Comfort in the home has to deal with regulating and maintaining the perfect temperature inside your home structure. Temperature is no easy feat to deal with especially with the ever-changing seasons year-round.
You have to plan on how you can manage temperature changes inside your home without it getting on your nerves and affecting your mood.
With different areas in your house to cover, start with the area that is most prone to changing temperature with changing seasons—your porch.
Depending on your home porch enclosure and the position of your porch, you may get either more or less sun or air.
Porch enclosures are installed to provide further protection from the elements so your porch can be more comfortable. Depending on your purpose, there are different designs and ideas for your home porch enclosure.
Types of porch enclosures according to the material used:
Simple Porch enclosures
Screen Porch Windows and Portable Screens. Natural breeze and defense from insects are the best benefits with this DIY porch enclosure solution. You can choose from standard packages to custom-made semi-permanent structures allowing flexibility of use.
Outdoor Fabric. Curtains and drapes add appeal and temporary enclosure.
Porch Mosquito Curtains. An economical way to deter mosquitos and other insects while welcoming fresh air
Glass has become the most popular material for porch enclosures providing an unobstructed view to the beauty of the outdoors and adequate protection from the elements as well. You can also get your fair share of sunlight when you need it.
NanaWall. This is a wall system that is flexible and extremely functional with panels that you can easily and quickly open and close. You can choose from vast design layouts and options with varying several colors and finishes.
Double-paned glass. If there are existing vertical beams in your porch, attach these glass windows between them with screws, nails, or staples.
Framed Glass Panels. These are store-bought porch enclosures that you can install in vinyl or aluminum frames.
Fiberglass Corrugated translucent panels. This less expensive material is made to withstand any surface temperature and can be installed with minimum framing. Perfect if you need sunlight but want to limit air.
Three Season Rooms. This is a porch enclosure that stands out with floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. By the name it holds, these porch enclosures are best for spring, summer, and fall when outside temperatures are not harsh. But the temperature can be managed in these types of porches with proper engineering and insulation.
Four Season Rooms. For this full-blown porch enclosure, more elbow grease is required to provide excellent protection from the elements all year round. Since this type allows for more adaptability of materials and space, you can have it custom-built to accommodate these additional features to suit your needs and design:
Particle Board sheathing
Exterior foam insulation
Carpets and curtains
Full-length glass and screen rolling panels
Zone heating and cooling system
Thermally engineered frame
Solariums. Built to trap as much light as possible, provide a full view of the outdoors, and to serve as the perfect venue for starlit nights, this porch enclosure is built with glass walls and roof. Insulation can be installed on double-pane glasses for this porch enclosure. Ventilation can also be managed by installing rolling glass and screen panels.
If you want to steer the temperature on your back or front porch to ensure comfort whatever the season, searing hot summers or nasty chilly winters, you can insulate your home porch enclosures.
Porch insulation materials provide resistance to the flow of heat in your porch, especially during hot summer months, and control the flow of heat from your porch during winter.
They somehow ‘weatherize’ the temperature of the season by adding fluidity on heating and cooling your porch.
The effectiveness of your insulation material depends on proper installation and the R-value, which is the thermal resistance value of your material or a measurement of insulating material resistance to conductive heat flow. The R-value is subjective to the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density.
Blanket: Batt and Roll Insulation. This widely- used type of insulation can be installed using different insulation materials like:
Mineral (rock or slag) wool
Natural Fibers (cotton and sheep’s wool)
The rolls can be cut to fit the space and may be purchased with facings like foil or vinyl to act as vapor and air barriers. Special flame-resistant facings are also available.
Concrete Block Insulation. Foam boards made with polystyrene are usually placed on the outside and inside walls. Concrete blocks may also be surface bonded.
Foam Board or Rigid Foam. Made with polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, or polyurethane, they effectively provide good thermal resistance and work best for external wall sheathing.
Loose-Fill and Blown-In Insulation. If there is an existing finished area, this choice will be perfect because materials like cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool are blown or poured into wall cavities.
Reflective System. Highly reflective aluminum foils are installed to reduce heat transfer from your porch roof to other areas on your porch. On hot, summer days, these radiant barriers can lower your cooling costs 5%-10%.
Rigid Fiber Insulation. This highly-resistant to high-temperature porch insulation is made with fiberglass or mineral wool and installed in air ducts finished with reinforced cement, canvas, or weatherproof mastic.
Sprayed-Foam Insulation. For existing walls, liquid foam can be sprayed on them. You can create an effective air barrier with this insulation because even the smallest cavities can be filled.
Structural Insulated Panels. These are prefabricated insulated structural panels that you can readily install for your porch. They can be customized with your choice of exterior and interior sheathing material. They are usually made with polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam.
You can get an overview of most available insulation materials, how they are installed, where they’re typically installed, and their advantages here: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/insulation/types-insulation
Considering your porch to be a room, there are several factors that come into play when determining the cost of insulating your home porch enclosure like the size of your porch, type of insulation, and the R-value of the material used.
The average cost of insulating a room is $650 to $1,000. Insulation that can be done through small holes cut into a wall would cost $20-$30 per hole while removing and replacing drywall for insulation will cost $1,500-$2,000.
Take heart when hot summers and cold winters arrive at your doorstep. You can curb the extreme temperature rages that changing seasons bring with properly installed home porch enclosures.
It can never be too hot or too cold for you and your family and friends to gather around the porch, chill, and have some little bit of fun.