.

I also purchased an indoor/ outdoor rug (8 x 6 for £40 off ebay) that makes a huge difference when playing cars on the floor and it looks like a normal rug but its wipeable so a year on has coped with a dog and three DC unstained.

This year i'm planning on lined curtains as much for a cosy asthetic as insulation gain and i've been investigating changing the polycarb but the cost vs cost of a heater for a few hours just doesn't make sense.

mojo17 Sun 16-Aug-15 09:55:32

The BEST solution believe it or not is a de humidifier !
I have a conservatory and you've described exactly my problem but with added damp.
I bought a dehumidifier fir the damp and then discovered that it really kept the room warm too.
I did use an oil fired radiator sometimes when we had snow and that but really
Get yourself a dehumidifier best £70 I spent in Argos ever

kateecass Sun 16-Aug-15 10:00:13

We experimented with a few things first on the roof including foil bubble wrap but now we have and are happy with silver covered insulation board. It's about 1.5 inches thick. It is glued up but also held up with those curtain tension wires from ikea. Think we have 1 in the middle and one at either end. I also made a "curtain" that covers the whole lot. We have wooden blinds too that help keep heat in too and use a heater in the winter.

evrybuddy Sun 16-Aug-15 10:07:36

Ninety year old aunt uses hers all year round with one of these:
She falls asleep in the winter in there with this turned on - so must be pretty effective.

Mrsderekshepard Sun 16-Aug-15 10:09:30

Can you get a radiator fitted?

PigletJohn Sun 16-Aug-15 15:25:39

The insulation of conservatories is dreadful compared to a house, so it is expensive to keep them warm in winter. Building Regulations usually state that you must have an external-quality door into them from the house, and no radiators, to prevent energy wastage.

WeAreGoingOnABearHunt Sun 16-Aug-15 21:29:14

Loving the ideas, thank you MNers!

We actually have an oil filled radiator in our loft from my university days and it's just sat there. Can't believe why I haven't thought of using it before! Will dig it out and use it in the conservatory when the time comes.

I'll give the greenhouse bubble wrap insulation a go with double sided tape on the roof - I can see how the kids are gonna love this while I'm up on a ladder and they're busy popping it.

Will look at dehumidifier as a backup option too in case these don't work.

We already have a thick sisal rug in there but one has to step on some bits of cold floor before getting to it - hmm, maybe I'll get another couple of smaller rugs as well.

Thank you again!!

WeAreGoingOnABearHunt Sun 16-Aug-15 21:32:53

Btw, yes one can change that polycarbonate roof but its just way expensive to do so.

We bought the house with the conservatory already in so had no say in it... If we had the money, I'd definitely plump for a proper extension with a sunroof or roof windows instead, oh and underfloor heating too! One can dream... smile

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