The Conservatory Conundrum: How To Heat These Difficult Spaces

Conservatory exteriorAs the months roll on, and households all over the country flip their calendars onto June, we can finally declare that the British summer has at last begun. It’s still raining, it’s still pretty cold – the entire Electric Radiators Direct Team watched in disbelief as a hail storm hit Knaresborough out of nowhere last Friday – but whatever the weather’s doing, we can’t deny that the country’s looking beautiful. Colour is everywhere: the woods and the hedgerows are bushy with bright green leaves, the meadows and the verges are exploding with poppies, buttercups and Queen Anne’s lace, whilst in our back gardens the lilac and the honeysuckle are sending their summery scents seductively through our windows.

It’s the time of year when those who have them remember why they love their conservatories – and when those that don’t start considering this affordable and rewarding home extension. What could be more peaceful than enjoying breakfast looking out over flower beds sparkling with morning dew? What could be most atmospheric than curling up with a good book while a storm shakes the trees outside and rain clatters overhead? And what could be more romantic than tucking into a meal for two whilst the sun sets and swifts dart over the eaves? Whatever you use your conservatory for, there are few more comfortable ways to enjoy the great outdoors totally sheltered from the wind and the rain.

However, most households find that their conservatory comes with a fatal flaw; however well it guards against the physical elements, it doesn’t do much to protect you from outdoor temperatures. Here’s the classic conservatory conundrum: when it’s cold they’re too chilly to enjoy, and when it’s hot they respond like an oven.

We can’t help you with the heat. If it’s too hot – open the doors, step outside, enjoy the sunny days! But if you’re struggling with the cold and looking for ways to heat your conservatory, we’re the ones to call.

So what makes conservatories so difficult to heat?

ConservatoryFirstly, the quantity of glass and limited depth of the walls can make conventional heating solutions impossible. Extending central heating plumbing into your conservatory may not be possible if your walls are especially thin or comprised entirely of glass. Where central heating installation is possible it can be very expensive. Quite apart from the normal costs associated with taking up floor boards and breaking into walls to extend plumbing, extending into a conservatory – which is, in effect, a cul-de-sac in your pipe system – often requires a long diversion from the rest of your system, demanding a high volume of piping for a single radiator. Central heating also commits you to engaging your entire home heating system every time you want to warm your conservatory. Because conservatories have different heating requirements to the rest of your house this can be very wasteful and needlessly expensive.

Effective heating for conservatories

Electric heating offers a simple solution to these problems. Installation is quick and requires very little extra hassle – you’ll already be extending your home wiring into your conservatory in order to install lighting. Electric wiring is easily fitted into the narrowest conservatory dwarf walls and allows you to heat your conservatory entirely separately from the rest of your house. Our heaters warm up quickly so are ideal for on-demand heating, if you use your conservatory infrequently or at varying times of the day. Alternatively, if you regularly use your conservatory at certain times of the day, extensive programming options can allow you to set up a dedicated heating schedule separate from the rest of your home.

Conservatory electric radiators

Haverland BL Conservatory RadiatorAnother common problem when fitting conservatory heating is that the lack of wall space can make it impossible to fit standard sized radiators. To combat this we have introduced to our range 38cm tall purpose-built conservatory radiators specifically designed to fit conservatory dwarf walls. If your conservatory has even smaller walls or is made entirely from glass, our best-selling RC Wave range can be purchased with feet to allow freestanding fitting anywhere within your conservatory.

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Infrared heaters – a modern solution

Herschel Select XL Infrared HeaterA more fundamental problem with conservatory heating is the inherent inefficiency of heating a space almost entirely comprised of glass. The poor thermal properties of glass cause heat to leak from your conservatory much faster than from better insulated rooms, requiring your heaters to work much harder to top up lost heat.

This problem is the eternal bug-bear of convection heating systems. Conventional heaters and convection radiators heat rooms by warming the air. Warm air constantly circulates around the room, moving to colder spaces. Convection heaters must provide enough heat to make the entire room warm, so that the warm air can in turn heat the room’s occupants. In poorly insulated rooms like conservatories, it is much harder to maintain the room’s temperature.

However, a relatively new but very effective solution to this problems comes in the form of infrared heating. Infrared heaters heat in a very different way to conventional convection radiators. Infrared heaters heat almost entirely by radiation. In the same way that the sun warms the Earth, infrared heaters heat people and objects directly, regardless of the temperature of the air. This means that heat is not lost through draughts and the circulation of air; instead it is absorbed and re-radiated from the fabric of the room and its occupants. This makes infrared heaters ideal for outdoor, draughty or poorly-insulated spaces – including conservatories. 

Our range of infrared panel heaters are ideal for energy efficient conservatory heating and we also offer infrared patio heaters, which can be used for on-demand heating in your conservatory if you tend to use it infrequently or for short periods. You’ll find freestanding infrared heaters for conservatories where wall-mounting isn’t an option, and a number of slim wall-mounted heaters which require minimal space and are ideal if you use your conservatory as a kids’ playroom.

With an energy-efficient, effective heating system for your conservatory, you really can make the most of your back garden all year round. While we enjoy June you can sit back and watch the warblers and the chiffchaffs gathering down for their nests and scavenging for their young – and stay out well into the evening as the light fades and the bats flicker overhead. But your window on the outdoor world won’t be closing as we head into autumn. As this summer fades you can anticipate ever changing vistas as the blackberry bushes ripen, the leaves start to turn, migratory geese flock overhead and solitary spider’s webs sparkle in the morning with the first winter frosts. Make this the year you embrace the beauty of our back gardens all year round from the sanctuary of a fully heated cosy conservatory.

View Our Conservatory Electric Radiators



Electric Radiators Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Electric Radiators Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. If you're interested in wall mounted electric heaters or infrared panel heaters, call Electric Radiators Direct today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment. 


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