Skylight / July 15, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux
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.
It is recommended that the skylight size should never be more than five percent of the floor area in rooms with many windows and not more than fifteen percent of the rooms total floor area for spaces with very few windows. Skylights on north-facing roofs provide cool illumination while east-facing roofs provide maximum light and heat in the morning. West-facing skylights provide afternoon sunlight and heat. South-facing skylights provide more passive solar heat than any other location. Skylights are an excellent way to bring more natural light into your home. Just one skylight can dramatically transform your room by adding 30% more natural light than a window. This helps you save energy and makes your home warmer during the winter.
Another modern option is to have a replacement skylight with double panes of glass with a layer of argon gas infused in between the panes. New features and options make getting a replacement skylight a more viable option than just shingling over the old one. Remote controls make it possible to open and close a skylight on a whim rather than having to clamber about on ladders. Some skylights can also come with rain sensors so they will close the moment they feel raindrops or too much moisture. These options allow the skylight to vent the house while also protecting it against damage.