Are Skylights Energy Efficient?

Skylights have been a popular feature in homes for a long time. They are great for letting in natural light and providing ventilation. But when it comes to energy efficiency, many homeowners wonder if skylights are a good choice.

First of all, it’s important to understand that skylights can provide energy savings by reducing the need for artificial lighting during the daytime. They also offer natural ventilation that can help cool a home during the warmer months, reducing the need for air conditioning.

However, older skylights can also be a source of heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, which can lead to higher energy bills. This is because older skylights may not be as insulating as newer skylight materials, and certainly not as much as a wall or ceiling.

To improve the energy efficiency of skylights, several measures can be taken. One option is to choose skylights with double or triple-pane glazing, which offer better insulation than single-pane glazing. Another option is to choose skylights with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, which help to reflect heat and keep a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Proper installation is also crucial for energy efficiency. Skylights should be installed in a way that minimizes air leakage, which can cause heat loss or gain. It’s important to hire a professional installer who has experience with skylights to ensure they are installed correctly.

In addition, homeowners can use shading devices such as blinds or shades to control the amount of sunlight that enters through the skylight. This can help to reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, improving energy efficiency.

Overall, skylights can be energy efficient if they are chosen, installed, and used properly. Homeowners should consider the climate they live in, the orientation of their home, and their energy goals when deciding whether to install skylights. With the right choices and installation, skylights can be a great way to improve the natural lighting and ventilation of a home while also saving on energy costs.

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