In the past, having a skylight was a big energy efficiency no-no because the direct sunlight made it hard to regulate a home’s interior temperature. Unfortunately, that bad reputation has followed skylights around to this day. However, thanks to the wonders of modern science and new technology, skylights are much greener than they used to be. If you want to enjoy natural daylight without hurting your energy bill, let’s look at what you need to know about skylights and energy efficiency.
Sizing Ratio Is Important
Depending on how many windows you have in a room, a skylight should take anywhere from 5–15 percent of the floor area. If the room lacks windows, then the size of the skylight can lean more toward the 15 percent end of the spectrum. Conversely, the more windows in the room, the smaller the skylight should be. Too big of a skylight in a room with plenty of windows will only attract more heat.
Where you place your skylight also matters. Ideally, you want to place it where it can let in the most daylight. South-facing skylights may offer the best heat gain, but this can be detrimental to your energy bill during the summer months. West-facing skylights allow the most afternoon sun, with east-facing skylights allow the most morning sun. North-facing skylights provide a steady stream of sunlight, but they will do little for heat gain. Ultimately, your local climate and where you intend to put the skylight will affect which direction you choose, but keep these things in mind.
Skylights Need To Be Properly Installed
The most important thing you need to know about skylights and energy efficiency is that all the planning and sizing ratios you abide by won’t compensate for a poorly installed skylight. A professional installer can tell you where your skylight should be in accordance with the local climate and your home’s specific needs.
They’ll also be able to determine the roof’s pitch to pick the correct skylight for your home and install the proper flashing to protect your interior from damaging leaks. A skylight contractor can give you the professional advice you need so you get the most out of your skylight and ensure its energy efficiency.