Are there any dark areas in your home with no space for additional windows, or would you fancy a little more light in the home? If so, skylights could be the solution that you need. They are a great way of allowing more natural light in your home and reducing energy consumption costs that result from electrical lighting. However, before choosing to buy and install skylights in your home, there are several decisions you need to make to ensure that you get the most value from them. Here are some of the key factors that you should consider when purchasing skylights.
Skylights are available in various configurations. They can be broadly categorised into three based on their design: fixed, ventilating and tubular skylights. Fixed skylights are permanently fixed to the roof, and their sole function is to allow light into the home. Ventilating skylights open as windows do to enable the circulation of air and relieve the room of moisture. They are suitable for rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens where moisture levels are usually high. Lastly, tubular skylights are small and usually installed in hallways and small rooms where there is not enough space for the standard skylights.
Note that ventilating skylights can increase the heating and cooling costs if they are not managed properly. Ensure that you close the skylights when running your HVAC unit to prevent air circulation which can increase energy consumption.
Sizing and location
The size and location that you choose for your skylights will greatly determine the amount of natural light in a particular room. Ideally, large skylights will allow in more light as compared to smaller ones. However, the positioning of the skylights is also important. You should carry out an assessment of your home to determine the positions which would offer maximum light. Avoid installing skylights on the side of the roof that's adjacent to trees and other barriers as they can cast a shadow onto the skylight and reduce the amount of light in the room.
Solar radiation control
During the summer and in warmer climates, the direct light and radiation from the sun can allow unwanted heat into the home. This can significantly increase energy consumption due to increased air conditioning requirements. Consider purchasing skylights that incorporate glazing and other energy-efficient design features. Glazing on skylights reduces the amount of glare and prevents the UV radiation from penetrating into the home.
In addition to observing these factors, correct installation can maximise the benefits you derive from using skylights in your home. Hire a qualified contractor to undertake the installation so that you can get the most value from these fixtures.