A sunroom is a great way to capture the sun and natural light during the warming months, while staying connected to the outdoors but protected from the elements during winter.
While all that glass is great for letting in the light and the views, it’s also a real problem when it comes to thermal transfer. That means you could be letting in a lot of heat during summer, or letting a lot out during winter.
So, if you want to get the most out of your sunroom all year round, there’s a few things you’ll need to know.
Perfect Climate Control
Since a sunroom contains a lot of glass, efficiently climate controlling the room requires more than just an AC unit. With all those windows, you’ll want to invest in a few ways to reduce the thermal transfer through the glass.
Window tinting is one option. Tinting can filter out harmful UV rays, which will reduce glare and make your sunroom more pleasant during summer. Tinting also filters out some of the sun’s heat, which reduces the work your AC system has to do during the summer months.
It’s also important to make sure the windows are all properly sealed. Any draughts that can get through will affect the climate control and make your HVAC system have to work much harder.
But to really take control of sunroom climate, you want to look into double glazing. Double glazing will dramatically reduce thermal transfer through your windows and can reduce your power bills significantly.
Another option is installing blinds over the windows. Sunscreen blinds will help keep heat out in summer and keep warm air in during winter. In summer, remember to draw the shades early in the day before the sun gets too high. Otherwise, you may end up fighting a losing battle.
To stop your sunroom from feeling stuffy, take steps to increase the airflow in the space, particularly in summer. Ventilation fans can draw hot air up and out of the room. You can team these with traditional ceiling fans to circulate cooler air too.
Give the Space Purpose
To get the maximum use out of your sunroom, it should be set up with a specific purpose in mind. No matter how nice the room is, if it has no real purpose it won’t get used much. Turning your sunroom into a home office, a greenhouse, art studio, man cave or playroom for the kids is a great way to ensure that it gets regular use.
Make it a Comfortable Space
Nothing will ensure you make good use of a space more than making it comfortable.
Start by choosing comfortable and functional furniture that suits the purpose of the room. A cosy couch or sturdy desk are great places to begin.
Next, decorate the space. Make it yours. Choose décor that makes you happy and suits the space. For instance, sunrooms are great places to grow plants, so choose a range of greenery. Plants can also have a soothing effect, making the room more relaxing too.
A word of caution though, a cluttered sunroom isn’t inviting. It can be difficult to relax when it feels like there’s no space for you. Pick your décor carefully and remember that less is more.
Keep it Private
If you have neighbours nearby, your sunroom can leave you feeling a little exposed. You may limit your time in there so you don’t feel like you’re on display.
To ease your concerns, hang up privacy shades or gauzy curtains. The light can still come through, but no one can see in. They can, however, diminish your view.
Alternatively, tinting your windows can do the trick. You can still see out, but no one can see in. Tinting only slightly darkens your view and won’t obstruct it.
Use it at Night
Don’t forget, your sunroom is also a moon- or star-room. Even on the hottest days, your sunroom can cool down enough to make it pleasant to watch the stars from.
Of course, you can also use your sunroom at night as you would during the day. Just remember to have some lighting installed so you can keep working or relaxing once the sun sets.
While some people may think a sunroom is a limited-use room, you can easily prove them wrong. Use your sunroom every day with these handy tips and enjoy having your own special space.