Use of skylights in both residential and commercial construction has become very popular of late. The more that is learned about the advantages of having skylights the more people are becoming convinced to installing them for not only new construction projects but for remodels and retrofits as well.
For a list of benefits gained through skylight use, consider the following:
- They add style and beauty to a building.
- They allow for an abundance of natural light to enter a space and, if they are operating skylights, allowing for fresh air to enter and stale air to exit.
- They can cool a space during hot weather and collect warming solar heat during cold months.
- They conserve energy and save the money spent on utility costs such as electric lighting.
- They brighten a space, allowing rich colors and detail to show more clearly.
- They provide health benefits by promoting exposure to natural light and fresh aid and have been shown to aid those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- They are cheery, fostering an uplifting mood to those occupying the space affected.
Installing certain skylights can qualify for federal tax credits
Skylight technology has come a long way and today there are skylights made in a wide variety of designs, sizes, and functionalities. This includes the smallest skylight tunnel, often used to brighten naturally dark areas such as attics, closets, and stairways to the larger models with built-in opening and closing capabilities, actuated at the touch of a remote control button.
As with most things you buy, “you get what you pay for” is an old adage that certainly holds true for most skylight options. While there exists a wide variety of relatively inexpensive units in the marketplace, most who choose to go this route end up frustrated and dissatisfied by the performance of these low-cost models. Even when properly installed, these units will typically accumulate condensation, will often develop leaking problems and are known to have a short life expectancy. Spending a little more to obtain a high-quality skylight product is definitely advisable in this instance and the best units, such as those from VELUX, come with comprehensive warranties attesting to both their durability and expected longevity.
While skylights can be used on either flat or sloped roof, there are several advantages in dealing with a sloped-roof skylight installation. Because of water accumulation on a flat roof, it is best to install curb-mount units for this type of application, whereas with a sloped roof, a frame-in-place configuration is also a viable option. These units mount flush with the roof surface, which some find more attractive.
Sloped-roof buildings naturally promote the accumulation of heat, stale air and odors to the high point in the space and an operating skylight is a perfect way for allowing this accumulation to vent to the outside, creating a more comfortable and healthy internal environment. With proper skylight installation, including the use of flashing and weather barrier sealing materials, an installation on a sloped roof is much less likely to develop any leakage problems, as water is allowed to drain effectively around the installation area.
A skylight installed on a sloped roof can also serve as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire, which is an important safety consideration. Some models are even configured to integrate a balcony area into the roof window, which is not only attractive but also effective if the occupant wants to just ‘step out to get some air’. Whatever your personal desires in this area, there is certainly a high-quality skylight currently being manufactured to meet your specific needs.
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