Evaluate skylights for energy efficiency

By allowing more daylight into your home, skylights can reduce the energy consumption used for lighting, particularly in rooms without windows.
However, you need to know about the different types of skylights and the importance of position, size and energy performance in order to maximise the benefits and minimize the negative side effects they can have, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International real estate group.
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he notes that there are three main types of skylights, the first being the ventilating skylight often used in kitchens and bathrooms. This can be opened with a hand crank to let out rising hot air or steam and so help to cool a room in the summer or prevent the formation of mold.
“The second type is the fixed skylight, which of course provides light but is unable to provide ventilation, and the third is the tubular skylight, which is most useful where additional light is required but excessive heat gain from the sun is a concern.”
As for position, he says, the experts advise that you should locate skylights on the south-facing parts of your rood if you want to reduce solar heat gain and the subsequent need for cooling, and on the north-facing parts if you need extra warmth as well as light.
“Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy recommends that skylights should only cover 5% to 15% of the floor area in a room, depending on the number of windows, and that homeowners should also choose a skylight with insulating (double-pane) glazing, a heat-absorption tint or a low-emissivity (low-e) coating to control solar heat transfer into and out of the home.”
Issued by Chas Everitt International
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