Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
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.
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.
For example the optimum slope for a south-facing skylight in Columbus Ohio at 40º North latitude is 45º to 55º. Every skylight has a "shaft" which governs how much light is admitted into the room below. If all four sides are flared then the light is spread over a wide area. If your skylight has a shaft with perpendicular sides the light is focused straight below. If your skylights shaft is flared on only one or two sides then the light is sprayed in the flared direction. Ventilation If you wish you can have a skylight which also provides ventilation as well as light to your room. This allows you to release the hot air which collects at your ceiling.