Skylights provide a natural lighting option for rooms that do not have an outside wall, allowing areas that would otherwise have to be lit with electricity to enjoy the sun as well. However, an improperly installed or maintained skylight can cause inefficiencies in your home, allowing heat to escape or leak in, depending on the season. Understanding how to properly install and maintain your skylight can help you enjoy the natural lighting that it can provide without compromising your home's energy efficiency.
Orientation: The direction that your skylight is facing greatly influences the effect that it will have on your home. Skylights that face to the south will receive more light in the winter, which will help reduce your heating costs in the winter months. However, west facing skylights will absorb a great deal of heat in the summer, increasing your air conditioning costs.
Double Panes: Replacing an already existing skylight with one that has two panes of glass instead of one can greatly decrease the amount of heat that leaks through that skylight. This is because the window is simply twice as thick now, which means that less heat manages to make its way through the glass itself.
Frames: The frame around the skylight is extremely important in maintaining the efficiency of a skylight. Metal frames conduct heat very easily, allowing heat to leak out of your home in the winter or in during the summer. Choose a frame that is made out of another material, like wood or fiberglass, which will not transfer heat in and out your home as easily.
Low-e Coating: If possible, look for skylights that are made out of glass that has a low-e coating. Low-e coatings are designed to prevent heat transfer through a pane of glass and will reflect UV light and radiation in the summer, keeping your home cool. It will also trap heat inside your home during the winter, reducing your overall energy bills in the long run.
Maintenance: An improperly-maintained skylight will allow a greater amount of heat to transfer between the interior and exterior of your home. You should get up on your roof and check the skylight before summer and winter start. Check the flashing around the skylight to make sure that the seal is still unbroken, and check for any minute cracks or chips in the glass itself. It is also a good idea to install a curb, or watertight covering, around the skylight, to prevent water from seeping into your home.Share