A sunroom is a popular home addition that allows you to enjoy the outdoors while being shielded from the elements. The large windows help it to be filled with natural warmth and light, creating a beautiful space to relax, work or entertain.
Many homeowners often ask us if they can still use these rooms in the winter. Our answer is absolutely! While these rooms are often best in the warmer months, with the right heating solutions, you can make this a cozy space in the wintertime.
Heating a sunroom involves two parts: heating the room and keeping the heat inside the room. This article will outline how you can heat your sunroom even when the weather outside is frightful.
1. Reduce heat loss! Insulate, insulate, insulate
The best way to heat a room is by maintaining as much heat as possible. This is best done by installing quality insulation. By reducing heat loss with your insulation, you won’t need to waste energy and money ramping up your heating system.
Insulation can also help your room stay cooler in the summer as well. You’re investing in better efficiency, year-round comfort and cost-savings!
How to insulate your sunroom
When picking insulation for your sunroom, consider the type of material and its installation requirements. Here are some popular choices:
- Fiberglass insulation is popular due to its performance and affordability.
- Spray foam insulation provides a high R-value and a strong air barrier between the walls, making it an efficient option for keeping heat inside your sunroom.
- Rigid foam insulation is another effective option, offering premium moisture and mold resistance. It’s also lightweight and easy to install.
- Use double-glazed or low-E glass. Heat commonly escapes through the windows themselves. Specialized glass has insulating properties that keep the cold out.
- Install door sweeps to keep the heat from escaping beneath your doors. These are strips of material placed along the bottom of a door to prevent drafts from entering. They are inexpensive and simple to install, just make sure the material is compatible with your flooring.
Reducing heat loss doesn’t just boost your comfort, it also helps improve your energy efficiency and sustainability: the less heat your room loses, the less energy you need to keep it warm. You can save money and the environment at the same time!
2. Use a heating system
In addition to insulation, installing a heating system in your sunroom can significantly enhance its usability during winter. There are multiple options to consider, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
- Radiant floor heating: This system provides warmth from the ground up, ensuring even heat distribution throughout your sunroom. This is a silent but energy-efficient option; however, the initial cost of installation can be costly, especially when adding it to an existing sunroom.
- Ductless mini-split system: Offering both heating and cooling capabilities, this system is a versatile option for homeowners wanting a year-round solution. There are several benefits but – depending on the type you choose – installation can be pricey.
- Portable space heaters: These are the most cost-effective option with the additional advantage of portability and targeted heating. That said, they might not be so efficient for larger rooms.
- Baseboard heaters: Baseboard heaters are a viable choice for heating your sunroom effectively. Installed along the baseboards of the room, they are relatively easy to install and are pretty affordable compared to other options. They may take longer than the other options. Just watch furniture placement to avoid obstructing airflow.
When selecting a heating system, consider factors like the room’s size, your budget, and how efficient/long-term you want it to be. With the right heating system, your sunroom can serve as a cozy indoor sanctuary during winter.
3. Invest in solar heating
If you’ve ever sat by the window on a bright winter day, you know the incredible warmth you still get from the sun despite the freezing temperatures on the other side of the glass. The sun is powerful! Think about if you could harness this to heat your sunroom.
What if you could harness this heat to help keep your sunroom nice and toasty? You can! Try a solar-powered heating system. Solar is a sustainable and cost-effective heating solution to maintain a warm and cozy atmosphere in your sunroom.
While the initial investment for solar panel installation might seem high, the long-term energy savings can outweigh the upfront costs over time. Solar panels require minimal maintenance and can significantly reduce your reliance on non-renewable energy sources,
4. Install thermal curtains or blinds
Thermal curtains and blinds are an excellent addition to your sunroom for retaining heat during the winter months. Their design, typically featuring a thermal backing or a layer of insulating material, allows them to help reduce heat loss by acting as a barrier between the room and the windows.
These are a quick way to reduce heat loss, especially during cold summer nights and the winter season. From blackout thermal curtains that can provide extra insulation and light control, to thermal blinds that offer a sleek, modern look while still providing excellent insulating properties, there’s an option to suit every preference.
Ask a professional to recommend the best thermal window coverings for your home.
5. Seal any air leaks
Air leaks in a sunroom (or any room for that matter!) are a common issue that can cause a significant waste of energy and money. Just like how a cup or jar with holes can’t stay full, a room with leaks can’t stay warm!
Some of the most common spots for leaks in a sunroom are:
- Windows and doors: These are usually the major culprits for air leaks. Aged and improperly installed windows and doors can let in drafts and cold air. Try installing weatherstripping around the frames and caulking to seal any cracks or gaps.
- Walls and flooring: Check for any cracks or gaps in the walls and flooring. You can use caulking for small gaps and expanding foam for larger ones.
- Electrical outlets: Outlets? Yes! Outlets are typically overlooked, but they are often a source of air leaks. Insert foam gaskets behind your outlets and switch plates to minimize leakage.
- Ceiling attachments: If your sunroom is attached to your house, the connection could be a potential spot for leaks. Take a look and seal any leaks.
Leak-proofing your sunroom (and your entire home) can help to increase your energy efficiency and make it more comfortable to live in. Not sure if you caught all the sneaky leaks? Contact our office and one of our technicians will take a look and seal it for you.
For the best in heating and air care, call Anderson Air.
To heat your sunroom efficiently, it’s helpful to know about heat loss and some solutions to prevent it. Whether you choose insulated windows, a portable heater, thermal curtains or all of the above, each step will help create a cozier, more efficient space for you to enjoy.
For assistance, call Anderson Air. Our team of HVAC professionals is committed to providing you with reliable, high-quality services for all your heating and cooling needs.
Contact us today and we’ll help you make the most out of your sunroom.