Florida room is too hot


I bought this house 2+ yr ago. A former owner built a "Florida room" across the back of the house - two walls are solid, and two (including a 40' long one) are glass. Old glass. Single pane glass. I had hoped to use the room much more than I can - it's basically too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. It actually gets so warm even in the winter that I leave the door to the house open to take advantage of it. That room gets the sun for the better part of the day. Good in the winter; not good in the summer!
Short of replacing the glass or installing "real" walls, does anyone have any ideas on helping to control the heat? There are two small vents from the heat/AC in the room, but with the glass as it is, that's a lost cause. I considered that film stuff? Or hang a bunch of "space blankets", which would be pretty ugly, not to mention really dark.
One thing I have considered it getting a large piece of aluminet - http://www.greenhouses-etc.net/equipment/aluminet.htm . When I used to attend outdoor events, a lot of the people used that on their tents and it really cooled them off. I'm thinking I could buy the kind with grommets and then be able to hang or remove them. One question - would it make any difference if this was hung inside vs outside of the glass? Inside would be simpler for me (no blowing away, no worrying how to mount it on siding).
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I had a room just like that except plexi glass windows. I just put a swamp cooler in when running the swamp cooler I always kept the door close between the main house and patio room. It worked great the room was 16X47 it also did have a wall heater in it for the winter.
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Lee B wrote:

Reflective blinds. Even something as simple as reflective mylar roller blinds.
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Bob F wrote:

Real roof or porch roof? If the latter, can you extend it out a couple of feet on the sunward side? Basically trying to do what an awning does, but those are a major PITA. Anybody in your area sell jalousie windows? That is what FL rooms were traditionally fitted with, before AC got cheap. It won't help for several years, but a row of trees that drop their leaves in winter, to provide a sun barrier late in the day, would help.
I'd give up on air conditioning the space, and install an exhaust fan, and find a way to put screens in a window or two on the far end.
--
aem sends....

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Lee B wrote:

Are you in Florida? The least expensive way to go, IMO, would be white roll-up blinds (or verticals?) and a ceiling fan. Long term .. shade trees, windows that open, metal awnings that close down to cover windows in case of hurricanes....
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

No, actually in the Maryland area, so at least I don't have to worry about hurricanes too often. Answers to other questions:
Photos of the room in questions: From the inside:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v704/lurkerlee/Knollwood/?action=view&current=Sunroom-big.jpg From the outside: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v704/lurkerlee/Florida%20Room/?action=view&current sene004.jpg This runs the entire back of the house, something like 40'. Apparently the original owner was quite the party person and built this for entertaining by his pool, which is no longer there. So it's not a traditional "room", but does have electricity and plumbing (for the Tiki bar!).
I don't think the roof can be extended any further, because although it's not as "steep" as that of the regular house, extending out any further would make it pretty low. Ceiling height even makes placement of a ceiling fan a bit dicey... though not for me, but I'm short, LOL.
The long outer wall consists of two very wide patio doors and several panes of glass. One side wall is glass, the other "real wall". There are currently bamboo types of roll up shades there, so I can see how I could install reflective ones. (don't know about price though!).
I was hoping that it would somehow be a "simple" matter of removing the single pain glass and putting better glass in. However I dropped by a sale at a local "patio room" store today and they said they'd have to tear the whole thing down and start over with their proprietary system. When I looked uninterested in that, he backed down and said he could look at it and they could probably remove the glass and metal uprights and replace them. I suspect any of those options will cost more than it's worth for the price of this house. Which is why I decided to look into other "temporary" measures. The patio dude did suggest reflective window film (again, after he realized I wasn't biting on a 40K completely new patio room).
Ah well, I've been contemplating what to do with this room for two years. Now that I (finally!) sold my old house, I can start moving forward with a few projects.
Thanks for the ideas.
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Lee B wrote:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v704/lurkerlee/Knollwood/?action=view&current=Sunroom-big.jpg

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v704/lurkerlee/Florida%20Room/?action=view&current sene004.jpg

Hey, I recognize those pictures! You ever solve the flooding problem? (and I would still bust up that old pool edging to make it less obvious what used to be there...) You're a braver man than I am, buying a house with that shade of carpet.
Cheap and quick, either DIY window film or those plastic pull-down shades like lots of commercial lobbies ended up with when glass curtain walls became popular in sunny climates. If no place local has them, those cheap vertical-slat blinds like most apartments sliding doors end up with. (Unlike the film, the shades or blinds can get opened in winter, for the solar heating...) A pergola and/or trellis with vines that get leafy in summer would help a lot, if you can think of where to locate it that won't totally destroy the backyard traffic patterns. Doesn't need to be huge, just where it will block a good chunk of the afternoon sun from shining directly in.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

HA! I wondered if anyone would recognize the photos. I haven't dealt with the flooding problem yet (no great incentive until the room is a bit more livable; right now it's primarily storage and an area to walk through to let the dogs out). Getting rid of the pool cement is relatively high on the to do list.
I like the idea of the pull down shades, so I'll be Googling that.
What's showing in those photos is the pinkish brown cement slab, but yeah there is also pink carpet in the house. Fortunately being of the female persuasion, I don't mind the pink too much, LOL. Although, when I get around to replacing them, I'll go with something a bit more neutral.
Thanks (all) for the suggestions.
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The picture you posted shows that the eve is shadowing about half the glass. Have you looked above the ceiling to see if it is insulated? Since it was added to the house how is the roof vented? Lack of insulation or improper venting of the roof will result in a lot of heat transferring in from the ceiling. Cheapest quick fix for the glass would be reflective tint film. Probably would not be that big a job to replace the wall with converntional construction and a combination of tall double windows and sliding glass doors.
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I can't get a good look at your frames from those pics...however, if the frames are wide enough, and even though it would still be expensive, a glass company could install new frames inside of you existing ones that they could install double pane glass in.
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You need new glass and a better heating cooling system, awnings might help but the main problem wont go away.
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Lee B wrote:

Since your main problem is heat and not cold, then double pane windows won't do anything. What you need is OUTDOOR blinds. Outdoor blinds will block heat twice as much as indoor blinds. The other suggestion about extending the roof will work also but you need to do your homework to see how far the roof will extend and how low it will go. Of course the idea is to block the higher summer sun yet allow the low winter sun to come in. If that works good, then you may want to add storm windows so it can heat in the winter more than it does now.
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Hmmmmm....I wonder why I installed so many of them here in FL when I was in the glass business then...especially in new construction.
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Ron wrote:

There are days I shouldn't be allowed to post here! ;-)
I was thinking of the radiant heating from the sun and not the conductive heat transfer. Yes double pane windows will reduce the conductive heat transfer. But I think that is quite small compared to the radiant heat when the sun is shining into the room. Then again during the winter, double pane will also help keep the heat in.
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Makes a huge difference if the outside piece of glass is tinted or reflective.
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Ron wrote:

That would cut down on the winter heat gain.
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In FL that is not a concern.
AFA as the OP, it depends on whether or not he has more sunlight on that part of his home in the summer or winter.
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Vent the roof and use external roll up blinds, They hang on the outside of the house. You can get them pretty long, I think 10 or 12 feet.
Jimmie
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Ron wrote:

But he isn't in florida.
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Nice snip there.
AFA as the OP, it depends on whether or not he has more sunlight on that part of his home in the summer or winter.
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