While skylights add a lot of light and beauty to your life, they can also be a source of energy loss. We understand that many homeowners are discouraged when they learn that skylight windows may decrease energy efficiency in the winter.
To keep your heating bills down during the winter, you’ll want to follow our tips for how to prevent heat loss through skylights. For more information, we recommend contacting a skylight supplier near you.
Know How Skylights Contribute to Energy Loss
Heat rises. If you have a skylight, this means that heat rises and escapes outside through your skylight. Any air that doesn’t escape is quickly cooled by the cold glass in the skylight before sinking into your living space.
Since skylights are located on the roof, they tend to lose heated air in the winter and cooled air in the summer. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce how much heat is lost through your skylight this winter. Many of the energy efficiency strategies we list here start with proper installation, which is why it’s so important to do your research before hiring a contractor.
Be Mindful of Where You Install Skylights
If you have yet to install your skylight, you’ll want to think about where it should be positioned. The direction your residential skylight faces has less to do with personal preference and more to do with where the sun is positioned in the sky. For example, southern-facing skylights receive the most sunlight during the day. While this can reduce energy efficiency in the summer, it’s great for cold weather.
Many homeowners achieve better energy efficiency by positioning skylights underneath deciduous (leafy) trees facing south. That way, the sun is blocked by leaves in the summer, but able to shine through in the winter when the leaves fall off. Heat gain in the winter is a good thing because it decreases how much you’ll have to run your furnace to heat your home.
Invest in Skylight Tints, Coatings, and Glazing
You’ll want to consult with a home building supplier near you to learn what types of skylights are best for your home. According to the Department of Energy, there are different types of skylight glazes which include plastic and glass. You’ll also need to decide if you want insulated glazing, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and heat-absorbing tints to improve energy efficiency.
Make Sure your Skylight Has the Right Slope
The optimal slope for a skylight is based on your geographical latitude plus 5 to 15 degrees. The slope of your skylight, relative to the position of the sun in the sky, is important because it determines how much heat is able to pass through into your home. A skylight supply company will be knowledgeable about the slope needed for your region.
Eikenhout is a building supply company that is dedicated to helping homeowners and contractors find high-quality building products for their next project. If you are interested in our inventory of residential and commercial building supplies, please feel free to call any of our nine Michigan locations.