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Old 10-18-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
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Winterizing a sunroom


Friends of mine have a sunroom off the back of their house. It is a fully finished room, vaulted ceilings (the peak is about 12 feet). As far as I know, there's no insulation anywhere in the room. The walls have large vertical windows in every other stud bay (about 12 windows total). There are 2 skylights. There is a gas fireplace in the back of the room (furthest from the house) for heat.

Normally, they just close the area off with a thermal curtain and don't use the room in the winter. They would like to leave it open. What's the best way to insulate the room without taking away from the look of the open oak framing? Maybe something that could be removed for the warmer months?

Thanks.

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Old 10-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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Winterizing a sunroom


You don't mention what type of windows or skylights they have. How old and what technology? Was this a converted porch?
This might be a three season porch no matter what you do.
You can start with insulating the space, but without more details, I wouldn't do anything.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #3
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Winterizing a sunroom


Thanks for the reply. It was never a porch, a finished room right from the start. Other than the high number of windows and lack of insulation, it is completely an interior room.

The windows are about 20-25 years old, not sure how many panes. I believe they are the ones that swing open as you turn the crank. I'll have to check on the skylights.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:48 AM   #4
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Winterizing a sunroom


A mid '80's-'90 house would probably have simple double pane windows, maybe first generation Low e. Insulating the ceiling and walls will conserve heat. Is there a secondary heat source, connected to the house system? It doesn't seem it's part of the house with the need of a thermal curtain.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:20 AM   #5
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Winterizing a sunroom


The only heat source is the gas fireplace towards the back. It is right off the kitchen with a wide opening (about 6 feet). They usually just put up the curtain because they know the room is not insulated and the heat from the kitchen goes right out the window (literally).

I am thinking of something that may be removable, that wouldn't look too terrible, so they could keep the open framing look for 3 seasons, but give them some insulation in the winter and be able to use the room without the heat getting out so easily.

Maybe rigid foam with some sort of paneling glued to it (so it doesn't look horrible)? Anything else they could do?

It's a mid-70s house, the sunroom was finished in about '85 or so. I'll try and get some pictures.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:14 AM   #6
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Winterizing a sunroom


Install exterior French doors that can fully open.
I don't understand the logic of having a room on a house without heat or no way of closing it off without it looking like some entrance to a freezer.
If it's part of the house, insulate it and put permanent heat in it. If it's not, provide a way of isolating it in a traditional way.
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