A solarium or sunroom is a room in your home built largely of glass which exposes sunlight into the entire space while being protected from the outdoors. These windowed structures can also be referred to as a solarium.
The difference between the two is that a solarium has windows on the ceiling, whereas a sunroom has windows on the walls only. Solariums are sometimes used in commercial areas such as restaurants and hospitals so that people can enjoy the benefits of the sun without being exposed to the elements. These rooms evolved from people wanting to enjoy their porch or patio all year round without dealing with harsh weather or mosquitoes. These rooms are becoming more and more popular with house hunters for many reasons.
Is a solarium or a sunroom right for you?
Benefits of solarium or sunroom:
· An ideal office space, children’s play area, home gym, anything you want really!
· Great for plants as
· Incorporates the feel of being outdoors without bugs, dirt and weather – also great for allergies!
· Improves your home’s curb appeal and value by adding square footage and uniqueness to your home.
· Sun means vitamin D and vitamin D levels can help improve your mood, boost your brain function, and improve your overall well-being.
· Perfect place to relax, enjoy nature and read a book after a long day at work.
· Great for watching birds and other forms of wildlife.
· Location, location, location! If you are living here in Ottawa, it is great to have your sunroom south facing as southern exposure receives the most sunlight each day. Keep in mind that it may get very hot on summer days and you may need some sort of cooling system. Check out some of our cooling tips later on in this article.
· An eastern exposure will ease your cooling needs by providing sun in the morning and shade the rest of the day. This is awesome for your plants, but may not the best for you if you work a 9-5. A western orientation will expose you to harsh afternoon sun that will need to be shaded.
· A northern exposure will provide lower levels of light and partial shade most of the day. This can cause the room to be too cool and damp.
· Vinyl is the most popular material for supports in a sunroom. It is affordable, requires minimal upkeep, and offers the best in overall strength and insulation.
· Make sure that there are windows or doors in the solarium that can open to optimize air flow.
· If possible, install a ceiling fan to add air circulation.
· Choose window treatments that can be raised and lowered if needed. Remote control blinds and shades are available for high ceilings.
· If needed, the windows in your sunroom can actually be tinted to keep some of the heat from the sun out of the room.
· Keep in mind – because of the direct sunlight, you won’t want to place any clear glass or crystal objects in way of anything flammable. If the light hits the glass at the wrong angle, it might act like ants under a magnifying glass.
· Install weather stripping around windows and doors to prevent warm air from leaking out around the window frames.
· A clear layer of plastic can prevent warm air from escaping through the windows in your sunroom.
· Window tinting is a great idea for both keeping your sunroom warm and cool. Tinting will still allow sunlight to warm the space, but will not let the solar energy escape.
· A ceiling fan is also good for both heating and cooling your sunroom. By circulating the air in your sunroom, a fan can push warm air that rises down into the living space.
Are you looking for a home with one of these special rooms? Give us a call, let’s find your dream home!