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How to Keep a Sunroom Warm During the Winter
Sunrooms allow homeowners to enjoy the outdoors without insects, wind and inclement weather. During the winter, however, people tend to spend less time in their sunrooms. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to keep your sunroom warm and cozy when the temperature drops, so you can continue to enjoy the outdoors without having to face the elements.
To keep any room warm, you must employ a two-step process that involves heating the space and preventing that heat from escaping. Before you even think about spending money to heat your sunroom, take some time to insulate it in the following ways:
- Install weather-stripping around any windows to keep warm air from leaking around the frames. You can also seal the areas between the wall and frames by applying caulk.
- Add a layer of clear plastic insulation to the surface of your windows to trap in more warm air. Since glass isn’t a great insulator, it won’t do much to keep the heat in and the cold out. Hopefully, you’ve constructed your sunroom with insulated glass, which includes two pieces of glass with a spacer between. If not, clear plastic insulation can really help. While it doesn’t offer the same R-value as solid insulation, plastic insulation can make a noticeable difference, especially when used to seal single-pane glass.
- Keep radiant heat from escaping by applying window tinting. While it may slightly diminish your view, tinting allows the sun to warm a space without letting solar energy escape.
- Use insulated drapes to cover your windows at night or when it’s cloudy. During the day, you can open the drapes to let the light into your sunroom and then close them in the evening to maintain your warm solar gain.
- If you can afford the expense, consider adding insulation to the walls and ceiling. If it sounds like a huge ordeal, consider wrapping the concept into a larger remodeling project.
- Cover the floors. You can reduce heat loss by adding carpet or rugs to your sunroom floors. You can also create a more comforting environment that protects your feet from hard, cold surfaces.
Once you’ve insulated your sunroom, you can start thinking about warming the space. Some of the best strategies include:
- Add a ceiling fan to force warm air downward. By flipping the setting on a ceiling fan, you can capture and circulate warm air that would normally collect above your head.
- Use portable space heaters or an electric fireplace to warm up your sunroom for about an hour or two before you use it.
- Bring in a wood stove or portable fireplace that requires little to no installation. Just make sure to properly ventilate, so fumes cannot build.
- Consider extending existing ductwork into your sunroom or install electric baseboards around the floor. While this can be a costly proposition, it can help keep your sunroom warm during the winter and cooler when temperatures soar in July and August.
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