Installation of skylights or roof windows, as they are often called, is slowly becoming one of the foremost solutions for promoting energy conservation in today’s co-friendly-conscious world. If you are considering green home improvements, you cannot get any greener than this!
Skylights bring into your home natural heat and light, which are universally acknowledged to be the purveyors of multiple benefits. Their popularity has been given an added impetus through the adoption of ‘Green Building codes’ by governmental authorities1. Some of these benefits are listed below:
Health and productivity
One of the most essential design elements in our homes, offices and other buildings is natural light. Studies conducted have proven that installation of skylights, which allow natural light into a building, contribute unmistakeably to the health, productivity and safety of the occupants. People who live and work in a well-lit environment are happier, healthier and more productive. Besides, natural light can also be a mood-booster and can be efficacious in speeding up recovery from illness.
They give a more modern look to the home and enhance its aesthetics
Skylights strategically placed in the roof of your home can transform its interior because of the warmth and brightness of natural sunlight they allow to enter and illuminate dreary spaces. They lend a new depth and dimension to a room, creating an illusion of expanded space by opening the view skyward. Not only do skylights enhance the beauty of the home within, they can also be used with telling effect on the exterior appearance of your home.
They help lower electricity/energy bills
Along with other fenestration products, windows in particular, skylights can help reduce your energy consumption since you can, to a great extent, eliminate the need to utilize artificial lighting during the day. But they need to be strategically arranged on the roof of your home and provision made for shading them, particularly during summertime, to enable you to reap the best possible energy savings.
Skylight windows can also serve as ventilation. In times of excessive heat, it is possible to open them and let the cool air into your room
Apart from lowering your electricity bills, skylights can help you cut down on heating bills because of their ability to take advantage of solar heat gain during winter months in particular. Properly positioned skylights can function as a passive solar collector system. The heat they collect can serve as a supplement to the heating system of your home.
Earlier, skylights consisted of a single thickness of glass in a frame, but today they come in a variety of materials, with laminated or tempered glass and low-e and tinted coatings, which can control heat transmission and UV radiation. The National Fenestration Rating Council rates skylights based on their thermal efficiency so it is possible for you to compare U-values and heat and light transmission rates of different skylights.
With the vast strides in glazing technology made in recent years, an amazing variety of skylights are to be had for the asking, ones you can get directly from dealers and others which can be customized according to your requirements. When you are considering the aesthetic angle, remember that because of their energy-savings advantage they will in all probability pay for themselves in the long run, especially if they are Energy Star-rated skylights with low emissivity glazing.
Besides this, newer skylight windows are lighter and thus less of a load on the roof. Vinyl-framed skylights combined with high-performance, low-E glass make one of the most thermally efficient skylights on the market today with virtually no heat or cold transfer from outside.
Another popular type of skylight is the tubular skylight known also as tubular day lighting device (TDD). Its popularity lies in the fact that it is more energy efficient than the regular skylights, it is easy to have installed and does not cost as much as traditional larger skylights.
Skylights add value to your home
Installing skylights in your home adds value to the home especially if you have to sell. Prospective buyers are impressed when a home is bright and airy, as it will be if it has energy-efficient skylights installed in it. Those who love indoor gardening also are attracted to homes with skylights as plants thrive in natural sunlight
A word of caution!
Skylight projects should be approached with caution and done only under the guidance of a qualified contractor as the skylight is tied into the structure of the building. Improper installation could prove costly and endanger the structural integrity of the building if not detected at the start.
About The Author:
Michael has spent 7 years in the home improvement business. He loves to write and share information from his experience in roofing, replacement windows and doors, siding, constructing patio rooms and sun rooms. He has written articles for Champion Windows Dallas and other home improvement companies.