Skylight / July 8, 2018 / Baptiste Allain
Skylight windows are a wonderful addition to a home. Theres no doubt about it. But a lot depends on where exactly the house is located. Skylight windows are best suited for cool climates where the rays of the sun are not very harsh. Fortunately many places in the US have just this kind of weather. When used in such places skylight windows become the most important source of solar heating. And even when the sun is wobbly and there is little sunshine entering the room large skylight windows make the room look airy and bright dispelling the gloom. In areas where there is limited light and heat vertical windows are less efficient than large skylights because vertical sunlight is scant.
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.
Skylights may seem inexpensive at first glance since a quality 2x4 foot skylight along with a flashing kit costs anywhere from $100 to $400. However you need to consider adding another $3000 for installation costs. That being said you first need to carefully evaluate if installing a skylight is the right thing for your home. Till recently having a roof slope determined if you could install a skylight. Flat roofs or those which were too steep required special tools and techniques. However many of the skylight kits available today include a comprehensive installation kit and procedures which permits it to be installed on all types of roofs.