Solariums - Aluminum Based Units

solariums, aluminum sunrooms, glass patio enclosures, energy tax credit, sunroom

Solariums - Aluminum Based Units

These prefabricated rooms can span big rooms and give you a thin signt line with minimal structure interference.

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Solariums - Aluminum Based Units:

Solariums, Sunrooms, Greenhouse, 4 Season Rooms and many other monikers are given to these types of reveared rooms we crave from our homes.

Prefabricated Solariums: Prefabricated solariums can be divided into 3 main varieties, based on the makup of their structural components. These systems are Wood-Based Systems, Aluminum Systems and Vinyl over Metal Systems.

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Solariums - Aluminum-Based Units

Solariums - Aluminum-Based Units:

Aluminum-Based Units: The major advantages of using aluminum-based units are lower installation costs, larger structural spans, and a thinner sight-line for the structural components, allowing for better sightlines out of the space and more sun penetration into the space.

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Also, aluminum units can give you a very high-tech or contemporary feeling for your living space. This is especially helpful for those of us with contemporary homes or the desire to portray a more greenhouse like appearance.

Wood-Based Solarium Features to Look For:
Pre-finished aluminum exterior
Thermally broken frames
High performance glass
Casement windows or Sliding windows
French doors, single-swing doors or Sliding doors

Comparisons: Here are some of the basic specifications you should gather to be able to compare different systems:
Overall Energy Performance.
"U" Value of Glass. Solar Reflectance Values of Glass.
Solar Heat Gain Cooefficient of the Glass (SHGC)
Flashing Options Available.
Safety Glazing Locations.
Availability of Shading Systems, such as roller blinds etc.

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Solariums - Aluminum-Based Units

What You Need To Provide on Site: Prior to constructing the Solarium, you will have to prepare the footings, foundation walls and floor structure to accomodate the installation. Also if this is an add-on to an existing house, assure that the tie-in at the sides and top will work and that you are able to provide the necessary flashings to keep out water.

Also you will need to provide the necessary, HVAC, electrical and plumbing requirements for the space.

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Solariums - Aluminum-Based Units

Precautions: These structural elements are constructed of aluminum or other material that will conduct the cold, make sure the sturctural elements have an excellent thermal break between the exterior and interior of the conducting elements. If you don't you will have condensation and water infiltration problems.

Be sure to check out glass types as well. Glass should, at a minimum be double-glazed thermal pane. Even better is triple glazed, especially in cold weather states.

Also a Low "E" coating applied to one of the interior surfaces of the glass surfaces is necessary. This will minimize the sun's ultra-violet rays and minimize fading.

Most aluminum tube mullions and rafters have hollow spaces, check to be sure that there are accomodations for moisture to exit to the exterior of the space without infiltration to the interior.

Check out the finishes of the units. If the aluminum tubse are painted, a Kynar or Duranar paint finish is the best finish you can get. Also if the finish is an anodized finish, that is a very good finish that will last the life of the home.

Baked enamel is another common paint that is used for the exterior, while not nearly as durable as the above paints, you may find that the high-performance paints are rarely available. It does not hurt to check out if it is an option though.

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Solariums - Aluminum-Based Units

Energy Tax Credits: As part of the Economic Stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 modifies and extends federal tax credits for eligible building components that improve energy efficiency.

To be eligible, windows, doors and skylights must have both a U-Factor equal to or less than 0.30 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than 0.30.

If your selected solarium, windows and doors meet these requirements you can qualify for up to 30% of the system cost or a maximum of $1,500.00.

The Federal Tax credit is for the cost of the product only and does not include installation costs. Be sure to ask for a sales receipt that shows the cost of the product only.

Tax credit is 30% of the amount paid for the product up to a maximum of $1,500 combined for 2009 and 2010 (Including other eligible items listed in the IRS Notice). This is a new U.S. tax credit for 2009 and 2010.

Solariums - GLME Recommendation:

If you are considering the purchase of a prefabricated Aluminum-Based Solarium, probably one of the best manufacturers on the market today is Four Seasons. They have been in the Solarium business since 1975 and have a wide range of products and potions available to the consumer.

Another thing we really like is the personal service you receive from them and the availability of customization of their products. The warranty is great as is their glass they use in all the units.