Skylights have a number of benefits. In addition to adding a fantastic natural light-source to your home, they can also have you money on heating and cooling costs—but only if they are properly installed. This is why it is not a good idea to tackle skylight installation as a DIY job.
According to an article recently published by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is important to “determine what type of skylight will work best and where to place it to optimize its contribution to your home’s energy efficiency, daylighting, and ventilation.”
- Selection: The government’s article stresses the importance of looking at the energy performance rating of the skylight. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label to get information about the skylight’s efficiency.
- Size: the size of the skylight will have an effect not only on how much light is admitted to your home, but also on how much heat it can bring into your home. The Department of Energy recommends that this skylight not be more than 5% of the floor area of a room with several windows and not more than 15% of the floor space of a room with few windows.
- Position: Skylights on north-facing roofs provide cool illumination; those on east-facing roofs provide maximum light and solar heat gain in the mornings; those on west-facing roofs provide maximum light and solar heat gain in the afternoon; and those on south-facing roofs allow the most solar heat gain, which may be great in the winter but can be quite expensive in the summer months. Glazing or a well-place shady tree can mitigate this.
- Glazing: Glazing technology reduces the impact of solar heat-gain to your home. Glazing can be plastic or glass and comes in a variety of forms including heat-absorbing tints, insulated glazing, and low-emissivity coatings.
- Ventilation: Ventilating skylights enable homeowners to release the hot air that accumulates near ceilings, particularly in vaulted-ceiling areas of your home. Some are opened manually and other use automated electric motors.
- Installation: The article states that “Even the most energy-efficient skylight must be properly installed to ensure that it achieves its energy performance, so it’s best to have a professional install your skylight.”
You can learn more about these and other important considerations by reading the full article here.
Chicago-area homeowners who are considering installing skylights in their homes would do best to speak with the experts at Baltic Home Improvements. Our professionals have extensive experience installing leak-proof skylights into homes and can advise you about good placement and other factors. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free evaluation and estimate for your skylight installation job.
Image Source: NTL1991