Sunspaces – especially those attached outside the main home – are extremely popular. However, like all things, you need to carefully consider the benefits and disadvantages rather than just jumping in and building one.
- Sunspaces provide heat for themselves and adjacent rooms.
- They can reduce heat loss from the attached living area.
- They provide warm air for circulation.
- They can circulate that air through the exterior walls (an envelope house)
- Designs with solid common walls reduce glare and sunlight penetration.
- They provide extra living space.
- They can be used to grow plants year-round.
- They add value to the home and are aesthetically pleasing.
- Sunspaces tend to overheat and are frequently sun-drenched.
- At night, they are often too cold to be habitable.
- Sunspaces frequently fail to provide extra heat to the home beyond their own walls.
- The warm air in a sunspace doesn't easily move sideways, so fans may be needed to circulate it through the home.
- Sunspaces are often lousy for growing plants – they overheat, they get sun-drenched, and they're cold at night.
- Unless the design is carefully considered and installation performed by experienced professionals, sunspaces may just provide a little extra warmth and no extra living space – but a great deal of extra construction cost.