Maybe after a dreary winter—and with spring just around the corner—the idea of installing a few skylights to open up your home to the sunlight hits the sweet spot. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
The first reminder is that Iconic Roofing & Exteriors handles skylight installations—and any other work needed on the exterior of your home, including standard windows. We are based in New Castle, Delaware, and provide service throughout the Philadelphia and Wilmington region.
It’s pretty standard for people to consider a skylight because they want more light in their life. But skylights can also be a great energy saver and efficiency booster—if they are high-quality units that are professionally installed.
But there are plenty of skylights now on the market with low U-factors—meaning they keep the heat in your house—that will allow the thermal warming that the sun provides to supplement your home heating system. Not to mention provide ambient illumination that lessens the need for artificial lights during the daytime hours.
Choosing a skylight that is highly rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)—the standard used by the ENERGY STAR® program—is the first step. Unlike looking for a low U-factor for keeping the heat in, look for a window with a high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), the measurement that captures how well the skylight will convert solar energy into heat.
The next factor is location. Skylights on south-facing sections of the roof will bring in more sunlight during the winter, due to the sun’s location in the sky. East-facing slopes will mean morning sunlight—bringing in heat after the coldest part of the 24-hour cycle—and avoiding late afternoon sunlight that can actually make a room too warm.
Even the location of trees can be a factor in locating a skylight. In summer, a fully leafed-out tree can provide some shade and keep things from getting too hot in an upper-story room, while in the winter when it’s leafless letting more light in.
Skylights should also be angled at certain parameters for optimal performance. We will make the needed calculations as part of the installation process.
Another thing to think about is whether to install skylights that can be opened—either manually or via motorization—and ways to minimize glare, including not just location but also filtering or shading options. As with venting, there are both manual and motorized blinds not can be part of a skylight. There are even units with heat and rain sensors that will open and close automatically and that can also be linked to programmable remote control units, including smartphones via the Internet of Things (IoT).
This gets back to the ultimate utility of a skylight—bringing in the light, which leads to several positive results. Natural light is great for people’s moods and can be a real game-changer if there are rooms in your home with few or no windows. Skylights can also make a small room feel much larger by disbursing “soft” light throughout the space and opening it up to a portion of the sky.
There are many shapes and sizes to choose from when trying to find the perfect skylight for any room. These can even be chosen in part to “shape” the light within a room.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to skylights. Not just the unit’s parts, but the movement of the sun across the sky and the contours of your home in relationship to it. Give us a call and let Iconic Roofing & Exteriors help you see what some sunlight can do for you.
If you need to replace your windows along with a skylight you can also content us.