View Full Version : Conservatories.

22nd Aug 2005, 20:57
A question for any conservatory owners out there.
What type of heating would you recommend for a 4x3 metre conservatory?
I live just outside Southampton and It will face north east.
Regards, Den.

22nd Aug 2005, 21:01
I used a 'Glen' electric convection space heater (I'm living elsewhere now) and it was excellent and not particularly expensive. If I ever build another, it's going to have an extension from the house central heating.

prices (http://www.dealclick.co.uk/brand/GLEN/heaters.php)


Darth Nigel
22nd Aug 2005, 21:16
ANd if you can figure out how to plug it in to your neighbour's shed, it's even less expensive :E

22nd Aug 2005, 21:20
Got one of those convection heaters which does the trick, but unlike Earthmover I did find it rather expensive to operate. I've heard that the oil filled stand alones are better, if a bit more expensive to buy in the first place.

22nd Aug 2005, 21:23
It depends on what you want to use the conservatory for. If it is just for show and you are going to use it occasionally (You'll be surprised how many people dont really use them) then an electric heater will do you.

If it is going to be used as an additional room then central heating radiators (at least two). But, if you have a plastic roof it will still be cold in the winter no matter how many radiators you have.

22nd Aug 2005, 21:23
Balix, you're probably right come to think of it - I haven't had to pay the bill on it for about seven years - and as the house was full of teenagers at that time - it was a drop in the ocean compared to their levels of electricity consumption! :eek:

22nd Aug 2005, 23:05
It's not the heating that we had a problem with but the keeping cool in the summer.

In the first year or two, we found that the conservatory was a no-go area on hot sunny days. We then had some roof blinds fitted and they transformed the conservatory and made it more usable in the summer months.

With regard to the heating, we have a small radiator connected to the household heating system but it doesn't keep it warm enough but it does keep it frost-free for the exotic plants we have. So we also have the same heater that Earthmover recommended for when we want to sit out there. It can be quite cosy in there in the middle of winter :ok:

22nd Aug 2005, 23:14
I'd suggest underfloor heating, particlarly useful if You have a tiled floor and tend to walk around barefoot.

tony draper
22nd Aug 2005, 23:19
Something that has always puzzled me, where does the name Conservatory come from? I mean what exactly do they conserve?

22nd Aug 2005, 23:28
I mean what exactly do they conserve?

Exercise bikes and wet washing!

23rd Aug 2005, 00:49
Drat... Thought it was a thread about 'proper' music, not those plastic house appendages…!

Conan the Librarian
23rd Aug 2005, 00:56
The germ of an idea coming up... If cold in winter, but hot in summer, why not plaster the roof with solar panels, backed up by a bank of milk float batteries for the winter?

I know... time for bed...


23rd Aug 2005, 01:37
*Adds to list*

1. Tyres
2. Conservatories

23rd Aug 2005, 01:46
Here in Borneo our conservatory has no glass in it. We call it the garden. :E

23rd Aug 2005, 02:00

1. Tyres (http://www.redoxide.com/Defender/images/photos/mods/tyres_1.jpg) 'Tires' in the US??

2. Conservatory (http://www.newspress.com/abode/images/conservatories-2.jpg)

There you go! :D

Standard Noise
23rd Aug 2005, 08:55
Our conservatory was the same size as yours at 4x3m and we just bunged a 600 x 2000mm double radiator with convector fins on the wall (ours had a party wall with the next door house).
Did the job grand, even in winter, even two degrees further north than you, we were in NI at the time and it faced north east.
The MIL installed underfloor heating in hers, but I can't say I thought the floor was warm at all.

My advice would be to get a glass roof rather than polycarb sheets, it were a bit noisy and irritating when it rained, which it is prone to doing in NI.........a lot!:uhoh:

23rd Aug 2005, 10:58
Apparently fitting a permanent radiator connected to the domestic heating system can cause problems with Planning Permission. Something to do with most conservatories not requiring planning permission. Connecting them up to the heating system implies permanence and hence requires PP.

But who is ever going to find out.

I used to have an oil filled electric heater in my old conservatory. Fine in the winter time. Next conservatory will have a radiator from the domestic system, roof blinds and a ceiling fan.

Flying Lawyer
23rd Aug 2005, 11:20

Interested in your recommendation re underfloor heating.

I'm about to have limestone floors installed in a small en suite bathroom (about 8 sq m) and in a kitchen/living room (about 40 sq m) and am considering electric underfloor heating.
Is it expensive to run?
I heard horror stories years ago, but have been told the technology has now improved and it's more reasonable.
Any advice from your experience?

23rd Aug 2005, 12:22
Is it expensive to run?

No, it is cheaper than conventional heating. It simply turns your floor into a giant storage heater. If you search Screwfix.com I think they stock a kit for adapting conservatories. You will need a 4 inch thick concrete floor which will be covered with 2inch thick insulation. The pipes are placed on the insulation and another 3 inches of concrete are poured on top. There is an electric element type of underfloor heating buy I have not used it and expect that it may be expensive unless you have an Economy 7 supply.


Flying Lawyer
23rd Aug 2005, 12:35

It was the electric element 'heating mat' (installed in or on the adhesive?) which was recommended to me, but I too suspect it might be rather expensive to run.

I haven't heard of Economy 7, but will do some research.


23rd Aug 2005, 15:25
Thanks for the replies guys (and ladies).
I must admit that because we want the floor tiled, I was looking to have an underfloor electric mat in conjunction with with a large radiator, connected to the central heating, on the house wall.
I have heard horror stories about how cold they can get in winter, and,being a wimp, I don't like the thought of being chilly in there :O
I can only say you lucky lucky barsteward
regards to all, Den.

23rd Aug 2005, 17:07
Apparently fitting a permanent radiator connected to the domestic heating system can cause problems with Planning Permission. Something to do with most conservatories not requiring planning permission. Connecting them up to the heating system implies permanence and hence requires PP.

Not quite.

Conservatories are usually built within the permitted development rights of a house and do not require planning permission. Heating or otherwise in immaterial to this.

However, building regs is another matter and 99% of conservatories do not meet the necessary insulation levels to allow their use as a permanent room, which includes fixed heating. This is also why BRs require a door between the house and the conservatory.

What we have fitted is an air-conditioner that includes a heat pump (you can get them from B&Q for a few £100s). This is backed up in the depths of winter by a flueless gas stove.

23rd Aug 2005, 19:38
I did originally think about having climate control but was worried about noise levels, do you find it annoying in any way?
regards, Den.

23rd Aug 2005, 19:41
The perfect cure to cold in winter/hot in summer.
Once your carbuncle is attached and no-one is looking, cover all the silly upright glass bits with bricks leaving a square hole (size of your choice) to facilitate daylight and view. Next call in a man good with wood to replace the poly (or glass) roof with a nice timber structure that will support tiles in keeping with the style of the main roof. Add these as funds become available. Now you can build a chimney for an open fire, or log burner or install heating of your choice (wallet size). Voila you have the extension you wanted in the first place.

I mean what exactly do they conserve?

It ain't money.

23rd Aug 2005, 23:43
I did originally think about having climate control but was worried about noise levels, do you find it annoying in any way?

Well it was bloody noisy drilling a 2" hole through the wall to take the hoses out.:)

Seriously, the inside unit is just a background hum (a bit like teenage son's bedroom). The external unit is noiser to the extent that because we didn't allow for it when we planned the A/C (I know that this is pprune, but that is air-conditioning, not aircraft so don't get excited) we don't have the window open above it.

I suppose the best comparison is that the internal noise is similar to having a PC running in the room

24th Aug 2005, 16:09
Sharjah in the 60's, and I remember well the wall mounted air con. units that we had in our "accomodation", they seemed to channel all of the noise inside!
Thanks for the info. technology in air con. must have improved since then, and as the conservatory hasn't been built yet, then hole drilling wont be a problem.
I suppose that it did occur to you that there is a subtle difference between a conservatory and an extension?:D

24th Aug 2005, 17:24
We have a large conservatory which is south facing. We installed a Daikin inverter split heat pump/ aircon unit. The great thing is that it pumps heat rather than creating it, so it is very efficient...

We get over 8kw of heating/cooling for around 2kw of electricity usage. The heating works at full capacity to -15 Celcius. Due to the fact it has an inverter unit it can run the compressor at any speed so the capacity of the unit is matched to the heating/cooling requirements. It has a rotary compressor so the outdoor unit is very quiet. The indoor unit is near silent.

The only drawback is that when we got it 2 years ago I think it was around £2,200 installed or so.