Skylight / July 8, 2018 / Baptiste Allain
Skylights are best suited to catch sunlight from the overhanging clouds. In addition to this skylight windows allow a deeper penetration of the suns light into the structure of the house in such a way that it is less obtrusive. Skylights also keep heating and cooling costs down. Skylights are your windows to the heaven. They can breathe drama into any living space. And they are all the rage these days. In such a scenario it is easy for people to forget important considerations while choosing skylights. Energy problems that influence windows operate just as strongly or even more so in skylights. For instance heat loss heat gains solar gains ventilation and water pooling affect skylight windows too.
For one thing skylights are positioned in such a way that they are inaccessible unless they are operated by remote. Even in cases of motorized skylights which are easily manipulated there are still some disadvantages that are inherent to skylights that are not present or minimized in windows. Vertical windows lose less heat by convection when compared to skylights. Also since windows are generally protected by overhangs or shrubs they lose less heat by radiation. On the other hand skylights are directly exposed to the sky. Thus they lose more heat by radiation. Proper insulation can reduce this heat loss to a large extent. In the summer season skylights are more exposed to the direct heat of the sun than windows.
For example the optimum slope for a south-facing skylight in Columbus Ohio at 40º North latitude is 45º to 55º. Every skylight has a "shaft" which governs how much light is admitted into the room below. If all four sides are flared then the light is spread over a wide area. If your skylight has a shaft with perpendicular sides the light is focused straight below. If your skylights shaft is flared on only one or two sides then the light is sprayed in the flared direction. Ventilation If you wish you can have a skylight which also provides ventilation as well as light to your room. This allows you to release the hot air which collects at your ceiling.