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Getting the Most Energy Efficiency out of Skylights

Guest Post by Ginger Singer

Making your home more sustainable with skylightsSkylights make a home more sustainable because they offer light during the day with no added cost and provide solar heat in the winter.  Not all skylights are energy efficient.  If they are made poorly, they could end up costing more money than they save.  Skylights can effect heat lose and heat gain by up to 40%.  There are ways to make sure that skylights remain energy efficient rather than wreaking havoc on the power bill.  Solar tubes are some of the most energy efficient skylights.  Traditional skylights can also be made to be more efficient.

Tubular Skylights

Tubular skylights receive sunlight from different angles at all times of the day because of the small dome design at the top.  Light is then reflected down the tube and into the room through a fixture that resembles a ceiling light.  Tubular skylights let in more light through a small opening, which makes it lose less heat in the winter months and less coolness during the summer months.

Flat skylights

Flat skylights on the other give a home a window to the outside sky.  Tubular skylights do not allow home owners to view the outside world.  The US Department of Energy states that a skylight should not be bigger than 5% of the floor area if the room has other windows.  Rooms that have no other windows should not have a skylight that takes up to 15% of the floor area.  This will maintain the optimal amount of natural light without affect heat transfer.

Location of Skylights

The placement of a skylight in the roof depends on the geographic location of the house.  If the house is located in a warm place, the skylight should face north.  This will reduce the amount of direct passive heat.  It can also face east because it will heat up in the morning, but there will not be an excessive amount of light in the afternoon.  In a cooler climate the roof window skylights should face south because will increase the amount of heat due to direct sunlight.


Venting skylights can be purchased to increase air circulation.  These skylights open slightly to release hot air.  This is especially beneficial in bathrooms and kitchens.  In humid climate, ventilating skylights are beneficial because they can reduce the amount of moisture in a room.  This will decrease the risk of mold in the walls.  Some skylights even have moisture sensors to automatically close if it is about to rain.


VTECH Skylights is the leader in innovating and manufacturing skylights with RIM Technology. Providing skylight installations and a 10 to 20 year transferable warranty.

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