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A skylight is a special kind of window built into a house roof to allow natural light to come in. A skylight may be installed for aesthetic purposes or as part of a passive heating strategy.
Types of Skylights
There are three main types of skylights (also called roof windows): fixed, ventilating and tubular.
Fixed skylights are skylights that do not open. They are installed for the purpose of providing additional light only. Fixed skylights are the most popular types of skylights.
Ventilating skylights are skylights that can be opened and are best for kitchens or bathrooms, where they help remove excess moisture and keep a steady flow of air. They can be operated by a remote control, a manual or motorized hand crank, or by sensor-controlled thermostat. These are the most expensive type.
Tubular skylights are the newest type on the market. They are small, circular-shaped skylights typically installed in small rooms, hallways and closets. They are normally 10" or 14" in diameter. Tubular skylights can significantly decrease your energy costs by eliminating the need for electric lights during the daytime
If you choose the wrong type of skylight for your space, it could either be too small and not function correctly or too large with air escaping or rain leakage. Details are extremely important for skylight installation. The opening in the roof and ceiling must be precisely aligned. If they are misaligned, the skylight will not fit into the spot, and the mistake will require more time and money to correct.
The least expensive skylights are single-paned and provide the least amount of insulation from outside noises. If you're sensitive to sound, double- or triple-paned skylights will be the better choice for you. Also, skylights that don't open or operated by remote or thermostat tend to be quieter than ones with a motorized hand crank. So, consider spending a bit of extra money upfront in order to save you problems down the road.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Skylights are great for adding light to dark rooms and cutting back on electricity use from lamps, but skylights also can allow heat to escape from a home or let cold air in. The most effective way to make skylights efficient is to have double-pane glass and several coats of insulating glaze. Also, consider adding a skylight shade as that will help reduce energy loss. You can use them to prevent unwanted heat during the day if desired.
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