As the winter drags on and the idea of above-freezing temperatures slowly fades from memory, your sunroom will become a safe haven of warmth to get you through to spring time. A well made four season sunroom should be connected to your home’s heating and cooling and system, so all you’ll need to do to keep your sunroom warm is turn up the thermostat. However, if you choose a three season room, you may find it hard to regulate the temperature without incurring enormous electricity bills from stand up electrical heaters.
Fortunately, the unique design of your three season sunroom gives you plenty of natural sunroom heating options to keep you warm all winter long. If you think that you need a professional to keep your sunroom this winter, think again. It’s possible to see big improvements in your energy efficiency using simple tricks that you can complete in the course of a weekend:
- Window tints — while the big windows in your sunroom let in plenty of light, they also allow it to leave easily too. Applying a simple layer of window tint will darken your room slightly, but it will also stop light, and therefore heat, from escaping. Keeping this heat circulating in your room is essential to keeping your sunroom warm.
- Insulated drapes — with the principal of trapping pre-existing heat inside, you can also keep your windows clear of tints and plastic by installing insulated drapes over each window and the external doors. Not only will they keep the heat built up during the day into the evening, the insulated drapes will also give you an opportunity to pick out your accent colour scheme for the sunroom.
- Deep pile rugs — along the same theme as the insulated drapes, you’ll find life much warmer if you put deep pile rugs down in your sunroom. The thick material will trap heat during the day and slowly release it back overnight, which will make your sunroom feel warmer in the morning. It’ll also feel much better on your feet than cold stone or hardwood floors.
All of these are quick and simple fixes that you can put into place with a quick trip to your local home improvement store and should see you improve the energy efficiency and heat levels of your sunroom.
Longer term solutions often provide ongoing warmth, but require extra planning and financial budgeting. However, this investment will pay back both financially, as these tend to make your sunroom more energy efficient, and in personal satisfaction, as you’re way more likely to use a warm and cosy sunroom throughout the entire year. Bigger heating projects to keep your sunroom warm include:
- A fireplace – while an electric space heater will do the job of heating your room, they usually don’t fit the elegant look of sunrooms and can quickly ramp up your electricity bills. Installing a small stove or fireplace will not only keep with the aesthetics of the room but it also provides a second focal point (beyond the big windows). Whether you choose wood burning or pellet will depend on your finances (pellets tend to cost a little more) and time (wood burners take longer to start), but you’ll quickly find that nothing beats the cosy heat of an inside fire. One side bonus is that the sunroom will heat up so quickly that you’ll be able to open up the internal doors and allow your new fireplace to heat the rest of your house as well!
- Replace the flooring – as noted above, your choice of sunroom flooring has a big impact on keeping your sunroom warm during the winter months. Cheaper options such as linoleum and carpet don’t do much for heat retention, and hardwood floors reflect back heat during the day but lose their heat quickly at night. If you want a truly energy efficient way to gently heat your sunroom, consider switching your floor to either stone or tiles. This will dramatically change the look of your room, creating the feel of a patio inside, and the stones will absorb heat during the day and slowly release it back into the sunroom at night, keeping your guests and your feet warm all winter long.
- Interlocking sashes – if you’re still looking for a cheaper solution, but one that will require a trained technician, you should consider installing interlocking sashes on the external doors. The sashes basically secure the doors together with a much tighter fit, but you’ll need a trained carpenter to take the doors off, install the sashes and then rehang the doors. Any trick that helps you create a more hermetic seal around your sunroom will help to keep the warmth in, and gaps around the doors and windows are some of the biggest sources of heat loss.
- Insulation – finally, adding wall and ceiling insulation will help to trap heat in your sunroom and raise the temperature by a few degrees without the need for a heat source. It’s not an easy job as your contractor will need to get access to the internal wall spaces, but you could then use this as an opportunity to redecorate and reinvent your sunroom for the new year.
Unlike the weekend fixes, all of these longer term projects should be undertaken by an experience professional who will be able to do all the tricky installation while you relax and get ready to enjoy your warm sunroom all winter long.