Skylights add a luxurious touch to homes by allowing natural light in, but they are also a potential source of energy loss. From poor construction to bad installation, your skylight might be contributing to heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Learn more about this here.
Skylights and Solar Heat Gain
Natural light is pleasant and it reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day. However, where there is sunlight, there is often heat gain. In winter, heat entering from skylights reduces your heating needs. In summer, solar heat coming in from skylights can drive up cooling costs.
When installing skylights, you should consider solar heat gain effects in all seasons. If you decide that positioning one on a south-facing roof is best because you want the most benefits of solar heat in winter, make sure that you also include a shading feature for summer, such as blinds, skylight awnings or other movable shading panels. Some top-of-the-line skylights even offer special coatings that darken during the heat of the day.
Installing skylights only on a north-facing roof can minimize solar heat gain. You will still receive the benefits of natural light, but without all of the heat.
Heat loss can be a big concern during a frigid Michigan winter. Since heat naturally rises, having older, inefficient skylights can result in substantial heat loss that drives up winter heating bills. Newly manufactured models have extra insulating features to mitigate this problem. If you don’t want to give up your skylights, it is wise to upgrade them to newer designs with double or triple glazing and other energy-saving features, such as thermal tints.
Any breach in a home’s thermal envelope introduces the potential for air leaks. You can prevent losing energy through drafty skylights by ensuring they are installed by professionals and by having the skylights checked periodically. Seals can fail as a home shifts and materials expand or contract with moisture and temperature changes.
For more about preventing energy waste from your home’s skylight, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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