Ask The Expert: Can I use my structure all year round?

Published on 26th April 2017
#asktheexpert
With modern glass and aluminium structures, the days where conservatories were abandoned, along with the flip flops, at the end of every August, only to be reopened in time for a Spring cleaning, are far behind us; now you can be comfortable in your glass structure every day of the year.

Apropos Barton 0218

Our resident Sales Manager; Paul Schofield, tells us how.

Will a modern conservatory affect insulation within client’s homes this winter?

“Apropos’ bespoke range of glass and aluminium structures have a far lower rate of heat loss than your average uPVC conservatory; with U-Values of 1.59 which is the equivalent to A rated; meaning that if you remain energy efficient throughout the rest of your home, your conservatory will not become detrimental to your home’s insulation during winter.”

As we begin to enter the winter months how can clients ensure they still get the most from their conservatory?

“Heat, and lots of it; like any other room within your home, your conservatory will need to be heated. Although our specialist glasses; which work to keep as much heat as possible inside, where you need it; and thermal break technology, which ensures the aluminium within your structure does not conduct the cold from the aluminium on the outside of said structure, will help to maintain a comfortable temperature within your glass extension, it is best to fit some form of heating into the area.

If you are planning an independent form of heating, as opposed to continuing your home’s central heating into the area, I recommend under floor heating; the benefits of which are unparalleled for use in glass and aluminium structures or extensions.”

When planning a conservatory what main issues should be dealt with concerning the winter season?

“The main thing to consider during the planning stages of your bespoke Apropos structure, when factoring in the changing climate during the winter months, is to ensure a steep pitch of around 20 degrees is present within your roof design.

This is best put into practice when choosing a lean-to or reverse lean-to conservatory, for your home, which incorporate pitched roofs into their standard designs. These steeper roofs are much better for snow loading as the quantity of snow which can accumulate upon the roof amounts to far less weight.

Another simple tip if you are lucky enough to have a compatible host building is to plan for a south facing glass extension; which will attract much more of the day’s natural sunlight even when the sun is low in the sky during winter.”

Low-quality folding, sliding, doors can often lead to a draughty winter; what precautions are taken by Apropos to ensure that their doors are weather tight all year round?

“Apropos uses the latest technology and engineering available in order to ensure that our doors are some of the highest quality available on the market today. Meaning, unlike so many of our competitors, our doors are as weather proof and airtight as your faithful French doors ever were.

To ensure that no draughts find their way into your home we use specialist brush seals;  which nullify wind; ensuring your home remains cosy on the harshest of winter evenings, alongside compression gaskets which will keep your doors airtight.

We also recommend that you design your doors with a 15mm down step; which will further help you avoid draughts, and whilst this down step will be invisible aesthetically, it will help to keep your doors weather tight and deter debris from accumulating along their runners.”

Snow and other debris often builds up throughout the winter months; what precautions are taken by Apropos to avoid leaks and damage to structures over this period?

“As mentioned earlier the best protection you can provide your glass and aluminium structure with, from the snow and ice, is a pitched roof; of around 20 degrees, which will help to stop snow and other debris from building up on the roof of your structure.

Other options, when choosing a flat-roofed design, are slightly more labour intensive and far less engineering is needed. Simply maintain your roof with a brush or mop each time snow builds there; it is highly unlikely the snow can do any damage but during cold weather drainage channels can be moved and therefore it is best to take precautions.

It is also a great idea to fit nets within your external drainage system, especially if your conservatory is surrounded by a lot of foliage as these will catch leaves which can then be easily removed and blockages avoided.”

Will stand alone glass structures become superfluous throughout winter?

“Absolutely not; as with any Apropos structure you will need to arrange some under floor, or central, heating but your stand alone glass structure will be just as warm as the rest of your home all through winter.

Also, it is worth noting that, the heating you install within your glass extension or stand-alone structure will not easily escape; thanks once again to our specialist glasses and thermal break; which acts to break the connection between the aluminium within your structure and thus reduce the heat loss caused by the metal on the outer area of your conservatory.”

For more information on designing your bespoke Apropos structure please click here to arrange your free, no obligation, design consultation or, to speak with someone directly, call; 0161 342 8200.

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