Energy efficient skylights are not a myth. They are actually quite common and accessible in many homes across the US. There are concerns among homeowners that skylights will raise their energy bills by letting in more sunlight and heat during the summer or by letting heat escape during the winter.
The truth is that properly installed skylights, which are also built with good materials are quite efficient. In addition, their function also makes them efficient as skylights attract a lot of heat during the winter which allows for the attic to be heated during the day. They are also used as natural ventilation portals during the summer which allows the same space to get cooler when the temperatures inside are too high.
Issues with skylight efficiencies only arise when skylights are not installed properly. Problems like broken seals cause not only heat exchange but also leaks which in turn start to create stains on your ceiling and walls. If this is the case, you will notice not just mold and water marks but also an uncomfortable atmosphere in the room, full of drafts.
Another problem with skylights is the U value of the materials composing them. When buying a skylight, you need to look for one with a low U value. This value indicates how well the window performs and how fast it allows for heat exchange to happen. Therefore, a lower U value means a more efficient window. To find out the U value of a skylight you can ask the manufacturer or look for it in the energy efficiency rating.
In addition, also check the SHGC, which is the solar heat gain coefficient. This factor shows you how the skylight transmits solar energy and converts it into heat. If you live in a cold area you want to look for something with a high SHGC, but if you live in a hot area, you need a window with a better shading ability and therefore a low SHGC.
Last but not least, the size of the skylight will also impact your home’s energy efficiency. A large skylight will increase your energy bills but a smaller one will barely make a difference.
For more information on skylights and their proper installation contact us at RH Renovation NYC. Skylights are complicated features in a home and need professional installation. We are the best in this area thanks to our years of experience and expertise dealing with all aspects of home renovations.