Skylight / July 8, 2018 / Baptiste Allain
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.
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.
If installed badly however they can do a great deal of damage. Many people dont realize how easily that damage can be avoided by purchasing a replacement skylight instead of giving it up altogether. A skylight might be detrimental to a house in many different ways. They require flashing when installed and without proper flashing of aluminum or some other sturdy material the light will leak. Rain and other forms of moist weather will find its way into the house itself. Roof design is very important when choosing and installing a skylight. It is another reason why skylights fail after awhile. The angle or tilt of a roof and the angle at which the skylight is set will determine how strong and supported the light is.