How to keep your glazed garden room or orangery feeling cool

Without a doubt, this is an issue that homeowners and property developers will be most concerned about; keeping their glazed extension feeling cool and comfortable at different times of the year…

The ’80s was a neon-lit decade where power ballads and big hair ruled. Along with The Wonder Years and mix-tapes came the rise of uPVC conservatories, which we filled with rattan chairs and Swiss cheese plants in brown ceramic pots. 

With so much glazing, homeowners soon realised that their conservatory felt warm and stuffy in the sunshine, making it an uncomfortable room to sit in during the warmer weather. 

Unfortunately, whilst it was a cheaper material, the uPVC also tended to date and turn yellow which left the conservatory looking tired and unappealing. Although we loved the idea of extending our properties with a room that made us feel more connected to our neatly manicured gardens, these issues caused the traditional conservatory to fall out of style. 

While conservatories are no longer a popular choice, there has been a rise in homeowners opting for contemporary timber-framed garden rooms and orangeries in their place. As designs and construction techniques are constantly being developed and improved, it is now easy to incorporate features into the extension which can help to keep the room feeling cool. 

Here comes the sun…

A well-designed orangery or garden room should provide you with a bright and spacious room for you and your family to enjoy together. The greatest benefit of having a new garden room or orangery is the natural light that will now stream into your home through the glazing. You’ll start to enjoy your space in new ways, like sitting in the sunshine with your favourite book and a Pimms, or watching the dappled light reflected from a garden fountain dance across your walls. Unfortunately, this increase in the sunshine can result in high temperatures with heat being trapped inside, and for many years people would have blinds fitted to keep the heat out of their conservatories.

While blinds are effective in keeping the room cool, it can be difficult to find ones that are the right size as the shape of glazing in orangeries and garden rooms will vary depending on the design. They can also appear bulky and ruin the clean, neat lines of your extension while blocking out the views. 

As an alternative to heavy blinds, you can opt for glazing with a solar glare coating instead which will help to reflect the solar heat off the glass and away from your garden room or orangery. It’s a particularly good glazing choice if your extension is south facing, as it reduces glare and heat build-up in the room while maintaining a high light transmission. 

When looking at different solar coatings, you want to ensure that it will not counteract the health and wellbeing benefits gained from natural light. This is why we use SN70/35, which is a neutral glass that lets in a very high level of visible natural light while reflecting 65% of the solar heat, reducing glare and UV.

Promoting ventilation…

It’s hard to relax and enjoy your beautiful new garden room if it leaves you feeling hot and bothered during the warmer weather. Keeping your room well ventilated is one of the best ways to maintain a comfortable temperature, especially in kitchen extensions as cooking can generate steam and lingering food odours. 

While fans can be big and bulky, and air conditioning can be expensive to run, roof vents are highly effective at naturally circulating air around your glazed extension. 

Orangeries and garden rooms should help you to reconnect with the outside, letting your inside and outside spaces merge into one large area. Surely there’s no greater joy than opening up a set of French doors and walking out onto your patio from the kitchen with a bowl of fresh strawberries in hand? They also help to let in the breeze, and larger extensions will include more than one set of doors and plenty of windows so that fresh air can come into the room from different angles. 

For those worried about security concerns or drafts, vents fitted into the roof are highly effective at encouraging cross ventilation in the room by drawing the warmer air up and out without having to open any doors and windows. It’s recommended that you choose vents which can be remotely operated with thermostatic and rain controls that allow the ventilators to close up in the event of an unexpected shower while nobody is at home.