Skylight / July 14, 2018 / Onfroi Berger
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.
The shape of the skylights installed in your home will impact the design and look of the room. In the past skylights were prone to vapor build-up during the cold season. This vapor would then trickle down as water droplets into the room. However these days it is possible to buy skylights with channels that collect water vapor. More expensive skylights are less vulnerable to condensation related problems. Material: The kind of material used on skylights at home has a direct impact on their look and efficiency. Glass and plastic are the most popular materials used for glazing the skylights. Plastic skylights are less expensive and do not break easily. However plastic glazing may become discolored over time and may even have scratches. Glass on the other hand is scratch proof and does not fade. But it is more expensive and is usually found in commercial structures.
Glass and acrylic or plastic skylights are available. Tubular skylights are relatively new on the scene. The small size allows them it to be used in spaces where full-sized skylights cannot. Hallways bathrooms even closets can accommodate a tubular skylight. They provide a lot of light in spite of their small size. The concept and installation process are basically the same as for a regular skylight except they have an enclosed tunnel of reflective material to reflect the light. They are available in many sizes. The small ones are 10 to 12 inch diameter and the large ones are 24 inches. Flat glass skylights come mounted in a wood or integrated rubber and metal framework and require no additional curb construction.