There are three main types of skylights, the first being tubular skylights offering maximum light per open area, due to a reflective aluminium tube, which is most useful where additional light is required but excessive heat gain from the sun is a concern. In addition to this there are larger fixed skylights such as pyramids and domes and many more. These skylights offer a very nice aesthetical appeal. Thirdly roof windows in wood and aluminium have become a very popular choice due to the additional benefit of ventilation and an optional blind to control light entry. Ventilating skylights are often used in kitchens and bathrooms. These can be opened with a hand crank to let out rising hot air or steam and so help to cool a room in the summer, or prevent the formation of mould. As for position, you should locate skylights on the south-facing parts of your roof if you want to reduce solar heat gain, and the subsequent need for cooling, and on the north-facing parts if you need extra warmth as well as light. As per the US Department of Energy skylights should only cover approximately 5% to 15% of the floor area in a room, depending on the number of windows. Homeowners should also choose a skylight with insulating (double-pane) glazing, a heat-absorption tint, or a low-emission (low-e) coating to control solar heat transfer into and out of the home.
Skylights have the following distinct advantages.
Besides the obvious benefits like the natural light factor and saving on your power bills, they also contribute to preserving the environment and ultimately ad value to your home. A strategically placed skylight replaces the need for electric lighting, at least during the daytime. They also add heat to your home, cutting down on the amount of electric or gas heat you'll need to generate. All of this can translate into big savings, even up to 20% per year. You therefore help to preserve the environment at the same time. The latest trend in home building is ‘green’ homes, houses built with maximising efficiency and preserving nature in mind. These green homes almost always include some type of skylight. Even if you cannot afford the latest innovations in green home technology, skylights are still relatively affordable, especially when you consider the energy cost savings they can produce. They increase the overall value of your home.You will get back money you invest in installing skylights as this increases your home value. Skylights have a modern appeal, due to their energy-efficiency and the beauty that they add to a home. However, poorly constructed or installed skylights could lead to problems with leakage while “single-paned skylights may weep with condensation”, according to the online encyclopaedia wikipedia. – Eugene Brink
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