UP, UP, AND SKYLIGHT
Did you know adding more natural light to a room is proven to add more light to that living space? Well of course it is! But did you know adding a skylight to one of your rooms could be energy efficient too? Skylights add more natural light to a room, ventilate a room, and are energy efficient.
Skylights are windows on your ceiling that allow natural light in to your home. The question is, how much light do you want to let in? It all depends on how warm you want your house, which way your house is facing, and how big your room is.
- A North facing skylight has pretty constant sunlight but will not overheat a room. It has been known to keep a room cool.
- A South facing skylight is perfect for catching winter sunlight and warming up rooms when it is freezing outside. It will also take in direct sunlight in the summer, which could cause a room to overheat. It is suggested to get a deciduous tree to block direct sunlight in the summer but once the leaves fall off in the winter it will allow the winter sunlight in. There are also UV coverings that will block out the sunlight in the summer.
- An East facing skylight will get the most direct sunlight. This would be a good spot for a solar panel.
- A West facing skylight will allow sunlight in the afternoon and will gain heat from the light and be able to warm up a room.
Having a skylight allows for more sunlight to enter into your house, which means more heat. In the winter when it’s cold out having a skylight will allow a room to heat up without having to use as much energy from your heater. In the summer, having a skylight is nice for ventilation. Heat that collects at your ceiling can escape through the skylight and allow a room to stay cooler without relying solely on your air conditioning unit. In the winter the skylight with trap heat in the house and in the summer it will allow heat out of the house to keep it cool. This will minimize heating and cooling costs for your house.
There are even skylights that have a moisture sensor and as soon as it senses water it will close automatically. Making it easier for the homeowner to have it opened without having to worry about water making its home in your living room.
You want to keep your skylight size at 5% of whatever the floor space is in the room the skylight will be in. This will allow a good amount of light for every season. Any bigger and your room will overheat and any smaller and the light will not make any difference in your house.
Glazing is the covering around and over the aluminum frame of the window. Basically, the entire clear part of the skylight is called the glazing. Two of the most common types of glazing, are plastic and glass.
– Plastic tends to be less expensive and sturdier, but it is easily scratched and over time could discolor and become brittle. It can also block UV light, with a life expectancy of 20-25 years.
– A glass glazing is more durable and doesn’t discolor as easily. It is also safety glass. Meaning, if it ever did shatter the pieces would break into little, round pieces, not sharp. Choosing a tempered glass glazing will be the most impact resistant. It also has a life expectancy of 30 years.
Shaping and Flashing and Waterproofing
You can choose from a couple shapes of skylights. There are flat, arched, domed, pyramidal, and warped plane. Each shape will let in light in different ways.
It’s also very important to waterproof the area of the roof around the skylight. As well as, adding flashing around the skylight to avoid roof leaks.
Skylights are a wonderful way to add natural light into a room and save energy on your heating and cooling bills. There are also many options for your skylight to get the one that works best for your home.