Skylight / October 18, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux.
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.
Obviously skylights provide added day lighting and they may even offer ventilation. However heat gain and loss is also a consideration you should make. Many modern skylights feature sun tracking lenses or mirrored surfaces that provide light without heat loss or gain. Moreover whether a fixed skylight or similar alternative is better than a ventilated skylight is a question youll want to answer. Remember ventilating can help with temperature control but it is also important for preventing the buildup of moisture. Take some time to speak to your skylight or roofing professional so that you can be sure to choose the right skylight.
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.
To maximize the energy efficiency of skylight windows you must choose the material carefully. Both glass and plastic skylights have their unique benefits and disadvantages. Glass is more durable but there are limitations in shape. It is also quite expensive. On the other hand plastic is flexible and can easily be bent or stretched to different shapes. It is inexpensive too. But plastic glazing has a tendency to change color after a while. More importantly irregular shapes lead to more heat loss as larger surface areas are exposed. Windows VS Skylights: It is wrong to believe that skylights can replace or take the place of windows.