Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
For one thing skylights are positioned in such a way that they are inaccessible unless they are operated by remote. Even in cases of motorized skylights which are easily manipulated there are still some disadvantages that are inherent to skylights that are not present or minimized in windows. Vertical windows lose less heat by convection when compared to skylights. Also since windows are generally protected by overhangs or shrubs they lose less heat by radiation. On the other hand skylights are directly exposed to the sky. Thus they lose more heat by radiation. Proper insulation can reduce this heat loss to a large extent. In the summer season skylights are more exposed to the direct heat of the sun than windows.
Skylights let natural light stream into your home bringing warmth and a feeling of spaciousness. When properly selected and used they can reduce your need for electric lighting and minimize your heating and cooling costs. There are also health benefits to this wonderful sunlight that shines on us. If you lack sufficient sunlight on your skin you will suffer health effects. Thats because the human body was designed to be exposed to sunlight on a frequent basis. We evolved after all under the natural sun not under fluorescent lighting. Our environment was one with plentiful sunlight. Skylights can provide up to 30% more natural light than vertical windows while making a small space seem bigger.
A skylight is like a window which has been placed in your roof. It has a frame specially designed to withstand rain and prevent leakage from rain and snow. To maximize a skylights use of natural light to illuminate a room or its passive solar heating potential you will want to take into consideration how a skylight is positioned. Facing north your skylight will provide fairly constant illumination but will not provide a lot of heat. Facing east it will provide the maximum amount of light and solar heat gain in the morning. Facing west your skylight provides afternoon sunlight as well as heat gain. A skylight facing south provides the greatest potential for winter passive solar heat gain than any other location but will often allow unwanted heat gain in the summer.