A three season sunroom is the ultimate in inside outside living. The basic concept is that it’s the next step up from a screened in porch, so you get full walls, big windows and plenty of extra space to use as you see fit. It also has the benefit that you don’t have to spend extra money connecting your home’s HVAC system to it as it is naturally insulated and retains the heat from the spring, summer and autumn days well into the evenings.
Make your sunroom last all winter
Many Calgary sunroom homeowners take the notion of three seasons at their word, and when the weather starts to turn wintry, the three season sunroom is closed up awaiting warmer temperatures. However, with a few touches, you can make use your three season sunroom in winter:
- Add a space heater – it may sound obvious, but installing a portable electric heater in one corner of the room will keep the temperatures up so you can enjoy the magic of winter from the comforts of your sunroom. Of course, you could go one step further and install a pellet or wood burning stove, but these require venting and a steady source of fuel which both increase the cost of the project. An electric heater will be small enough to be discrete and the technology is becoming much more energy efficient, so you won’t need to worry about big electricity bills.
- Put a rug down – another way to warm up your three season sunroom in winter is to find ways to trap the heat that is generated by the windows. Wood and stone don’t retain heat well during the winter months, so buy a thick rug or carpet to capture some warmth. The warmer fabric will also feel fantastic against bare feet on a cold winter’s morning, and the massive array of colours will allow you to redesign your entire sunroom.
- Hang thick drapes – on the theme of using insulation to retain heat, adding thick drapes or curtains to the windows will allow you to let the light and heat in during the day and then lock it in as the day wears on. Many people choose not to have curtains in their three season sunroom because they want as much natural light in, so you may want to install a curtain hanging system that easily allows you to remove the drapes when the warmer seasons return.
Find the winter magic
You’ll also notice that you can get a small heat increase by keeping the connecting door open with the rest of your house, but this effect doesn’t last long especially on cold days. In any scenario, finding a way to use your three season sunroom in winter will show you all sorts of magic, from being up close and personal to one of Calgary’s wild and windy storms to watching the sunrise hitting your snow covered garden for the first time with a warm drink in your hand. The changes that you make will work well in all seasons, so make this winter the time to rethink how you use your three season sunroom.