Here in Hampton Roads, where we experience all seasons, make plans to enjoy your sunroom year-round. Depending on the type of sunroom you have or plan to have, there are differences in design, structure, and product selection that impact the ability to insulate your space and keep it warm.
A four-season sunroom can be used year-round, as the name says. These sunrooms include high levels of insulation to keep the cold out as well as access to an HVAC system that controls the temperature in the space.
A three-season sunroom or screen porch conversion does not have the highest levels of insulation and typically does not have access to an HVAC system. Regardless of the sunroom space you have or plan to have, there are ways you can increase warmth to up the cozy factor in your sunroom this winter.
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A four-season sunroom is intended to be used year-round. The design and engineering of a four-season sunroom is intrinsically planned for comfortable use in the hot summer months, the cooler winter months, and every month in between.
One of the hallmarks of a four-season sunroom is the ability to temperature control the space. Most year-round sunrooms have HVAC systems or heating and cooling units that allow you to control the temperature in your sunroom. We recommend that four-season sunrooms should never, under any circumstance, be connected to the homes heating and cooling system. Your home’s heating and cooling system has a thermostat located in the central part of the house and since sunrooms are mostly glass, it will not be efficient to try to run ducts out into the room and expect the house and your new sunroom to be comfortable year-round. In most cases, we can add a separate HVAC system or mini split unit for less than it costs to install duct work from the house. Having a separate HVAC system in your year-round sunroom will allow for complete temperature control of the space and will be very energy efficient.
Four-season sunrooms are also designed with thermal insulation in mind. The thermal design may include: a thermally engineered frame, insulated walls, and windows that are insulated. ECCO’s four-season sunrooms come standard with the best double pane insulated glass. ECCO uses high tech Solarban 70VT/ Clear Argon gas filled insulated glass with Mylar Super Spacer technology – standard. There are additional window tint upgrades that can be chosen for enhanced light filtering options.
Three-season sunrooms and screen porch conversion sunrooms naturally provide comfort during the fall and spring seasons yet require additional measures to be a comfortable space in the winter and summer seasons. Some homeowners chose to add HVAC units to their sunroom later, such as installing a through the wall PTAC or mini split unit. There are steps homeowners can take to make their three-season sunroom more comfortable in cold winter months.
Insulate your sunroom. Keeping the cold temps outside and the heat inside is key to a cozy sunroom in the winter. Weather-stripping around windows and doorways is one form of added insulation that can provide protection against drafts. Some homeowners chose to tint their windows in order to better manage the impact of sunlight and control the heat in their sunrooms.
No matter if your sunroom is a year-round or three-season space, you can include additional elements to keep it toasty and warm this winter. These elements include warm flooring, thermal-insulated treatments, ceiling fan usage, and adding a portable heat source.
Nothing says winter more than warm toes on an icy floor. Keep a cozy atmosphere in your sunroom this winter with a thick rug or padded carpet. Not only will it feel warm and look cozy; it will also add a thicker layer of protection between your sunroom floor and the cool outdoor temperatures.
Another element you can add to your sunroom this winter to keep warmth inside and cool temps out is thermal-insulated window treatments, shades, and vertical blinds. By including thermal insulated window treatments, you can not only control the sunlight exposure to your sunroom, you can also add a protective barrier between your windows and the cold outside temperatures. Thermal-insulated window treatments can add the style and design you are looking for in your sunroom space while also working to keep your sunroom toasty in the winter.
An often-overlooked resource in your sunroom is a ceiling fan. While traditionally ceiling fans are thought of to keep a room cool, when turned in reverse a ceiling fan can serve to warm a space. Most ceiling fans have a rotation switch on the fixture that determines which direction the fan blades rotate. In the winter months select your ceiling fan to rotate in a clockwise direction which draws cool air up and forces warm air down.
Including a heat source in your sunroom is a no-brainer to adding warmth in the winter months. Consider a traditional space heater for an inexpensive source of heat in your sunroom. Today there are a range of portable electric fireplaces and wood stoves that combine a warm and cozy aesthetic as well as a source of heat for individual rooms such as sunrooms. If you include a space heater or portable electric fireplace in your sunroom this winter, use them to warm up the space about an hour or two before you head out for maximum toasty pleasure.
Looking for a team to help you design and build an indoor living space with winter months in mind? ECCO Sunroom & Awning has been designing and building four and three season sunrooms for over 30 years in Hampton Roads. Our team specializes in designing customized sunroom spaces. We’ve got you covered with ideas and plans to design your dream sunroom. Need inspiration? Check out our gallery. Call today 757.424.0022.
*Call for details. Offer includes up to 25% off a qualifying sunroom addition or porch conversion. Featured discount based on $40,000 sunroom addition. Special financing subject to credit approval. Interest is billed during promotional period, but all interest is waived if the purchase amount is paid in full within 2 years. Offer ends May 31, 2022.