Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
Your ventilating skylight can be operated by one of three ways: Manual skylight controls - These are opened by your use of an extended rod to manually crank the skylight open. These are designed for ceilings of less than 15 feet. Electronic skylight controls - A simpler model of this type of control is wired to a wall mounted switch which opens and closes the skylight. More complex models are controlled by a special wall console of a wireless remote control. Automatic operating controls - With this type of control integrated heat sensors trigger the skylight to open when the interior heat reaches a preset temperature. Exterior sensors automatically close the unit when they sense moisture.
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.
Tubular skylights An alternative to the conventional skylight which looks like a window in your roof is the tubular skylight. The tubular skylight is a roof-mounted dome which collects natural light and delivers it to the room below. It is less expensive than the conventional skylight because it is designed to fit between roof and ceiling framing eliminating the need for structural modifications. You will commonly see these used in bathrooms hallways and closets but they can be used in any room of your house. The average tubular skylight ranges in size from 10 - 21 inches in diameter which lights a 100-600 square foot interior space.