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problem solving air conditioning in conservatory.

There must be folk out there with air conditioning  in their conservatorues. Mine faces NE, but even without this unusally hot weather, it gets hot, beause we live in a detached bungalow and not overlooked or shaded by anything.  Its big, 21x11, so this year we bought the Australian shade blinds for the roof, no way we could afford made to measure blinds.  To be honest, I think they would be a nightmare anyway, you get a huge amount of dead flies the glass side, every couple of days I unhook one end, then vacuum them off the floor.  We had a unit you put water in the back, I used ice cubes, it gave up the ghost, was debating buying another one, or an air conditing unit with flexy hose to outside, or having a built in unit, (like you get in hotels abroad)  have read so many reviews, mind is now boggled, it wont happen till the winter ready for next year, is is worth going the whole hog, what sort of cost are we looking at, installation and running cost, some of the comparission sites they are really expensive to run,  (like the one in your car using up all your fuel!) Even a basic model like we had before for a room this size is quite a few hundred pounds, dont want to make the wrong desision.


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,079
    Is it double glazed or single, NB? I don't know what the 'Australian shade blinds' are - are they those big sails to go on the outside?

    The most effective way to keep a glass room cool is to have shades on the outside of the glass - but in our windy climate that is very difficult to do cheaply (or at all in some places). The problem with any sort of internal blind is the heat is already inside the room when it gets to the blind. The blind itself gets hot and acts like a radiator. A highly reflective back to the blind helps and if you have single glazing, that will probably be pretty good. If it's double glazed though, the glazing traps more of the heat inside so the reflection helps but may not be enough to keep it actually cool.

    Air conditioning is expensive to run in the UK because our humidity is usually high. Without getting in to the technicalities, a cooler in typical UK summer weather is working at least twice as hard as one in a drier climate at the same temperature.

    Effective ventilation is probably a better option, or planting a tree or a climber that will give you summer shade but lose its leaves to let winter light in. By effective ventilation I mean 'cross vent' - i.e. openings near the floor and in the roof and at opposite ends of the room. Your money may be better spent on buying some automatic open/close devices for vents controlled by a temperature sensor. In this weather, the vents would probably be already open by the time you wake up. You could also get a ceiling fan to keep the air moving.
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714
    Hello raisiingirl, the conservtory was re-built last year (lean to design, with lean to plastic roof before which was leaking) double glazed, we now have the triple A rated Pilkington glass, blue tint, selfcleaning,(roof) which doesnt actually get hot, the plastic one was hot to the touch at 20c.  It goes up to a pitch in the centre now.We had double french doors added and an opening window on each pane.The sale blinds are Kookaburra, you can use them inside or out, they cut out UVA and B to a big extent. as you say, wind, yes that is a huge problem here because we are inbetween the South Downs and the sea, they would also be very difficult to attach outside, anyway.The lower half is brick wall.  it would be extremely difficult to put any kind of automatic roof vents in, we did speak about that when we had it done, but was told they ineviatably leak, with the wind (and rain when we get it here!!) because of our exposed situation. Did you mean plant a tree or climber, outside, it stands on a big patio, there are shrubs outside in pots, mainly rhododenrons, the indoor plants have had to go outside now,. because of the heat, It got to over 40d the other day.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    NB. Your conservatory sounds very similar to mine even down to the roof glass. I have thought and rethought the same problem as I find mine gets far too hot in the summer. My short term solution this year has been to get a roof vent installed and to keep that and the small windows at the top of half the panes open 24 hours (only half the panes have opening top windows). This has made a huge difference in the average temp. 
    My long term solution is to get air conditioning installed - the kind that will fit into the dwarf wall which sits flush with the outside ie. no ugly box either side but that would cost in the region of £2500 - £3000. 
    I am toying with the idea next year of painting the outside of the roof glass with Coolshade as you would do for a greenhouse??
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • I too have a similar conservatory. 16ft x8ft, on the NW facing end of a single storey extension. Double glazed, brown tinted, reflective glass, central pitch roof with vents plus extra vents in each corner of the roof which can be opened and closed manually. When it was being built I insisted on wide, double, sliding doors in the long side and a normal width door at the S. end. (the contractor thought I was mad) I was also persuaded against automatic vents as being more trouble than they are worth. There are two roof windows which are operated manually with winder handles and fan light windows along the length and across the N. end. It has a low brick wall and is fitted against a red brick wall now painted white.

    Despite having every window and door being left open day and night it has still been registering 100o most days so in this weather, there is not much more you can do. Like you I have moved all plants except 3 cacti and some succulents, out into garden. You would need to keep everything closed to run air conditioning, at great expense, which if cost is not a problem, probably is the solution.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,714
    We had the side panels done with white etched glass which is meant to keep the "glare" down,there is no "view" there. and doesnt!Was told that with the exposed location here, you would get leaks in roof vents, I must admit I wish we had had a side door as well, thats on the "windy" side.  So, is that what it would cost 2.5 to 3 grand?
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,854
    We have air con in our conservatory. We've never used it, well, apart from when we moved in just to see if it worked.
    Thermometer hit 46C in there last week.
    Very good for drying the laundry.
  • UpNorthUpNorth Posts: 376
    edited July 2018
    We just live with it.  Don't use it without airing it first.  Great for growing on plants 😀   t wont be so bad once this unusual weather is gone.
  • I love my conservatory, except for the dead flies, spiders and having to clean it down 3-4 times a year to get rid of the mould from the damp. I have had infestations of minute flying beetles hatching in the framework, red spider mite etc. but I still love it, still need to clean down the outside and inside of the roof and guttering. I did use it as a glorified greenhouse until I acquired a freebie 6x8 greenhouse from Freecycle earlier in the year.

    Now I am like a pig in muck, no need to fight my way through tomato and cucumber plants to sit down. The cat is using it as her bedroom, sort of inside but outside as well. She has taken over the dog's bed so she can relax properly.

  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    I put up a lightweight ceiling in ours, with timber studwork and 50mm solid insulation boards. It's a room we use 365 days a year now, amazing and it only cost a few hundred.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,927
    ... is it still a conservatory?
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