If you’ve inherited an older conservatory, or indeed if your own is getting somewhat long in the tooth, you may find your conservatory leaks air, causing unwanted ventilation. This uncontrolled ventilation is commonly known as draughts, and can make it unpleasantly chilly in your conservatory during the winter months.
Draught proofing your conservatory is a quick and easy way to take back control of the temperature in the room. It’s an easy DIY fix, and could make a massive difference to the comfort and usability of your conservatory throughout the winter months. Here’s what you need to know.
Where will draughts occur in a conservatory?
Draughts occur wherever there are unwanted gaps in your conservatory, or where openings to wall cavities and the outside world are not properly sealed. Check for draughts around:
- Electrical sockets
- Pipework leading outside
- Split unit air conditioners
You can check for a draught using the back of your hand, which is more sensitive to temperature and air movement nearby. You could also consider using a candle; holding it in the area of a draught will cause the flame to flicker.
Simple DIY draught proofing for conservatories
Draught proofing in your conservatory doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive or require professional input. You can do a great deal by yourself, using simple, inexpensive tools and equipment. For example:
Use self-adhesive foam strips to seal gaps around frames, or invest little more in higher quality metal draught proofing strips with brushes attached.
Draught proof gaps around the edges using foam or brush strips, and treat gaps at the bottom with a draught excluder. It is a good idea to treat the inside door between your conservatory and main house too, so that when your conservatory is chilly, it is not making the rest of your home cold too.
Vents, pipework and plug sockets
A simple silicon sealant or expanding foam will adequately seal gaps around pipework and plug sockets. If you want to block up a vent that is no longer used, you can buy adjustable vent covers specifically for this purpose.
For more draught proofing advice, there are some good tips available here.
A note about ventilation
If you’ve worked hard to get your conservatory all properly draught proofed, you’ll also need to make sure you have adequate ventilation available to stop condensation and dampness forming. This might sound counter intuitive, but controlled ventilation is a world away from uncontrolled draughts, and is necessary in any room with good air tightness.
Ventilation in a house is usually achieved through the installation of either trickle vents in the windows, or vents in the walls. In a conservatory, you can achieve good ventilation using these same things, or with a roof vent, ceiling fan or opening windows. You can also consider heat recovery extractor fans for energy efficiency, which will dehumidify your conservatory while also helping to provide heat in the winter.