Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
Before installing a skylight in your home you need to carefully evaluate what type of skylight will work best for you considering your specific requirements and how to install it in a way that it improves your homes energy efficiency. Its a sensible idea to evaluate the energy performance ratings of skylights based on the climate that you live in and the architectural design of your home. In the U.S. you can find labeled energy-efficient skylights which tell you the minimum energy performance rating criteria by climate. The physical dimensions of the skylight also greatly affect the lux level and temperature of the space it is being used for.
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.
However these surfaces scratch easily and can become brittle and discolored. Glass glazing - This is found in the more expensive skylights. It is more durable than plastic and does not discolor. All glass used for skylights must be made of "safety glazing" a generic term for both tempered and laminated glass. Tempered glass is the most impact resistant. Laminated glass is fabricated with a thin layer of plastic embedded near the center of the glass. Both types keep the glass from breaking into large sharp pieces. Skylights are often made with a tempered glass on the exterior side and a laminated pane on the interior side. This arrangement gives maximum impact resistance while protecting occupants from falling shards of glass.