Electric heating solutions for your conservatory

Conservatories originated in the 16th century when wealthy landowners sought to cultivate citrus fruits that began to appear on their dinner tables, brought by traders from warmer regions of the Mediterranean. Urban conservatories became popular in the early 19th century for social uses such as parties and sunrooms.

After undergoing several years of decline, the UK conservatory market began to recover from 2010 and by the end of 2014; experts estimated this market was now worth around £620m. In real estate, additions to your property such as conservatories can increase the value of your home alongside increasing the space. Currently, in the UK, the cost of building a conservatory can vary between £6,000 and £20,000, of course depending on the size, the chosen design, your property size, and your location. A correctly designed conservatory that costs you between £4,000 and £10,000 has the potential of increasing the value of your home by 5% or around £15,000.

According to national statistics, over 200,000 households in the UK apply for conservatory planning and home extension permission yearly. Many homeowners use their conservatories as a relaxing space to read, watch the stars or other social events like tea parties or dinners. A conservatory can be a great sun trap in the summer months as over 50% of the structure will be glass. However, what about the cooler months such as autumn and winter?

Why heat my conservatory?

There are many reasons why you would want to heat your conservatory. Perhaps it is used as your breakfast room? Which means that it must be warm enough in the morning or maybe you use it as your sitting room all year round? If you intend to use your conservatory throughout the winter, it makes great sense to install an efficient heating solution that can be managed easily.

You might even use it as a sort of greenhouse for some tropical or sub-tropical plants, which cannot withstand typical freezing winter temperatures. In that case, you will need to ensure the temperature does not drop below a certain level. Ideally, when it is below 0ºC during the winter, your conservatory should be warmer.

Your plants respire at night and because there is no sunlight, they change their natural activity from photosynthesis to cell respiration. They will grow unnaturally leggy and long as they look for sunshine that probably lasts only a couple of hours in some locations during winter. Your conservatory temperature at night should ideally be set around 21ºC.

What are the options for heating my conservatory?

Conservatories come with unique heating requirements. In particular, heating your conservatory during the winter can be challenging. For example, central heating may not be the best option as it may not meet the requirements of the UK Part L building regulations in regards to heat loss. Because of their glass structure, high ceilings and a bigger number of exterior walls, heat tends to escape quickly.

In fact, experts estimate that heat escapes 8-times faster through a conservatory’s double glazed windows than is lost through a standard cavity wall. This means that selecting an energy efficient heating solution for your conservatory is important.

During winter, or even autumn and spring, many conservatories are left empty or unused for long periods. This means potentially useful space isn’t utilised because of the cold.

For the general comfort of your conservatory, heating is a very critical consideration. The temperature can fluctuate quickly, primarily due to the glass structure. On sunny your conservatory will quickly warm up but when evening falls the temperature drops. Considering how much it cost you to build, ideally, you should be able to make use of your conservatory all year round. So what are the options for heating your conservatory?

  • Central heating

If your home already has a central heating system, it is possible to link it up your conservatory. All that will be required to get the most out of it, is to install a thermostatically controlled radiator. This will ensure that your conservatory is controlled independently from the rest of your home.  In the United Kingdom, however, you will have to ensure the heating system for both the main house and the conservatory adhere to the local building regulations.

The building regulations compliance is obviously an extra headache, which you will not have to face, were you to install electric radiators for your conservatory. In addition, if the main house and the conservatory heating are not separated, you will have no control over the fluctuating temperatures between the conservatory and the main home. For example, the living room may be situated on the north facing side of the property and the conservatory on the south. When the suns out your conservatory will get warmth from the sun and your central heating, pushing the temperature too high and increasing your energy consumption and costs. However, your living room will be colder in the absence of the sun, so you will want to increase the temperature of the heating, which in turn will increase in the conservatory where it is not needed.

  • Underfloor heating

Generally associated with tiled or stone floors, underfloor heating can also be fitted in a carpeted conservatory.  It can run on a pumped water system or a dry electric system. The downside of having an underfloor heating system is that compared to most other methods, it could turn out to be a little more expensive to install. It also means digging up and installing pipes below your conservatory floor. Underfloor heating would be a good option if you’re thinking of having a conservatory built and this solution would be included as part of the build. We have 3 energy efficient underfloor heating solutions available for you to choose from.

  • Air conditioning

This method comes with double benefits: during the summer, the air-conditioning unit can be used to keep your conservatory cool, whilst during the cooler months the AC can be used to heat the place to a suitable temperature. The main drawback of this method is that for a place where peace and silence are greatly valued, it can be quite noisy especially when running at full speed. It can also cost more to install compared to others methods reviewed above. Whilst cooling is great from air conditioning, generally, the heating side is not as efficient.

In addition, air conditioning not only creates unstable air turbulence but also lifts particles and dust in to the air, which could have negative effects on your family members. AC leaves house occupants more vulnerable to pneumonia, fever & colds, as well as other airborne illnesses. Air condition is known to increase the symptoms associated with arthritis.

An electrical conservatory heating system is normally easier to install.  If you opt for a water-based system, pipe work is laid to cover the entire conservatory floor. Controlled warm water flowing from a heat source is pumped through the tubing. This involves installing pipes, which can be quite cumbersome and expensive.

  • Electric heating

Electric heating makes for a better solution as it is incredibly versatile and can be used for both air and water products. Moreover, with a whopping 64.7% of the energy used in EU households going towards heating, it is more important than ever to ensure your heating solution is energy efficient.

The latest developments in electric heating include effective and fast components, new innovative thermal elements and amazing, state-of-the-art programming.

Electric heating solutions are easier and cheaper to install than gas that requires pipes and flues. They don’t need planning permissions like central heating does, and there are no restrictions on layout or design. With almost all electric radiators (like ours), a template and installation kit is provided. Therefore, it’s a simple job to drill the template holes, screw the support in place and slide the radiator into position. Then all you need to do is plug into the electric socket, switch on and instant heat is generated. To see how easy it is, watch our video.

Electric heaters are generally safer than gas as they do not burn fuel to generate heat. This eliminates risks such as carbon monoxide emissions and explosions. In addition, there are no water-filled pipes, so there is less risk of damage to the property from leaking or burst pipework. It is also clean and respectful to the environment as it does not emit polluting gases or use heavy metals.

Electric heating is cheaper to install than gas, has no maintenance costs and lasts for up to 50% longer than the average gas boiler.  It is also 100% efficient, meaning all the electricity you use and pay for converts into heat.

Which Rointe electric heating products are available for specifically my conservatory?

KYROS conservatory radiator:

Our new KYROS conservatory radiator is specifically designed for under windows and low levels walls, including an optimised design for natural air convection. With superior energy-saving technology, easy to use visual menus and smart programming, the improved KYROS range makes your life easier. Available in 3 sizes and a classic white finish, this electric radiator was created for your conservatory.

High purity aluminium, exclusive mineral thermal oil and armoured steel heating elements ensure maximum comfort but low consumption. It also includes patented low consumption technology – Fuzzy Logic Energy Control. This improves the energy management required to maintain a stable temperature within a variation of only +/- 0.25oc. The technology will also predict the amount of energy needed to reach the set temperature, maximising cost savings.

The KYROS conservatory radiator also has incredible control features. This new generation of product includes 4 pre-set programs that include the most common lifestyle timetables. Therefore, you can select the one that best suits your needs and the radiator will automatically heat according to the program. It also uses advanced infrared communication, up to a distance of 3m, so you can program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the control panel or the AIR and BASIC Control remotes.

We have also incorporated a wide range of energy saving functions to help you increase your energy efficiency and reduce your energy costs. The Open Windows function moves the product into the anti-frost mode (7-8ºC), if it detects a drop in temperature due to an open window. This prevents excessive consumption from heating a room where the warm air is escaping. There is also an Energy Efficiency indicator included on the 1.77” TFT screen so you can keep an eye on your consumption.

The KYROS conservatory electric radiator is the best option for heating your conservatory, providing maximum thermal comfort with reduced costs and low energy consumption. It’s also Lot20 compliant and includes 20 years guarantee on the aluminium body and 3 years on the electrical components.

When it comes to finding electric heating solutions for your home, business or project, we are the best in the market. Quite simply, we develop the electric heating systems that we would put into our own homes.

Turn up the heat with Rointe today. Call one of our sales team on 0203 321 5928 or email us at sales@rointe.co.uk to find out more information on our efficient and innovative range. You can also find your nearest official Rointe installer here.

If you have a question for us then drop us an email, give us a call or you can message us via our social channels.

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IMPORTANT – The information contained within this article is for guidance purposes only and Rointe will not be held responsible for any outcome because of this article. Rointe is not responsible for the content on external websites.