Posted by: livesunny | December 22, 2009

Choosing a Sunroom for your home – The Glass

If you’re considering adding a new Sunroom to your home, there are a lot of things that can make a big difference in your overall enjoyment and the usability of that room.  A little consideration of your wants & needs will help you find the best choice for your new addition.  With so many choices & so many manufacturers out there, a little education can go a long way as well.

The first question that you really need to ask yourself is what you want to do with the room and figure out what your expectations are.  Most Sunroom manufacturers offer a year-round Sunroom but many also offer what’s called a three-seasons room.  The three-seasons room is going to be single pane glass and often will have less insulation than the year round rooms.  If you want a room that you can use comfortably in the middle of the summer or winter, you’ll want to go with a year-round room that has insulated glass.  You’ll also want to consider adding a HVAC system to your new room.   Sunrooms have completely different heating & cooling needs than the rest of your house so your best option is going to be having a separate unit or zone just for the room.  We offer a separate Heat Pump for most of rooms that has it’s own thermostat that can be left on year round to keep your room comfortable.

Every Sunroom company out there has it’s own glass and everyone is going to discuss how great this glass is.  For the most part, it is great but most of it is NOT special.  The very large majority of Sunroom glass is going to have a few things in common.  Unless you choose a single-pane three-season room, the glass in your room is going to be insulated.  Insulated glass is two pieces of glass that have a spacer in between them (typically some kind of metal) which is then sealed as one unit.  One of the biggest differences in your new Sunroom is what KIND of glass is used.  Most companies have a special name for their glass but often, this “special” glass is just standard clear insulated glass.  Some companies will use tinted glass or Low-E glass to help with heat transfer.  As about U-Value and find out how the glass actually performs.  Four Seasons Sunrooms has a great resource to show typical Glass properties at http://www.fourseasonssunrooms.com/Glass/comparisons.aspx.  You want to make sure that the glass you’re getting is going to help keeping your room comfortable.  Glass that has a low U-value & high R-Value is going to make conditioning your room much easier.

Finally, ask about the warranty.  Everyone knows that sometimes, things just happen.  What happens if your glass fails and fogs up?  What happens if you decide to sell your house and want to assure the new buyer that they won’t have to worry about replacing expensive failed glass?  Many companies out there offer a “Lifetime” warranty but the details are what matters.  Most of these warranties only have full coverage for a few years and you will have to pay something for that glass if it all fails in five years (note:  this is pretty unlikely with any good quality glass).  Make sure that the company you’re considering is proud of their product and is willing to stand behind it with a real warranty.  Four Seasons Sunrooms covers their glass with a lifetime warranty that covers the glass at 100% for 20 years and is transferable to a new homeowner.  A warranty like this gives you more piece of mind and adds even more to your home’s value for a potential buyer.

So remember, when you’re looking to add a new Sunroom addition to your home, find out what you’re really getting.  Don’t just take the salesperson’s word for it, ask for some literature and see how they really compare.  Have them give you a demonstration of the glass with a heat lamp to see how it performs.  Last, don’t forget to read up on the company and see how they compare.

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