Skylight / July 7, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux
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.
Skylights may seem inexpensive at first glance since a quality 2x4 foot skylight along with a flashing kit costs anywhere from $100 to $400. However you need to consider adding another $3000 for installation costs. That being said you first need to carefully evaluate if installing a skylight is the right thing for your home. Till recently having a roof slope determined if you could install a skylight. Flat roofs or those which were too steep required special tools and techniques. However many of the skylight kits available today include a comprehensive installation kit and procedures which permits it to be installed on all types of roofs.