Blinds don't just look pretty
Conservatories like yours are lovely places in which to relax, enjoy the view of your garden, entertain friends and let children and grandchildren play.
However, your comfort is spoiled by temperature extremes from very cold in winter to unbearably hot in spring and summer. Strong glare puts strain on your eyes whilst expensive furnishings fade alarmingly fast, and your plants wither and die.
You can help overcome these problems by installing quality blinds. Thermal fabrics make conservatories a "room for all seasons" by reducing the massive temperature variations that occur, eliminating harmful glare and preventing UV damage to your furniture.
Enhance the ambiance of your conservatory and contact us for a free consultation.
Enjoy the benefits of blinds for conservatories.
Solar Heat Gain
Solar Heat Gain – temperatures above “comfort zone” & unbearably hot in spring & summer, often 100 – 130deg. F when the sun is at its highest is summer. The room feels like an oven & is unusable in the daytime. With the amount of glass overhead, there is no shade to escape under, resulting in extreme discomfort & an inability to use the room. South facing conservatories may suffer the most with exposure all day to harsh sunlight.
Roof blinds are the main solution to this problem, with side blinds only of secondary importance. Our best quality thermal roof roller blinds will reduce the temperature by up to 40% in south facing conservatories, from over 100 degrees F, potentially to low 60’s F bringing the temperature back within the body’s comfort zone, to a lovely level where the room is a pleasure to relax in-even on the hottest days. All other blind types that we supply will reduce the heat build up, but not by this amount: it is critical that you identify your issues & select the right blinds for you.
More about Heat Gain
Solar Glare – the conservatory feels too bright, causing eyestrain & possibly headaches. People with blue eyes are more prone to eyestrain, but by no means exclusively. Other health issues arise from too much sunlight
Roof blinds contribute around 80% to the problem of glare, with the remaining 20% caused by the sides. The main factor is the time of year, or more specifically, the angle of the sun striking your conservatory windows. During the months of November, December & January, the sun is at its lowest & hence streams in more through the side windows & directly into your eyes, although it is much weaker than the rest of the year, & you can swap chairs to escape the direct sunlight! Hence this is when side blinds become more important to provide shade & protection, although often the roof blinds alone solve the majority of the problem, enabling you to economise & do without side blinds.
More about Solar Glare
Heat Loss in Winter – Your heat from radiators, under floor heating, or portable heaters just rises vertically, & escapes straight through the roof, leaving the conservatory chilly & unwelcoming. Modern glass types significantly help the problem, by keeping the heat in for longer, but they are not the complete answer.
Good thermal blinds reflect the warm air down, both physically making the room warmer, but also psychologically, making the conservatory feel cosier. Just like wearing an extra layer of clothing, the blinds create a thermal layer between the glass & the back of the fabric. This is where the back of the fabric comes into its own, in making a blind, a truly thermal blind.
More about Heat Loss
Furnishings Fade Alarmingly Fast – Furniture, furnishings, materials, fabrics, colours, flooring all fade eventually, even the best quality Amtico flooring for example is not immune. The effects are more dramatic in the summer, when the sun is highest in the sky, at its strongest & most damaging, but fading is an on-going process: you cannot stop it but you can really slow it down. As 90% of fading is caused by sunlight through windows, & most of the damage is sunlight through the conservatory roof, the best solution is to prevent, or reduce, penetration through the roof.
Reflective fabrics are critical in roof blinds, as the thermal backing not only reduces the damaging effects of UV light on your furnishings, but also protects the face fabric of the blind itself from fading. Basically, the more light you reflect & block, the more protection you get, but most people do not want black out fabrics, but prefer light filtering fabrics, so there is a degree of compromise. Click here to see how our Solar Energi fabric filters sunlight for the optimum solution to problems of fading. More info on technicalities of fading, click here. Bold colours (eg reds, blues, purples) are best avoided as these are more subject to rapid fading, unless these are in the less expensive furnishings eg cushions, which are inexpensive to replace.
More about Fading Furniture
Caring For Your Plants
Plants Withering & Dying – Most plants do not flourish in conservatories, as they, like us, cannot cope with the extremes of temperature & light levels during the year.
Blinds will help control heat & light levels, but there needs to be a significant reduction of solar radiation in south facing conservatories in particular, if plants are to do well. As with all thermal issues, the roof blinds are key (see Roof Blinds section for more info), & the side blinds far less influential in the health of your plants. However, even with the very best roof roller blinds fitted, you still need to choose your plant types carefully.
More about Conservatory Plants
Privacy from Prying Eyes – issues vary widely. Some conservatories are totally private, whilst others are overlooked from all sides & above! Some people care greatly about & value privacy, whilst others are easy going & prefer not to have side blinds interrupting their view into the garden. Even when totally private, the darkness of night can be disturbing to some people as someone just could be looking in! This is the only issue where side blinds generally have more importance than roof blinds, unless your conservatory is overlooked by a neighbour’s upper windows.
There are numerous types of side blinds available, from Perfect Fit framed roller, venetian & pleated blinds offering almost total privacy, to less obtrusive, standard pleated blinds, wood venetians, verticals or romans; which do have gaps at the edges but no frames, thereby maximising light into the conservatory when you want it. To understand which blind is right for you, please view our Gallery pictures.
Conservatory - Look & Feel
The “look” or “feel” of your conservatory – due to the costs of roof blinds in particular, most people only invest in thermal roof blinds when there is a justification for having them, ie to address real issues. However blinds also “dress” your conservatory, & add your personality to what is otherwise a just a plain glass & brick structure.
Either installing roof or side blinds, or both, can dramatically change the appearance & appeal of your conservatory, from a cold uninviting glass structure to a cosy, warm & pleasurable room all year round. Different types & styles of blinds appeal to different people, or suit varying conservatory styles. The important question to ask yourself is what type of furnishings do you prefer: plain & simple? Fussy & pretty? Perfect & tight? Casual & relaxed? Are the blinds to blend away (eg neutral roller), attract attention (eg colourful pleated), or be in keeping with the period of your Victorian house & traditional timber conservatory (eg Pinoleum)? More information on Aesthetics, click here.
Energy Efficiency – the windows & glass type in your conservatory will significantly affect the energy efficiency, along with the quality of build, insulation, & draught proofing. The other contributory factor is blinds & the additional insulation that they afford.
The best thermal, energy efficient, fabrics are aluminium foil backed roller fabrics & honeycomb with aluminium inner backed, pleated fabrics. By reducing expensive heat loss, most of which is through the glass or polycarbonate conservatory roof, you will be able to turn your artificial heating down or off. This in turn reduces the amount of fossil fuels used in your home & the carbon dioxide output into the atmosphere & carbon footprint. More info on Energy Efficiency. Roof Roller blinds.
Cleaning & Your Health
Cleaning & Health Issues - Your blinds need to resist clinging dust & mildew.
As they are more exposed to the elements than other rooms, there is bound to be more dust around & higher levels of moisture may lead to the development of mould & mildew if ventilation is inadequate.
More about Cleaning Blinds & Protecting Your Health