Creating an Energy Efficient Sunroom
If you're looking for a gorgeous and functional addition to your home, a sunroom might be what you're craving. Fully insulated versions of these glass-encased rooms bring value to your home and solace to your soul year round. Fill them with comfy seating, an abundance of plant life and colorful accessories that set your body and mind at ease.
Four-season sunrooms can be used all year long, regardless of how hot or cold the days become. These rooms are built to maintain their energy efficiency even through scorching summers or chilling winters. The major factors that affect this room's performance are the types of windows used, the insulation, and the HVAC system that's present.
If you've decided to add on a four-season sunroom, check out these tips to make it more energy, and weather, efficient.
Don't Skimp on the Glass
Your contractor will use high-end, double-insulated windows to construct your four-season sunroom. This type of window is costly at the onset but it will save you huge money down the road as it keeps radiant heat inside during the winter and and intense heat out during the summer months. You can add to the efficiency of the windows in your sunroom by adding solar shades to help block the harmful UV rays that fade your interior. Talk with your contractor about the best type of solar shades to buy for your new space, then shop online retailers like the ShadeStore.com to see the available selection of solar options.
Add a Ceiling Fan
Adding a ceiling fan to any sunroom helps to keep your energy bill in check and your room feeling more comfortable. While the whirring blades of a ceiling fan do nothing to lower the actual temperature of a room, they do create a breeze that helps keep you cool. If you use a ceiling fan in conjunction with air conditioning in your sunroom, you can lower the temperature dramatically and keep cool during the summer. On the other hand, when you reverse the direction of your ceiling fan, it will actually draw warm air upward throughout the room, causing the room to feel warmer during those cold winter months.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Insulation is a huge factor in whether or not your new sunroom will eat up your energy bill. Even the floors in this type of room should be insulated. If your entire room is a new construction, your contractor may use a type of thermal decking to create the floor of your space. This type of decking typically consists of foam sandwiched between a top and bottom layer of board. If you're converting an existing room, such as an enclosed porch or patio, your contractor should take special care to make sure the floor beneath your new sunroom is well-insulated. Adding additional floor coverings on top of your insulated floor helps even more. Many homeowners choose a Berber-type carpet for the sunroom because it looks nice and it easily cleaned. Other options are laminate flooring, wood and luxury vinyl. All are attractive, convenient alternatives.
Make the most of your sunroom by bringing in plants that would otherwise falter in colder climates. Tropicals like orchids and passion flower are typically difficult to grow in all but the warmest climates, but in a four-season sunroom, these lovelies flourish. Add in one or two pieces of luxuriously overstuffed seating and a small table just big enough for coffee for two, and you have the makings of a room everyone in the family can fall in love with.
Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr