Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
To maximize the energy efficiency of skylight windows you must choose the material carefully. Both glass and plastic skylights have their unique benefits and disadvantages. Glass is more durable but there are limitations in shape. It is also quite expensive. On the other hand plastic is flexible and can easily be bent or stretched to different shapes. It is inexpensive too. But plastic glazing has a tendency to change color after a while. More importantly irregular shapes lead to more heat loss as larger surface areas are exposed. Windows VS Skylights: It is wrong to believe that skylights can replace or take the place of windows.
The air near the ceiling is automatically cooled when fresh air flows in from outside. These roof skylights are so designed that they open and close a little to let in the fresh air. The glass tilts at about 45 degrees. There is a small handle to manually open the venting roof skylight. You crank the handle slightly to open or close or adjust the angle and position of the glass. The venting roof skylights are located in the ceiling of the house and are hard to reach so there is an extension to the handle. Otherwise every time you want to open or shut the venting roof skylight you will need a ladder or a high stool. Nowadays electronically operated venting skylights are also becoming very popular.
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.