Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
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.
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.