Glazing, Ventilation & Heating your conservatory
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From 2010 conservatories are to be introduced into part L of the building regulations requiring all windows & glazing to achieve a ‘C’ rating, prior to a move to ‘A’ rating in 2016.
Glazing your conservatory
The need for safety glazing applies to all areas 800mm from the floor in windows or walls and 1,500mm in doors. In terms of the conservatory this includes all glazed walls – the Safety Glazing Mark can be found etched in each glazed area.
Location, location, location?
Your plot and the location of your conservatory will determine how you use your conservatory. Conservatories facing East will catch the sun early in the morning and should be comfortable throughout the day or evening.
Conservatories facing North are unlikely to receive the full heat of the sun with exposure only at the start and end of the day – with little sun in the winter months – which means that heating should be a major consideration for year round use.
Conservatories facing West will find the sun late in the afternoon, ideal for evening use. Conservatories with a southerly location are sun traps throughout the day, so ventilation and tinted solar reflective glass or blinds becomes a priority.
Your Choice of roof
Choose between glass and polycarbonate roofing. Although polycarbonate sheeting offers lower initial cost, one of the main differences is the sound levels generated by strong rain, also Polycarbonate sheeting may discolour or go milky over time.
Glass, in contrast, is more expensive but does offer a quieter solution. Equally the range of low emissivity and tinted or specialist glazing offers real advantages in terms of energy efficiency.
Let your conservatory breathe
Building Regulations specify that all conservatories (particularly South-facing ones) require ventilation. An area of window opening per floor area, as well as trickle ventilation will enhance your comfort levels. More recently, thermostatically controlled roof vents with rain sensors have allowed ventilation to become more automated. If you are going out, it is possible to set your window locks open on ‘night-vent’ setting, which allows you to lock it in the slightly open position.