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Skylight Energy Efficiency

October 10, 2010

Properly installed skylights are energy efficient, but there are pitfalls for both professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers to overcome. Skylights energy efficiency rates are dependent on several variables. These overhead windows are exposed to wind, rain, and temperature extremes. Plus, they also often come in shapes with a large surface area exposed to the elements. But overall, skylights are designed to be energy efficient and are a good choice for your home or business.

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Skylights Energy Efficiency Challenges

Many skylights are shaped like a dome, rise above the roof's surface, and are unprotected from the weather. Recessed skylights have the tendency to collect debris, snow, and rain water. Damage results and heated air escapes and costs you money.

Direct sunlight streaming into your air-conditioned home can heat up the air and keep the air conditioner working hard. The sun's UV rays warm up what it costs to keep your home cooled, too.

Another obstacle to skylights energy efficiency is improperly framed and insulated skylights. A professional contractor knows how to seal the window, but the seal doesn't always last. A skylight is a critical point where expansion and contraction of material, water seepage, and rotting wood can occur, all of which add up to energy loss.

Solutions to Skylight Energy Loss

  • Hire a professional contractor to install your skylight. Experience counts for a lot.
  • Buy skylights with good energy efficiency ratings. This might cost more upfront, but you'll save on energy costs.
  • Maintain your roof and the caulking surrounding the skylight window. Energy is sapped from leaking air around any opening in the roof when the caulk dries, cracks, or disintegrates. Check the seal and shingles regularly.
  • Install a skylight window shade outside or inside of your window to lessen the amount of sun entering your home. Special window glazing can also help minimize the sunlight.

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