Skylight / July 8, 2018 / Baptiste Allain
A skylight might seem like the easiest option for rooms that are cramped dingy and dark. In many cases it is but only if the right kind of skylight is combined with the right type of roof. Fixing a skylight on the roof is not like placing a window in the wall. Most of us think only of the interior when we fix skylights. But did you know that your first priority should be your roof followed by the positioning of the skylight on the roof? The shape of the roof is a vital to the selection of skylights. There are different skylights for sloped roofs and different skylights for flat roofs. Incorrect installation can lead to problems in the future.
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.
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.