Frequently Asked Questions – Source Sunshine Rooms, Inc
Please take a moment to review these FAQ and chances are most of your questions about sunrooms and solariums will be answered.
Q. I want a wide-open view of the outdoors, including the sky, but I´m worried about overheating in the summer months. How do I control the heat gain?
A. You actually have a couple of options or you may use a combination of the ideas below:
1. Shades. Sunshine Rooms come with a built-in shade track. This lets you install our comfort glide shade system quickly and easily. These decorative shades (over 60 fabrics to choose from) are internal and can be raised in the wintertime to maximize the sun´s warmth. In the summertime the shades would be lowered and the reflective backing on the shades reflects most of the sun´s heat. The name “comfort glide” shade system is an appropriate name because the shades can be raised and lowered as needed very easily. They can even be motorized with an optional remote control. Please see our Accessories pages to learn more about our “comfort glide” shade systems.
2. We offer three different grades of high performance glass. With today´s Low-E technologies we can provide glass that actually reflects the sun rays in the summertime and in the winter it reflects the heat back into the room. It´s absolutely amazing how successful this glass works and it remains virtually clear, which allows you to see the great outdoors the way it was meant to be. Our most popular high performance glass is LOE Plus SilverCoat 366. and LOE Plus Sun. SilverCoat 240 and SilverCoat 272 both work very well in reducing heat build-up. SilverCoat 240 has a grey appearance and SilverCoat 272 is even clearer than 366.
Note from Daggett Builders, Inc : Our model solarium was built using the LOE Plus SilverCoat 366, Sunshine Rooms’ most popular option. We left our solarium open all summer and fall so you could go inside and see for yourself how comfortable it was with just the two awning windows and a small fan. The 366 blocks 98% of the harmful UV rays - better for you and your plants! The R-Value of this glass is 4.2 one of the highest R values in the industry. You can enjoy the sun without the glare, without the insects, and without overheating.
Now that it is winter and since Nobleboro Antique Exchange has so nicely decorated our sunroom, we locked the door. However, you are welcome to visit it, just call 207 354 6177. You will find that despite the fact that it is not heated and is cool, it is still very comfortable, cozy, and draft free.
For those of you who want to get more heat from low rays of the winter sun, you do have the option of using the Silvercoat 272 on the sidewalls of your winter garden and the LOE Plus 366 only the glass roof. Please keep in mind that you may need additional venting in the summer to keep this room comfortable.
3. Proper ventilation is also an important aspect of a properly designed sunroom/solarium. By opening the windows in the front wall and exhausting warm air through a thermostatically controlled exhaust fan you are able to keep the sunroom from overheating.
NOTE: These methods are very successful in keeping sunrooms from overheating. However, if you desire the room to be cool, like your house when it´s 100 degrees outside, you will have to cool the sunroom just like you have to cool your house. Our sunrooms with insulated glass (standard) and shades can be cooled efficiently with a small window A/C unit or the extension of air ducts from your current house. A small separate system is more advantageous than duct extensions. Remember, even a traditional style room must be air conditioned in the summer if you expect it to be cool. See our Accessories pages for more information on heating and cooling units.
Q. What will hail do to my sunroom?
A. Most hailstorms will not break the glass. Our standard glass is tempered over tempered. It is very strong and combined with the slope of the roof will cause most hail to bounce off. Large hail (golf ball and larger) may break some glass. However, if this occurs, you simply add the replacement cost to your insurance claim because your house roof will be completely destroyed. A good example of the strength of tempered glass is how automobile glass fares in a hailstorm. The entire car can be covered with hail dents and dings but the glass is usually OK. Insurance companies are experienced with tempered glass and will actually pay out fewer claims compared to composition roofing materials.
Q. How will I heat the room in the winter?
A. A sunroom will heat itself during the sunlight hours. Many people feel that wintertime is the best time to enjoy their room. The sun´s warmth is appreciated more than ever during a long cold winter. To retain the heat, you may use a concrete, tile or brick floor. If your home is brick or stone it will work even better. You will need some type of extra heat for those really cold nights or periods where the sun refuses to come out. Most people utilize a small heat/ac unit much like what you see in a motel room. It can be controlled by a thermostat allowing you to regulate the temperature within the room. Our comfort glide shade system is quite effective at providing “movable insulation” for those really cold nights. You may also extend your existing ductwork into the room. A spa or hot tub works great to provide that extra heat. Just raise the lid and the heat loss from the water heats the room nicely. Let the sun come up and your winter garden will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Q. How do I control the temperature swings in my sunroom?
A. First you must determine what temperature ranges and swings are acceptable to you. Most people prefer temperatures between 65 degrees and 80 degrees. In winter we prefer warmer and summer cooler temperatures are preferred. The ideal situation is to create a heat and air system that can quickly get the temperature of the room into your “comfort” range. You really don´t care if the temperature drops to 43 degrees at 2 a.m. and it reached 120 degrees on a July afternoon while you´re at work. Most plants enjoy a fairly wide temperature range. Design your system to stay within these maximum ranges for your particular plants. Next you´ll want to provide auxiliary heating/cooling so you can quickly get the room´s temperature to “your comfort zone.” This can be accomplished with the use of Accessories.