9 Things to Consider Before Installing a Skylight

9 Things to Consider Before Installing a Skylight

If you would like to have more light in your home, consider adding a skylight. Of course, skylights work best in rooms that are directly below the roof, although solar tubes can make skylights possible in rooms below attics. Understanding the pros, cons and different types of skylights will help you make an informed decision.

Skylights Add Natural Light

Add a skylight to the roof and you’ll increase the amount of natural light in the room. This additional natural light provides the most benefits in rooms without other windows or with windows that are near other buildings that block some of the natural light that might otherwise enter the home. Natural light exposure can help with depression.

Some Types of Skylight Can Cause Glare

Make sure to place skylights carefully and use the right type to minimize the risk of glare from the sun. This glare can make a room uncomfortably bright or hot, which can limit the use of the room and cause items in the room to fade. Add a light filter or shade to the skylight to minimize the risk of glare.

Skylights Can Make a Room Appear Larger

Sometimes regular lighting doesn’t reach all the corners of a room, which can make the room less inviting. Add a properly placed skylight and all corners of the room will receive light, which makes the room appear larger. The skylight also offers a chance to bring the outside in and further increase the perceived size of the room.

The Right Skylight Can Save Energy

Choose the right type of skylight and you may lower heating and cooling costs. Skylights have a reputation for energy leaks, but this occurs most often with inexpensive or poorly installed models. Manufacturers offer skylights with better energy efficiency now. Skylights that open can increase circulation and decrease heat on hot days.

The Shape Controls the Light

You can choose the shape of the skylight based on where you want the light to go in the room. Skylights that flare to the side will spread the light out more, those with straight sides will direct light in a straight line. 

The Right Skylight Material Limits Heat Gain

Heat gain can make a room uncomfortable during hot Arizona summers. Opt for a skylight made with tempered, double-insulated glass with Low-E coatings, preferably with argon gas between the panes and a bronze tint. This type of skylight reduces heat gain the most and can make skylights feasible even on the south and west sides of the home.

The Slope of the Skylight Affects Heat Gain

To minimize solar heat gain, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends you install skylights at a slope that is between 5 and 15 degrees more than the latitude where you live.

Openable or Vented Skylights Work Well in Hot Climates

Hot climates, such as Arizona, mean that the light from skylights can cause a room to become hot if they don’t have special coatings or open. Choose a skylight that can vent or open to help increase fresh air and decrease heat in the room with the skylight. Some skylights open manually, while others feature motorization.

Automatic Skylights May Be Beneficial

If you can afford it, consider a skylight with rain and heat sensors. This type of skylight can open if the room is too hot to let out extra heat and close if it senses moisture, such as rain, which can help protect the home and keep a room with a skylight more comfortable during hot days. These skylights may also have programmable remotes.

Contact SUNVEK for more information on the different roof daylighting options and which might work best for you. SUNVEK can also help with any other roofing needs you may have.