Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
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.
Obviously skylights provide added day lighting and they may even offer ventilation. However heat gain and loss is also a consideration you should make. Many modern skylights feature sun tracking lenses or mirrored surfaces that provide light without heat loss or gain. Moreover whether a fixed skylight or similar alternative is better than a ventilated skylight is a question youll want to answer. Remember ventilating can help with temperature control but it is also important for preventing the buildup of moisture. Take some time to speak to your skylight or roofing professional so that you can be sure to choose the right skylight.
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.