How Should I Heat and Cool My Sunroom?
As its name suggests, a sunroom is all about light. Lots of light. With its large windows and peripheral location off the main building, a sunroom is designed to provide an immersive space where homeowners can enjoy expansive views, surrounded on three sides by the great outdoors. While sunrooms offer a charming space to enjoy a meal, read a book, watch TV, or simply relax and take in the views, they present a challenge when it comes to heating and cooling them. As anyone who has ever entered a sun-exposed vehicle knows, unfiltered sunlight streaming though glass windows can increase interior temperatures dramatically. In colder climates during winter months, solar heating in sunrooms provides much-needed warmth. However, during warm months, it can make them uncomfortably hot. Conversely, a sunroom’s largely exposed position makes it susceptible to heat loss when outside temperatures drop.
Although insulated frames and energy-efficient windows can help mitigate temperature fluctuations inside a sunroom, for year-round comfort a heating and cooling system is required. This is accomplished in one of two ways. Either the sunroom is climate controlled using the home’s existing HVAC system, or it’s climate controlled using an alternative method independent from the rest of the house. The advantages of using an HVAC system to regulate temperatures is that it’s more efficient than alternatives such as window air-conditioning units and space heaters. It also allows homeowners to count the square footage of their sunrooms as part of their home’s total livable space. The downside is that it increases the initial cost of the sunroom and may not be necessary in mild climates.
As mentioned above, alternative methods of heating and cooling include space heaters and window air-conditioning units. While window air conditioners are effective, they are also bulky and require a window frame sturdy enough to support their weight. And space heaters should never be used in an unattended room to reduce the risk of fires. Portable air conditioners can be wheeled into place to provide both warmth and cooling and are reasonably priced. Another alternative is a wall-mounted ductless air conditioner which may cost more but is both powerful and energy efficient.
Since 1989, Pacific Patio has been the go-to company for top-of-the-line, custom-made sunrooms in San Diego, CA, and neighboring communities. If you are thinking about adding a conservatory, solarium, garden room, or porch enclosure to your home in Southern California, contact us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our design specialists, who will be happy to review all of the products and services we offer.