Way back when, people used to put single glazed greenhouses bought from a garden centre onto the back of their homes and occasionally use them to sit out in during the year, then some bright spark thought, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make them more usable, I know lets double glaze them, and that’s pretty much how the conservatory marketplace started.

With the introduction of PVCu frames an industry was born which enabled people to expand their home into the garden, but unlike a traditional built extension that required building regulations, these rooms were never designed to be all year-round habitable rooms – candle meltingly hot in the summer, icy cold in the winter.

Roll the clock forward to 2020, what has changed, are there glasses available that allows use of the room all year round, can a conservatory be thermally efficient to be used during the winter and has glass significantly moved forward so that you can use it in the height of summer?

Summer use

My advice has always been to anyone who is looking to purchase a conservatory is that if you are sitting in a conservatory in the height of summer, complaining that it is simple too hot, then maybe go outside instead, and enjoy the nice weather, after all its not as if we get it very often!!

On the not so glorious days there are glass combinations that are available for you to maximise your Summer use, depending on your location you can pick from 0% solar rejection up to 90%. Solar rejection glass is tinted, the darker the tint the lesser amount of natural light you will gain.

From my experience people find a way to use their conservatory during the summer, especially if the problem of heat has been identified from the beginning, big opening French doors or Bi-folding doors, as well as lots of window openings really helps, it is worth the extra investment spend.

Winter use

When using the room in the winter you will need to heat it up, there is nothing complicated about winter use, other than it will not get warm on its own. Get yourself a quality thermostatically controlled wall heater or simple switch it on 20 minutes before you want to use the room or alternatively put-on multiple layers of clothing if you want to save on the electricity bill.

To help keep the room warmer for longer we specify a double-glazed unit that incorporates a low emissivity internal glass pane with a u-value of 1.0 (u-value is a thermal calculation through matter, the lower the better for heat retention) which is 63% more thermal efficient than was available 20 years ago.


Modern glass for conservatories is better than it was in the past, as long as you are being advised correctly and you know the limitations of the product that you are considering, a conservatory is designed as a light non-habitable extension to your home, it’s great for entertaining friends, reading, relaxing and enjoying the garden, but it’s not an extension, it will not hold heat the same as insulated cavity walls or solid roofs, being glass it doesn’t create natural shade, it is bright, and it can get very warm in direct sunlight.

How much does a Conservatory cost?

If you wish to discuss your options in more detail contact me direct, we can have a chat to see how I can assist you, either with brochures, a showroom visit or a site meeting with a view to progress the project.