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If you're lucky enough to have a conservatory in your house, you'll know just how pleasant it can be during the summer. As the sun pours in and floods the room with light and warmth, it can be the perfect place to relax; serving as an in-between room joining the garden with the home.
But come winter, it's a different story:
While it can still provide a relaxing place to sit, it'll more than likely be cold. Uncomfortably cold.
Many of the heating options you have will be costly and inconvenient, but can you use a wood burner in your conservatory?
Well, it turns out you can...
Cold conservatory? A wood burner can be a great way to heat up a conservatory during the cold winter months, but there are some considerations you need to think about first.
Heating your conservatory
You may have experienced the bite of a cold winter when you head into your conservatory during the colder months. In fact, it can be so chilly that you might abandon the conservatory altogether during the winter.
But you don't have to. If you want to heat your conservatory, there are several options available to you, allowing you to use the room throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside.
So, aside from sitting beneath dozens of blankets and wearing tons of layers, how can you feel warm and toasty in your conservatory?
- Extend the central heating system in your home and add a new radiator in the conservatory.
- Use an electric heater to warm the conservatory up as and when needed.
- Install a wood burning stove or log burner in your conservatory.
The option you choose will depend on one (or both) of two things:
1. Your budget.
2. The amount of work you want to do in the house.
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?
Option one is to install a new radiator in the conservatory and connect it to the rest of your home's central heating system. This will of course provide the conservatory with warmth whenever the heating system is on, keeping it warm along with the rest of the house.
However, installing central heating in a conservatory is not always a simple job. You'll probably have to get a plumber to run new hot water pipes through your walls, before fitting a brand new radiator in the room.
Unfortunately, this means a lot of upheaval and stress as your home becomes a building site for some time as the work is being done. And that's not to mention the expense of installing a radiator and pipework – on top of the fee you'll have to pay a plumber. Once it's up and running, the extra heating will also mean a bigger energy bill.
Perhaps not the best option if you're on a limited budget and don't want much work to be done.
As an alternative to installing central heating in your conservatory, you could consider investing in an electric heater. This would be a good option if you use the room only occasionally, allowing you to heat it up as and when you intend to use it.
However, with energy prices ever increasing, this could prove to be a drain on your finances.
A third option is to install a wood burning stove in the conservatory. This would allow you to heat the room in an environmentally friendly and efficient way.
Of course, this might involve some work to install the wood burner, particularly if a flue needs to be put in place. But after the initial outlay, one of the great benefits of a wood burner is that it can help to save money when compared to other forms of heating, such as central heating.
Installing a wood burner in your conservatory
Decided to install a wood burner in your conservatory? Great choice!
Once the initial purchase and set up is taken care of, you can look forward to a warm room with an eye-catching focal point, and you'll also save money on heating bills.
As with most home renovations and improvements, there are a few considerations you need to make before you buy your wood burner.
Some of the things you'll need to think about are:
- The size of the stove (and heat output) you need, which will depend on the size of your conservatory. A good way to easily determine the required stove power is to calculate the volume of the room, and divide by 14. So (length x width x height) ÷ 14 = required stove KW output.
- Whether you have the space to install the heater – as you'll need to leave plenty of space around it to avoid things burning or catching fire, and to allow plenty of space between the burner and the heat sensitive glass of the conservatory.
- Where to place the wood burner, and therefore where the flue pipe* will be installed.
- UK building regulations also need to be considered – to conform, you'll have to keep the stove on a non-flammable hearth which is at least 50mm thick. This will prevent your conservatory floor from becoming scorched or burned by the hot stove.
- The hearth should also extend at least 300mm in front of the stove if it is loaded via a front door. Tile or stone are good options for hearths, and can add to the decorative feature of your stove.
*Note that some conservatories may need a twin wall flue pipe, which is double insulated to avoid the exterior getting too hot and causing a fire or damage to the conservatory.
If you are thinking of installing a wood burner in your conservatory, always consult with a professional and allow a HETA registered technician to carry out the work.
Use your conservatory all year round
Installing a wood burner in your conservatory is a great way to ensure that you can use the room all year round.
Often in winter, people neglect the conservatory as it is seen as more of a 'sun room', but a source of heat can make it an extremely comfortable place to be throughout even the coldest months.
Got a conservatory that you never use during the winter? Consider a wood burning stove to warm the room up so you can use it all year round.