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Smart heating for your conservatory

In respect to the various kinds of home extensions available, conservatories are a favourite among most people. Moreover, whilst providing excellent lighting and additional storage space, conservatories are a place of great relaxation as they bridge the divide between the interior living space and the tranquillity of the garden. However, it is important to recognise that the conservatory, although in many ways feeling like a part of the home itself, remains an extension to the house that is exposed to nature`s elements. Therefore, it is crucial that conservatories are built to last, which means that they must be able to endure relative extremes of weather and should be able to exist with relatively little maintenance for many years.

Traditional wooden conservatories remain immensely popular among homeowners, not least for their appealing aesthetic characteristics but also because they are considered to be the strongest and most durable structures of their kind on the market. However, this is not exactly the case. Indeed, aluminium conservatories typically provide greater tensile strength than their wooden counterparts, with some products offering the capability of supporting up to 33% greater snow loads. Furthermore, certain aluminium conservatories are able to withstand a wind load up to 65% greater than some wooden structures can tolerate, whilst it is also the case that aluminium constructions are, in a more general sense, stronger in other respects due to the nature of how their panels are coupled together.

Aluminium conservatories are also very easy to maintain. In fact, they require very little maintenance at all and have the obvious advantage over wooden frames in that they are not as vulnerable to the elements. Indeed, wood must be treated and maintained very carefully against a variety of different problems and, because conservatories draw that line between the indoors and the outdoors, they can be subject to certain problems arising from the way in which they are heated. Condensation, for instance, can be a particularly damaging problem for wooden frame conservatories because the moisture that builds up can attack the wood directly. Mould spores, rot and dry rot are familiar problems with these structures, whereas only mould will affect an aluminium conservatory in which case, it it does, the treatment is usually straightforward because the mould will not penetrate the aluminium as it would with other materials.

Nevertheless, it remains important to be able to properly heat the conservatory, whatever materials it comprises. Indeed, traditional heating such as radiators and standalone electric heaters tend to emit heat into the room inefficiently. With radiators especially, the main concentration of height is from just below head height to ceiling height, which has the unfortunate consequence of producing cold down draughts that cool the main living areas. The effect of this is that the radiators need to work harder to re-heat this cooler air and so temperature controls are normally set to a higher value than ought to be necessary and more power is consumed in providing an adequate heat. Underfloor heating, in contrast, slowly releases heat from floor height to just above head height, which is a significantly more efficient process because the incidence of down draughts is virtually negated and the heat is delivered to the optimum area of the room.

Electric underfloor heating mats are perfect for use in the conservatory, as they can be cut to fit and are easily positioned beneath the overlay, which can comprise just about anything from tiles to wood. Finally, although underfloor heating does not overheat the room, a bathroom mirror demister is an excellent product for ensuring that mirrors remain steam-free.

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