Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
Your ventilating skylight can be operated by one of three ways: Manual skylight controls - These are opened by your use of an extended rod to manually crank the skylight open. These are designed for ceilings of less than 15 feet. Electronic skylight controls - A simpler model of this type of control is wired to a wall mounted switch which opens and closes the skylight. More complex models are controlled by a special wall console of a wireless remote control. Automatic operating controls - With this type of control integrated heat sensors trigger the skylight to open when the interior heat reaches a preset temperature. Exterior sensors automatically close the unit when they sense moisture.
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.
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.