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4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Residential Skylight
Skylights can change a room’s character, add natural light, a sense of spaciousness, and style. If done right, they can scatter sunbeams throughout a dreary kitchen, brighten a dark bathroom, or provide a starry-skied bedtime panorama.
They also save you money by reducing the need to use electric lights and an HVAC system to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. In the hot months, a ventilating skylight promotes air circulation by releasing warm air.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you choose the right skylight for your home. Here we list four things homeowners must keep in mind when buying a skylight.
Skylights are excellent for filling a space with bright light, but direct sunlight exposure can add to the heat, making any room uncomfortably hot. That’s where operable skylights make sense, as an opening can ventilate rising heat and provide fresh air.
Meanwhile, fixed skylights are suitable for any room needing additional light but not ventilation. Tubular skylights are ideal for hallways, foyers, pantries, closets, or other and closed spaces.
Skylights can be of wood, vinyl, or metal frame that holds a light-transmitting piece made of either plastic, glass, or solar glazing.
Glass glazing is twice as heavy and 25% to five times more expensive than plastic glazing. It’s more transparent and more scratch and impact resistant. Glass glazing also does not discolor, blocks UV rays, and is available in custom sizes and shapes.
There are two insulating options: low-emissivity (low-E) coating or argon gas between the two panes. Low-E is an invisible coating of metal oxide on the inner glass plane. Argon gas retains indoor heat in winter, reflects heat in summer, and blocks out nearly all UV rays.
Plastic glazing is cheaper, half as light, and less likely to break than glass. However, it’s prone to scratches and becomes discolored easily, blocks little to no UV light, and has limited options in sizes and shapes: flat, pyramidal, arched, or domed. Solar-heat control glazing adds energy efficiency.
There are two skylight installation methods—deck mounted and curbed mounted. Both are excellent but suitable for specific situations.
A deck-mounted skylight is made in a factory, and it comes ready for installation. It’s installed by screwing down the skylight to the cutout opening, putting down the protective ice and water shield, and finally installing the flashing kit.
Meanwhile, a curb-mounted skylight is built on-site and retrofitted to an existing opening. Your roofing contractor will build the curb to fit specific measurements. Unlike deck mounted, curb mounted skylights don’t always have a particular flashing kit, and the contractor has to make their flashing to keep them leak-free.
North-facing skylights provide steady illumination without absorbing or releasing much heat. Those facing the south provide warmth in winter but retain extra heat in summer. East-facing skylights provide the most brightness and heat in the mornings. Meanwhile, west-facing skylights offer the most heat in the afternoon.
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Christopher Home Improvement has been serving Connecticut and Rhode Island for over 16 years. We offer roofing, siding, gutters, and window services for residential and commercial customers. You can get free estimates by calling us at 877-334-4654 or by filling our contact form.
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