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How to Optimise the Performance of Conservatory Glazing

27th April 2010

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For a conservatory, the choice of glazing used both in the roof and the side frames is critical to comfort levels. In this article, we are concentrating on conservatory roof glazing which can be either polycarbonate or glass.

Polycarbonate is a product that has been credited with a major impact on the development of the mainstream conservatory market. Although sales of glass have been increasing, polycarbonate still accounts for around 50% of roofs.

Polycarbonate is also a strong and forgiving product and easy to handle on site. Its properties are widely known across the sector – for those consumers buying conservatories perhaps with a tight budget, it is still the product of choice.

However, for consumers who have deeper pockets, and particularly those who are second/third time buyers or who have inherited a conservatory and are upgrading it, glass tends to be the roof glazing product of choice.


Ultraframe Conservatory with Conservaglass Subtle Blue

Whichever glazing material is ultimately selected, it’s vital that a mental checklist is completed as the choice of glazing material for your conservatory will be influenced by at least some of the following factors:

  1. Regional climate. The intensity of the sun doesn’t vary much across the length of Great Britain – but what does vary is the amount of sun, which is affected by cloud formation (which is a function of variation’s in geographic features, e.g. sea, hills).
  2. Orientation of the glazing to the sun. We all know that a south facing conservatory receives the most solar gain, while north facing ones gain the least. However overhanging trees or adjoining houses on a southerly facing conservatory could cause it to be in the shade.
  3. Budget. There are huge variations in the cost of glazing materials which can make comparisons difficult for a homeowner. Navigating this complex minefield can be difficult, so it’s best to seek advice from an accredited Ultra Installer.
  4. Aesthetic Choice. For most domestic properties clear, low light reflective glass is the norm in the side windows, while the conservatory roof usually has a wider variety of popular finishes and colours. What is not always understood is that a tinted glazing finish will change the colour of everything in the room below.
  5. Light transmission figures vary enormously across different specifications of polycarbonate and even between the same thickness from differing sheet extruders
  6. Desired environment. Every customer’s requirements are different, and the start point is to find out how the conservatory will be used. This will affect the recommendations that your approved Ultraframe installer makes during the design process.
  7. Ease of maintenance. Pilkington Activ – used in our Conservaglass – is self-cleaning glass and uses the sun’s energy to burn off organic deposits that wash off in the rain. ‘Easy clean’ coatings offer limited lifespans/guarantees due to the orientation and shading.

Ultraframe Conservatory Showing Conservaglass Subtle Blue

Before parting with your hard-earned money, be careful to choose a conservatory installer that is experienced and trustworthy. Different companies will make different claims about the same products – so do some preliminary research.

One installer might claim their conservatory glass blocks out 80% of the sun’s energy, and another might offer a more conservative estimate of 65%. Which product is better? It will be hard for you to tell and make the correct decision.

The best way to overcome this problem is to approach an installer that has been vetted so that you know you’ll be benefitting from a minimum level of expertise and knowledge that will ensure your projects runs without error.

Ultraframe vets all its installers to ensure they meet a minimum standard. We also continue to monitor their performance over time and make sure they have up-to-date knowledge of all the products that we sell before they’re launched.


Find Your Perfect Conservatory Roof Today

Why not take a closer look at our Livinroof and Ultraroof? These designs blend the best benefits of solid and glazed roofs to deliver performance levels that refuse to compromise on light or comfort. They will add value to any home and convert a conservatory instantly into a comfortable and fully usable space that can be enjoyed all year round.


Find an Ultra Installer Near You

Benefit from access to an approved Ultra Installer with the expertise to answer your technical questions today. Use our search tool to discover a trustworthy company near you and ask them about our conservatories, orangeries and replacement conservatory roofs.

Use the enquiry form presented during the search process to request contact from our team directly. We will then call you with further details about the products you are interested in and can provide a free no-obligation quote upon request.

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