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.
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.
Skylights are best suited to catch sunlight from the overhanging clouds. In addition to this skylight windows allow a deeper penetration of the suns light into the structure of the house in such a way that it is less obtrusive. Skylights also keep heating and cooling costs down. Skylights are your windows to the heaven. They can breathe drama into any living space. And they are all the rage these days. In such a scenario it is easy for people to forget important considerations while choosing skylights. Energy problems that influence windows operate just as strongly or even more so in skylights. For instance heat loss heat gains solar gains ventilation and water pooling affect skylight windows too.