There’s little better than relaxing in the confines of a toasty conservatory.
In the UK, however, the often erratic weather can quickly turn your agreeable extension into a disagreeable white elephant, as heating costs spiral out of control and your conservatory becomes little more than a glorified broom cupboard.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
With approximately 200,000 new conservatories added to homes around the UK every year, little changes can be factored into the design and construction process to make a massive difference to their eco-friendliness.
Consequently, before you rush headlong into adding a conservatory to your property, it’s important you understand the environmental implications and how you can reduce its impact by reading our top tips below …
Heating and Cooling
Depending on where your conservatory is positioned, your heating and cooling needs will vary. As a result, this will determine how much energy you’ll use to keep the space warm in the winter (through halogen heating etc) and cool in the summer (by using fans or air conditioning).
Indeed, a whopping 28 per cent of the UK’s CO2 output comes from the energy used in homes, so rather than adding to the issue, it’s important to have a strategy in place to make sure your conservatory is a temperate environment all year round.
This means most opt to have their conservatory facing south, allowing them to capture the sun’s warmth in the summer AND winter – although it’s important to have quality blinds and vents in place to help avoid the space becoming unbearably warm in the balmier months.
Blinds and Glass
Of course, a conservatory contains more glass than you can shake a stick at, so one of the easiest ways to make it more eco-friendly is by opting for the most energy efficient glass during the consultation and subsequent design process.
This means choosing a glass that has a low U-Value, as the lower the U-Value, the more energy efficient the glass will be. The upshot, obviously, is you spend less money on cooling and heating your conservatory – and the environment is better off.
While you’re at it, it’s important to select the right type of blinds for your space, with many folk opting for vertical or roller blinds, which allow you to keep your conservatory cooler in the summer and let in more light in the colder winter months.
What do you think?
Do you have any other ways our readers can make their conservatories more eco-friendly? How about other areas of the garden where they can save energy AND help the environment? Please let us know by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.
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