Skylight Window Replacement | Replacement Windows, Costs, Prices
Skylights can be an attractive addition to your home, and can also be an excellent source of natural lighting and even ventilation. Another important aspect of skylights is that they can be very energy efficient, supplying solar heat from the sun during the winter months and reducing the need for electrical lighting to be used during daylight hours.
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Skylight Window Sytles and Options
There are many different styles and designs of window skylights. Some will work with any style of home or roof, while others are made specifically to handle different roof pitches, space issues or other architectural elements. Styles of skylights include domed, glass, architectural, octagonal, curb mount, plastic glazed, impact approved, solatube, barrel vaults, circular, and fixed or non-operable skylights, to name a few.
Since one major benefit to skylights can be the ventilation they offer, many models are equipped to open to allow air flow through the skylight when needed. Other models can be fixed or inoperable to only allow light to flow in but not air. For those models that do offer ventilation, homeowners can choose from manual or electric vents, retractable skylights, roof windows, fixed skylights that have a flap to allow for air flow, and roof- window replacements. There are other types of operable skylights as well that offer ventilation options.
Another benefit to this type of window is that they can be a great energy saver. In fact, they can even pay for themselves in reduced energy costs. They can reduce heating costs by allowing passive solar heating to warm the interior space and they can reduce electrical costs by lessening the need for lighting in rooms that have skylights.
When purchasing skylights, it is best to keep in mind the same factors as you would when purchasing any other window when it comes to energy efficient options. This includes considerations such as how many panes of glass the skylight has, what types of coatings are on the glass, whether there is gas fill between the panes, the types of frames surrounding the skylights, and also how the skylights are situated to allow for maximum energy efficiency.
For example, a double paned skylight can reduce heat loss by about 15 percent as compared to a single pane skylight, which can add up to substantial energy savings over the life of the skylight. Also consider adding the right low-e coating to the glass to help reduce heat loss. Low-e coatings will differ depending on the location in which you live, but the right one will help reduce the loss of interior heat during the colder months and will reflect some of the heat from the sun from entering your home during the heat of the summer. The coatings will typically pay for themselves within a few short years due to the added energy savings they provide. Click for additional information on window replacement ratings.
Another factor to consider is the type of frames the skylight has. Aluminum steel frames are not very energy efficient. Frames constructed from wood, fiberglass or vinyl windows are typically more energy efficient and you can sometimes even get insulated frames on certain models of skylights. Opting for gas fill between the panes will add to energy efficiency and will also better insulate against exterior noise.
Where you place your skylight can also contribute to how energy efficient it is. For example, a southern facing skylight will be beneficial in absorbing solar heat thus reducing heating costs, while a western facing skylight will typically provide superior ventilation and will help to cool your home. Read more on windows and climate.
When it comes to lighting, skylights can provide a great deal of natural light in a home. This reduces the need for you to turn the lights on and therefore reduces electricity costs. Not only does the natural lighting reduce energy bills, but it has added benefits as well, by providing a more aesthetically pleasing and natural look to your home. It makes your home more attractive and more enjoyable.
Skylights that offer the option to provide ventilation not only help with energy bills but can also increase health as well. By allowing an adequate flow of air throughout a home, poor indoor air quality can be greatly improved. Allowing ventilation through the ceiling provides a different air flow than that offered by simply opening up the windows.
Skylights are available in many styles, and also come with different decorative trims, frame colors and other window options so you can select a model that works best with your home's features. You can add screens to those models that open to enjoy ventilation without allowing anything to fall into your home through the opening. You can also purchase special blinds made specifically to fit skylights for privacy and to keep the sun out when you don't want it shining in. You can even order security bars for some models to prevent intruders from breaking in.
There are some specific models that offer other options as well. For example, light pipes and solar tubes are non-traditional skylights that can be used in rooms that get little to no natural sunlight. They provide natural light through a tube that runs from the ceiling through the attic and up through the roof. These work well in locations where space or other factors would not accommodate a more standard skylight but where the benefits of a skylight are desired. Another option is the Sun-Tunnel skylight, which is built with a highly reflective tunnel that allows for the entry of a great deal of sunlight, despite poor sun locations or long roof elevations. This model is built for energy efficiency and also comes with a skylight cover system that reflects solar heat away from the interior of the home during warmer months and allows for more absorption of the sun's heat during cooler months.
Skylights are not only attractive but provide energy benefits and health benefits as well. While they are typically more expensive than traditional windows, the benefits they provide will often pay for themselves over the life of the skylight. Installation costs for skylights are typically quite a bit higher than traditional window installation because they require holes being cut into the roof, so make sure you hire an experienced contractor for the job and get a few estimates to compare pricing.