Once very common, skylights went out of vogue due to modern architectural design trends. Now skylights are witnessing a return to popularity, mainly because people have become energy and environmentally conscious. This article will explain the benefits of using skylights in your house.
Skylights are installed in the roof of the house to let the sunlight shine into the interior areas of the house. This saves the electricity that you use for daytime lighting in these areas.
Wall windows let in just a fifth of the sunlight that comes through a skylight of the same dimensions. That means you get a five-fold benefit of natural lighting and heating, which translates to a commensurate saving on your energy bill.
Natural sunlight opens up closed spaces, making them appear airy and spacious. The smaller rooms of the house, like the kitchen and the living room benefit greatly from this treatment. A skylight for the bathroom is a great way to increase privacy and to make bathing a pleasure in cold weather.
Skylights are just great for growing plants indoors. You don’t need those special lamps to give the plants their daily dose of light energy. No lamps, no electricity, isn’t that great?
If you’re planning on installing, or already have, skylights in your house, you should also plan for skylight blinds. You don’t want to let the sun’s heat in during warm weather or in summer! That will be counter-productive, and will increase cooling costs. If blinds are too expensive, then you can go for tints that do the same job as blinds, the only difference being that the tints are fixed and cannot be manipulated at will like blinds.
Skylights are designed according to the natural sunlight available in the target geographical location and the orientation of the house. Skylights designed for the tropics will not be suitable for use in temperate zones. If your house has an angled roof, then the orientation is also important to maintain energy efficiency.
The general agreement on computing the size of the skylight for lighting up a room is a maximum of 5% of the floor area for areas with a lot of windows, and a maximum of 15% for those areas which are served by few windows. Exceeding these norms reduces the energy efficiency of the skylight.
Skylight installation is best left to professional contractors who have the necessary equipment, experience and expertise in the field. Improper seating and sealing of the skylights can drastically affect the energy efficiency of the installation. Their expert guidance and suggestions will help you extract the maximum benefit of the skylights for your house. Of course, the standard caveat applies, that you should verify the contractor’s work record with his past clients.