Cool down your conservatory with these simple yet smart ideas.
Image: English Blinds
Everyone wants to make the most out of their orangery or conservatory in the summer. With the abundance of natural light creating a calming atmosphere and offering a new perspective on your garden, you'll want to spend those lazy summer days appreciating the views from the comfort of your conservatory couch.
However, the summer heat can often make this an unbearable experience and, more often than not, forces you to avoid relaxing in this room altogether.
Don't panic though! There are plenty of clever ways you can keep your conservatory cool so that you don't have to compromise. We've summed up 7 ideas; some simple, some innovative, but all very effective in cooling down your conservatory so that you can enjoy it for many summers to come.
Roof and window blinds
Blinds are an obvious choice for keeping a conservatory cool because they are multi-purpose; other than helping to shield the room from sun, they give you a bit of privacy if your garden is overlooked and are also a great opportunity to add some style to your conservatory.
Whilst most people opt for window blinds, some forget that tackling the roof is just as essential. Roof blinds are great for keeping the heat out in the summer but act as an insulator in the winter. They can be made by some companies specially to fit each panel of glass, so don't worry if your roof is a unique shape.
You can even get motorised roof blinds so there's no fiddling around, allowing you to shade the room at the touch of a button.
If you're unwilling to change your conservatory windows altogether to tinted glazing (which is understandable), you can opt for cooling film. This is an adhesive layer that's applied directly to the glass and reflects the majority of the sun's heat, as well as harmful UV rays.
Therefore, you're reducing the temperature of your conservatory whilst protecting your skin and even your furniture from fading in the bright light.
While being one of the easiest ways to keep your conservatory cool, it's definitely not the cheapest. An air conditioning unit can set you back anywhere between £400 and £3000, but they do give you complete control of your conservatory's temperature. Some offer both heating and cooling, meaning you can also tackle the problem of conservatories being too cold in the winter.
It's definitely one option to consider if you spend a significant amount of time in your conservatory.
If you can't face paying for air con, then a ceiling fan will also do a pretty good job of keeping it cool.
Being overhead it can spread cool air evenly, although there are a lot of top fans on the market that can offer 360 cooling as well.
Plant a tree
This is one of the more 'thinking outside the box' methods but is a genius idea none the less. By strategically planting a tree in your garden to shade your conservatory, you're adding another layer of protection from the heat.
And if you want to let more light in during the winter to warm up the space, you can always get a deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the colder months.
To keep a space cool, it's always a good idea to not convolute it with lots of bulky furniture. The less furniture, the more airflow and the cooler the space. Instead, you should opt for lightweight 'breathable' furniture.
For example, you can use bamboo or rattan garden furniture which doesn't take up a lot of space and that has holes for air to pass through.
Then in the winter you can always use throws and cushions to create a cosy area where you can keep warm and still enjoy the views of the garden.
Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation
You don't need someone telling you to open the windows and doors to let air into the conservatory and cool it down.
However, you may not have considered getting vents installed in the roof and/or bottom of your conservatory to allow more hot air to escape. It is especially important to have vents or openings in the roof as we all know hot air rises.
Have you got any tips for keeping your conservatory cool? Share them with us by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.