A conservatory makes a great addition to any home and can create an ideal space for relaxation, working, hosting guests, growing plants and produce, or simply extending available living space. A common complaint that some homeowners experience however is that their conservatory becomes too hot in the summer, to the point where spending time in it becomes a sweltering and uncomfortable experience.

If a conservatory is getting too hot in the summer, it can leave you feeling as though you’ve wasted money and time having it built, as you no longer want to spend quality time in it. Thankfully, there are some ways you can make a conservatory less hot. There are also factors you can consider when planning a conservatory to prevent it from becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in winter. Below are some hot conservatory solutions that you may want to try this summer.

Why do conservatories get so hot?

Conservatories are designed to let you enjoy your garden and outdoor space from the inside. You can see your garden more clearly through the large glass windows, and enjoy the sunshine during nice weather.

While this design can allow you to enjoy great views of your garden, it also gives sunlight plenty of opportunity to pass through the glass. When sunlight streams through the glass on a large scale, it can very quickly and steadily increase the temperature in your conservatory, to a point where it becomes stifling and uncomfortable to sit in. During the summertime, this can be a really common problem, with higher temperatures only contributing to the issue.

If you have an older conservatory, you may also find that it becomes too hot because of the materials used. A newer generation of conservatories will use improved materials such as insulated aluminium to keep heat out in the summer, and heat in during the winter. Poor ventilation is another factor that can lead to excessively high temperatures in a conservatory. If hot air becomes trapped and cannot flow freely, you’re left with an uncomfortably hot room.

Overheating in glass roof conservatories

Overheating can be a real issue for conservatories with glass roofs, but you don’t need to sweat it out and tolerate a hot and stuffy room in warmer months. For many people, getting a glass roof conservatory is a concern, but with the right treated glass that tackles UV rays to reduce the amount of light coming through, it is possible to get a more comfortable temperature.

One option is to include polycarbonate roofing, which is made up of plastic sheets that contain air gaps in between them. This is combined with reflective insulation to divert the sun’s rays. A tiled roof conservatory is another option, as well as temperature-controlled glass.

In the last decade, glazing and glass technology has greatly improved in order to tackle the problem of overheating in glass conservatories, while still maintaining an aesthetic appeal. If the right glass is installed, it can either block or reflect 85% of the sun’s rays and will ensure a very low U-value, which is the way heat loss is measured through a material. Our conservatories can achieve U-values as low as 1.2W/m2K when installed with our double glazing or triple glazing windows. Our Comfort glass can also block 99% of damaging UV rays while still allowing natural light to enter.

How heat and light pass through conservatory windows

Solutions for keeping your conservatory cooler

If your conservatory is getting too hot in warm weather, consider some of the solutions below to help cool it down.

1. Consider the location of your conservatory

If you’re in the planning stages regarding your conservatory, consider where it will be positioned and how hot or cold it may become depending on its location. Of course, the main priority will be where you can build it in terms of available space, but you should also consider that north-facing conservatories will be cooler and less likely to overheat. If you have a south-facing conservatory, this will get heat from the sun for most of the day.

Also, think about the conservatory’s position in terms of nearby trees and shade. You can plant trees nearby if there are no mature trees around to create shade. If you must have a south-facing conservatory, you can incorporate a retractable canopy to help block out the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

2. Choose the right type of roof

When you plan your conservatory, keep in mind that the more glass you use for the roof, the hotter the room is likely to become. Having a polycarbonate roof will make temperature regulation much easier, and if you really must have a glass roof, ensure it is properly treated with reflective, shaded properties.

If you already have a conservatory that is older, consider adding opaque film, reflective panelling, or translucent panels to the roof, which will help to stop sunlight from making the room too hot.

3. Install air vents and air conditioning

It is possible to get air vents installed in older conservatories to let more airflow in, making the space cooler and fresher. You can get small outward-opening vents installed in the roof panels and window areas, which can help it to feel less stuffy as air flows in during the day.

Having an air conditioning unit installed is also a good idea, although it can be quite a financial outlay. Air conditioners can cost between £400-£1000, but some have heat functions so you can also heat the conservatory better in winter.

4. Put up blinds

Blinds can provide cooling relief from the hot sun, and provide a nice aesthetic in a conservatory room. Keep blinds to light colours so that they reflect light well, and focus on covering the roof and upper window areas to keep the room cooler.

5. Apply cooling film to glass windows

You can also purchase cooling film, which is a sticky layer that you can peel off and add to glass to reflect UV rays. This is a great solution if you have an older conservatory. Cooling film can greatly reduce the temperature inside your conservatory, and can also prevent soft furnishings like cushions and sofas from becoming overly bleached in the sun.

Cooling film is widely available and cheap to buy, with 50mm costing around £12. Unless you’re very confident though, you should get a professional to apply the film to ensure it is done correctly, as it’s a task that is very precise in nature.