Skylight / July 16, 2018 / Delphine Demers
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.
However these surfaces scratch easily and can become brittle and discolored. Glass glazing - This is found in the more expensive skylights. It is more durable than plastic and does not discolor. All glass used for skylights must be made of "safety glazing" a generic term for both tempered and laminated glass. Tempered glass is the most impact resistant. Laminated glass is fabricated with a thin layer of plastic embedded near the center of the glass. Both types keep the glass from breaking into large sharp pieces. Skylights are often made with a tempered glass on the exterior side and a laminated pane on the interior side. This arrangement gives maximum impact resistance while protecting occupants from falling shards of glass.
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.