Skylights for homes are the perfect solution to increase the amount of natural light while reducing energy consumption. Passive houses use skylights as one of the elements of passive heating systems. If your house has an attic, skylights will make it habitable and friendly. More and more builders and architects integrate this type of windows in their projects, mainly because of their stylish look but also because of the benefits offered by natural light coming from above.
From mobility standpoint, skylights for homes can be fixed or ventilating. Each type comes with its advantages and drawbacks. It is up to you to decide which of them are the most important for you and choose your skylight type accordingly.
Fixed skylights can’t be opened, their sole purpose is to allow the passage of light. While the disadvantage is obviously the impossibility of using them to bring fresh air inside, the advantage is their better insulation. As they don’t have any moving parts, it is a much smaller probability to experience leaks during heavy rains.
Ventilating skylights are mobile. You may open them to get the air inside your house moving. If your intention is to install skylights in the bathroom or in the kitchen, you better choose this type, in order to be able to evacuate the steam that gets generated when you cook or when you take hot showers.
Since skylights can sometimes be situated at a height that doesn’t allow direct manual operation, they can come with a remote control system or with a hand crank. Remote control systems will probably add a little bit to the final price, but they are better because they don’t spoil the interior design and they are easier to operate than cranks.
The drawback of ventilating skylights is that they may not be perfectly insulated. As rubber gaskets get old, they may become less effective in preventing the temperature exchange and they may even start leaking. Nonetheless, if you do your homework when you shop for skylights, you can prevent unpleasant situations by choosing a trusted brand from companies that give you several years guarantee for both materials and installation. It is very important to have skilled workers install the skylights, because improper installation may cause leaks, even if you buy top notch quality materials.
Something you should consider when buying skylights, as opposed to wall windows, is that you’ll be under direct attack of UV rays. In time they may damage your furniture and cause discoloration of your carpets. The solution is simple and it comes straight from the manufacturer: get LoE coated laminated glass. Not only it protects your stuff from the fading effect of UV rays, it also increases the energy efficiency of your home.
Other considerations depend on your local weather conditions. If you live in a climate where hurricanes strike often, getting impact glass is a wise decision. If you live in the mountains or in areas with heavy snowfalls, get glass that resists to snow load. If you aren’t sure what to choose, get in touch with an architect or a home improvement showroom specialist who is qualified to give you advice and help you make the correct choice.