Skylight Installation: Get the Facts Before You Buy

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Skylights

Skylights can make a dreary room bright, capture a view, or provide a starlit panorama for your bedroom. They provide up to 30% more light than regular windows. There are a variety of different types, all of which can add light and transform a room to give it an open, airy feeling. Explore your options and learn the benefits of skylight installation before you buy.

Like windows, skylights can be fixed or operable. Fixed skylights might be flat, or domed, and they only provide light. Other models of skylights, which provide ventilation, can be opened or closed using a hand crank, a remote control, a wall switch, or an automatic temperature sensor.

When open, a roof skylight can create an updraft, venting a room of hot air. This can be done year round―including the air conditioning season―because the colder air will stay low.

Skylights can be great problem-solvers. For instance, in a small bathroom with limited wall space, a skylight might be the only way to get natural light into the room. A skylight with clear glass will direct the sunlight to a specific spot. If you buy one with acrylic or obscure glass, the light will be spread over a larger area.

Thirty years ago, skylights consisted of a single piece of glass in a frame. Today, they come with low-E and tinted coatings which control transmission of both heat and UV rays. As an alternative to tinted glass, you can buy shades or blinds for your roof skylight. Skylights that open will usually come with a screen as well.

Skylights also save you money. Besides reducing the need for electric lighting, they can provide warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer, minimizing your need for heating and air conditioning.

In the winter, the sun’s heat will radiate into a room. In summer, a ventilating skylight will add to your air circulation by releasing the warm air, making the room feel cooler.

Skylights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The size you choose should be determined by the size of the room you’re putting it in. To get the location of your skylight, you should be looking at the way the sun passes over the house, and where in the room you need the light.

When a room’s ceiling is away from the roof line, you can use a tubular skylight. These come in sizes up to 18″ in diameter. They consist of a clear dome over a reflective shaft that ends at the ceiling, with a diffuser which spreads the light. This combination provides a great deal of light for its size, and it’s sealed, which minimizes heat transfer.

When you go to the retailer to shop for skylights, ask questions. Get knowledgeable about the styles, sizes, and features. Then you can make an educated choice about which roof skylight to buy.

About the Author: Charles Gueli has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years. He invites you to ask questions and take advantage of the resources at www.continuous-home-improvement-help.com, where guidance, information and support are always available – helping homeowners make better decisions.