The best option comes down to U

Winston Osborne, technical director at Atlas Glazed Roof Solutions, looks at how to show customers that a conservatory can be more energy efficient than they may have thought.

Energy efficiency remains near the top of the news agenda with sky-high energy bills starting to bite across Europe. As a result of this, householders may be more likely invest to ensure that they can save on their energy bills.

Recent research from YouGov has shown that UK consumers are enthusiastic about purchasing sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly products.

Customers looking for a new conservatory or roof lantern may well be factoring in energy efficiency and there are sure to be householders asking themselves how energy efficient their existing glazed extension is. Homeowners can find that it is too cold in the winter and that one of the main problem areas for heat loss is the roof.

Given the potential heat-loss from a glazed roof, it is worth looking for the roofing systems which demonstrate the maximum heat efficiency in order to give customers the reassurance of knowing that they aren’t losing heat – and money – from a less efficient system.

Upgrading to a triple glazed conservatory lantern roof will result in even more savings on energy bills over the life of the extension – providing that the triple glazing is specified correctly and has the optimum spacer size.

With the recent changes in Part L of the Building Regulations and a focus on permitted ‘U-values’ of various building materials, U values again are the main talking point within the industry.

The U-values of glazing products, measured in watts per metre square kelvin (W/m²K), may well be familiar to most installers – but consumers are becoming savvy in relation to heat loss and it may mean it’s time to look at different products to get ahead of the game.

When recommending a roof lantern for a customer it’s important to be aware of these U-values and look for a system that maximises glass, is thermally broken and offers triple glazing to the best specifications.

The products offered by Atlas, for example, maximise the use of glass which means they already offer better thermal protection due to the superior qualities of the glazing over the slim thermally broken aluminium rafters which can be much wider on other conservatory roofs.

It’s also important to look at the specifications of the triple glazing as this can make a significant difference to the product that you are offering to your customer in terms of energy efficiency.

Although standard U-values for a 28mm triple glazed unit is sitting around 0.9 W/m2k at best, there is the option to vastly reduce this using 44mm triple glazing offered by Atlas. With this in place, on selected systems, the centre pane U-value of the glazing can come down to a market-leading 0.5 W/m2k.

The 16mm spacer with 4mm of glass (x3) creates a barrier which nearly halves the U-values compared to narrower triple glazed products on the market. The UK-manufactured lanterns also have a thermal break in the ridge, ringbeams and rafter system reducing the U-value of that product.

Customers aren’t only looking at efficiency so if you can offer them a more secure and safe roof system, that should offer even more reassurance.

When weighing up the merits of roof lanterns – in terms of security – be sure to look for a system that offers safety and security testing results.

Atlas is the first company to achieve Secured by Design status for aluminium roof lanterns which means an even more impressive level of security. Atlas products have been successfully tested to: STS 222 BR1 – which covers requirements for burglary resistance for construction products.

With the peace of mind that comes from the secure system – coupled with the knowledge that they will be saving on energy bills – customers will be reassured that installers are offering them the best solutions for their long-term investment.