Skylight / July 15, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux
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.
Skylights may seem inexpensive at first glance since a quality 2x4 foot skylight along with a flashing kit costs anywhere from $100 to $400. However you need to consider adding another $3000 for installation costs. That being said you first need to carefully evaluate if installing a skylight is the right thing for your home. Till recently having a roof slope determined if you could install a skylight. Flat roofs or those which were too steep required special tools and techniques. However many of the skylight kits available today include a comprehensive installation kit and procedures which permits it to be installed on all types of roofs.
If the room you intend to illuminate with the skylight has an open ceiling with no attic space above you can install the skylight without needing to construct a light shaft. This is by far the simplest installation and it offers the maximum amount of light and a view of the sky. For ceilings with an attic space above a light shaft must be constructed that connects the skylight to the room. Skylight shafts take one of three forms: Straight in which the shaft drops vertically from the roof to the ceiling and is the same dimension as the skylight itself. This type is the easiest to construct but because of its offset angle relative to the skylight offers the least amount of light.