In northern states where weather is a big factor in the everyday life, we have seen an important surge in the popularity of solariums in recent decades. Are you considering building one at the moment? Like any addition, sunrooms are a great way to add space to the home, but as the name suggests, these sunrooms allows a lot of sunlight into the room and hence, call for many special considerations. Here are a few answers to questions that you might already be asking yourself as you continue your planning.
Solariums, known more generically as sunrooms, are additions built with glass roofs and walls to let as much natural light inside the home as possible, which can lead to various home functions. These include allowing for more idyllic dining areas, recreation or spa rooms, indoor gardens or nurseries for those with a green thumb, or simply scenic relaxation or meditation spot.
As an added benefit, natural light coming through the sunroom can cut down lighting energy consumption. Another big benefit may also include passive solar gain lowering one’s winter energy bills. Southern site orientation is the best way to take advantage of this “clean,” free solar energy and can supply more than half of some homes’ heating needs, provided a door or other thermal barrier is utilized at night; otherwise heat gain during the day may be lost more quickly.
Since thermal transfer is also a big concern during the other seasonal extreme, energy efficient windows and double-pane, insulated, fixed glass must be used for building a sunroom to protect against summer heat absorption, using low-E coatings to reflect more of the sunlight and keep the rooms from getting excessively hot. Since without AC, this is often not enough, window coverings or thick mesh sunscreens are often recommended to keep the room even more comfortable. Following these guidelines, homeowners will have fewer problems with their heating and cooling arrangements for the solstice seasons.
Although there is a good amount of regional ebb and flow to just how much you may find for dollar-for-dollar return on your investment once you decide to sell your home, one thing is for certain, the sheltered contact with the outdoors that a well-built sunroom provides remains one of the very best ways for you to add more market interest to your home, especially in locations with cooler climates like we have here in New England.
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