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Skylights

»Skylights

Skylights

April 22, 2020| Lester Yat

Maintenance tips for skylights?

Here are a few tips on keeping that window on the world in good shape.

Wood maintenance: At least every two years, remove the varnish or paint, and when dry, apply a coat of water-based acrylic varnish/paint. While doing this maintenance, be sure to cover gaskets to protect them and ensure proper operation.

Cleaning the window pane: Use a soft, clean, lint-free cloth/chamois leather/nonabrasive sponge or a clean non-metal window squeegee to remove any accumulated dust or dirt. Avoid the use of chemicals and water.

Cleaning the filter: The filter can be removed and washed with ordinary household cleaners. New filters are available from the dealer’s website.

Cleaning the flashing: Through the year, leaves, pine needles and other wind-blown debris may accumulate around the skylight exterior. That debris should be removed from the flashing around the window, at least once a year.

Removing snow and ice: In areas with prolonged cold periods with heavy snowfall, the skylight will become covered. When the temperature changes, it will start melting and re-freezing; if there’s any chance of a leak, this cycle will exacerbate it. Be wary, however, of scratching the glass during any roof snow-removal operations.

Condensation: When condensation forms, it is a warning sign that the home needs better ventilation. Close the doors of kitchens and bathrooms, and use exterior-vented fans to move moist air out of the home. The optimum temperature to avoid condensation problems is 68°F.

Do skylights cut energy costs?

Why do you people choose skylights when they could very easily have a home complete with artificial lighting?   There is not one answer to that question. For some, a skylight offers a completely unique and different perspective that is more inviting to everyday life. Instead of perhaps opening blinds or flipping a wall switch, the light presents an almost encompassing feeling over certain parts of an entire structure. That is a welcoming feeling that is not so much overwhelming as it is beautiful.

A skylight also create a disparity between what some may consider a ‘normal’ home complete with artificial lighting and a variety of incandescent lighting , and that of a home with natural lighting that enters rooms at different angles. When one perhaps walks into a home and sees a skylight up close and personal, it can be a wondrous experience.

There variety of styles of skylights that exist also encourage owners to maybe build or modify their homes in different ways. Skylights can be sloped, fixed (not able to be opened or modified), operable (able to be modified by individuals to alter lighting and venting) and retractable (opened for heating purposes and transparent).

Also, energy rates and personal views on conservation play a role in choosing skylights over artificial lighting.   As energy conservation has become more important on a global scale the past few decades, new designs and options continue to enter the market and offer a plethora of options.

Solar lighting, in particular, is becoming a huge part of the “green movement” that continues to gain steam in the United States. Studies have concluded that natural lighting can cut energy costs by as much as 80 percent in some places, and that is a byproduct of how long natural daylight lasts. It lowers prices, decreases environmental impact and saves energy for other particular uses. Even on days that are not as bright due to sunlight, natural light still makes a major impact in terms of vision and energy savings.

Skylights may be an acquired taste, but their use is palpable when it comes to not only cutting energy costs but also illuminating a home or any other type of architecture. Skylights can be of different shapes and sizes, can be used in different-sized rooms and offer a variety of options for someone to choose from.   If anything, purchasing less light bulbs for lamps and ceiling lights may sway someone to go the skylight route.

What to consider when installing a skylight?

So you as an owner have pondered whether a skylight is what you desire.   What’s the next step?   First, you have to figure out what you want and where you want it.   Maybe you want a smaller skylight in a den area that adds just enough natural light, or perhaps it ‘ s a wide open skylight looming over a large living room.

Either way, there are many brands and styles to choose from. Some people may be inclined to go the less expensive route while sacrificing aesthetics, which in the long run may not be worth the headache because cheaper materials won’ t last long.

There a wide variety of options to consider when installing a skylight. Daylighting is used for elements that allow direct or indirect sunlight while sustainable building options provide a solar element.

fixed unit skylight is non-operable, or provides no ventilation. An operable skylight, or roof window, is supported by a frame window.   Then, there is the retractable skylight. It rolls on a set of tracks so that the outdoors can properly enter a structure, while also not being blocked. A tubular daylight device, or TDD, condenses light and is often used in darker areas.   Materials for skylights range from glass to plastic, although glass is more durable and long lasting.

How to choose which skylight is right for you?

Skylights offer natural illumination and a great alternative to energy-hogging artificial lighting, and the arguable best part is that each room and skylight can fit an individual’s specific vision.

It used to be that installing skylights in a home posed somewhat of a perilous decision due to how they were constructed, what materials they were made of and possibly eliminating heat loss.   Those days are long gone, though, and there is now a plethora of pragmatic and alluring options.

First, owners must understand their roof slopes, notably ceiling style and frame configuration. A ceiling style and configuration is important to know and understand because that leads to how the skylight will be constructed. Sometimes, a wider skylight can be achieved by adjoining two smaller skylights.   Ceiling styles include flat, cathedral, sloped and flat walls.

Then, the fun part starts: deciding which kind of skylight to construct, choosing from styles that include tempered, laminated, impact, snow load and others. Also, considering a mounting system is important because different models save money for owners while sacrificing the actual style of skylight they want.

After all the details are sorted out, little things have to be thought about as well, such as making sure more light comes in through a bathroom or a den. A skylight is not just about an open window on a ceiling; it’s about a transformation to a home that can pay dividends.