Outdoor Living: Sunrooms

Posted by Rachel Hobble on 9:30 AM on April 6, 2017

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Spring is officially upon us, and with warmer weather and sunny days often comes a new appreciation for outdoor living spaces. Sunrooms provide auxiliary heat, and they also allow room to grow plants and an additional seating area to entertain friends and family. So what do you need to know if you are considering adding a sunroom to your own house?

Energy Efficiency

When considering any additions to your home, energy efficiency is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing heating and cooling bills. Choose a contractor that has experience in energy-efficient house design and construction and emphasize your home’s energy efficiency with them in the planning stage. The first step in doing this is performing a home energy audit and prioritizing the most cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.

Sunroom Orientation

Ideally, when adding a sunroom to your home, it should face due south. If it is 30 degrees east or west of due south it will provide higher solar collection potential, making it a good source of auxiliary energy for your home. This is another cost and energy saving benefit of having a sunroom. Again, consult with your contractor about the orientation of your sunroom during the planning phase and see what is possible with your home’s layout and landscape.

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Walls and Windows

A typical sunroom will have glass walls, but if your sunroom will be in an area that is getting a lot of exposure to the sun, you may want to pursue another option. Installing partial overhead glass roofing or a skylight may be a nice compromise to light the room and let in sunlight for any plants you may have without adding too much extra heat. Additionally, you may choose to install operable windows to ventilate the sunroom and let in some extra sunlight throughout the day.

Ventilation

Many building professionals would recommend  installing vents or a ceiling fan in your sunroom to draw heat into the house more efficiently, but also to have an exhaust fan to blow out hot air when the room gets too warm.

A sunroom can be a lovely medium between indoor and outdoor living, and certainly a worthwhile addition to your home if you work with your contractor on energy efficiency and cost savings. 

At AROCON Design-Build, we are happy to answer any questions you have about whether building a sunroom is right for your needs and the existing layout of your home.

Topics: sunroom, outdoor living