The very time of year when we should make the most of a conservatory, many of us abandon them because they’re too cold. Instead, we huddle indoors in overcrowded living rooms under artificial light. The poor light can frustrate creative hobbies like sewing and reading too, so we resign ourselves to a diet of re-runs of repeats of TV programmes.
For many in Britain, the short days of winter are literally depressing. Seven percent of us suffer ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (SAD) to a degree considered clinically serious. Millions more suffer winter blues to some extent. For many, it begins at the end of October and may not clear up until the beginning of March – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/. Lack of sunlight is one cause, so being able to enjoy time in the conservatory where natural light is brightest can be hugely beneficial.
Large numbers of us also have low levels of vitamin D – a risk factor for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, obesity, bone problems and susceptibility to infectious diseases. A poorly insulated conservatory is a wasted opportunity to keep the family fit and well all year round.
The Romans were equipping their light airy villas with underfloor heating 2,000 years ago but few of us can afford that luxury today. Burning more gas or electricity is a poor solution.
We don’t usually think about insulation when we buy sofas and armchairs – we should. Much modern furniture is so lightly built that no matter how many blankets we wrap over us, the cold still penetrates from below. A heavy throw, even a duvet over an armchair before we sit in it can make an enormous difference to our comfort.
Prevention is better than cure
Above all, there’s no sense in letting heat escape wastefully through all those big windows and roof lights. Good quality double glazing adds little to the total cost of a conservatory build and for advice about double glazing in Hereford, try a company such as firmfix.co.uk.
The point of a conservatory is to conserve heat, hence the name. Sunlight, even on cold days, can raise the temperature of a greenhouse to a surprisingly balmy degree, helping us save plenty of money on both heating and lighting. The real problem isn’t warming a conservatory up – it’s keeping it that way.