Skylights are increasingly a popular feature in most modern homes. They not only add extra lighting to the rooms but also good ventilation. A skylight can also give you great views of the surrounding areas.
They provide good day lighting helping create a brighter living space. This is also a cost saving measure as you do not have to rely on artificial lighting during the day. If installed correctly and in the right location, they will help in mitigating costs associated with lighting, cooling and heating the home. The skylights also serve an aesthetic function in the home; they make the house look good. However, you can only optimize the skylight feature in your premises when it is well designed and properly installed. Here is some of the key considerations that you need to keep in mind when planning to install skylights on your premises.
The Design Considerations
Careful thought and consideration should be put into the design of your skylights. Proper installation will help optimize on the interior lighting, the ventilation and the energy efficiency of the building. Make sure you place a premium on the design process so that you get it right from the word go and cut down on the cost of installation.
Proper Skylight Selection
For the best lighting and energy performance, you have to start by selecting the right skylights with the right energy efficiency ratings. This will be based on factors such as the design of the home and the local climate. Most manufacturers or suppliers of skylights generally establish the performance ratings according to the local climate of a particular area but this may not necessarily put into consideration the design of your premises. For the best results, you should incorporate the skylight design in the original house design.
When selecting a skylight, you should also factor in the physical size of the skylight as it has a direct correlation to the level of illumination and the interior temperature of the house. There is a size threshold for skylights that needs to be factored in. The rule of thumb is that the skylights should not occupy more than 5% of the total floor area if the room has a lot of windows for ventilation. However, if the room has very few windows, the skylight should occupy at most 15% of the total floor area.
Modern skylight products are highly versatile and can be installed in almost all kinds of spaces where you might need the natural lighting. You can install them in the corridors, bathrooms, bedrooms or even in the living rooms. For the best results, you should keep the following tips in mind when in installing your skylights:-
- The location where you are installing the skylights should be one where you generally need the most lighting during the day. Depending on the position or location of your premises, some areas may not be receiving optimal lighting during the day in spite of the presence of window openings forcing you to increasingly rely on artificial lighting. Artificial lighting used during the day is not just costly but generally has health implications. Results have indicated that too much use of artificial lighting may interfere with your circadian rhythm. An exposure to natural lighting generally helps in restoring your natural sleep cycle. At the end of the day, by the time you have decided to install artificial lighting, you will have a good idea of where the shoe pinches and can make a decision accordingly. For these regions, it is advisable to go for fixed artificial lighting.
- You can opt for a ventilating skylight that either closes or opens depending on your preference.
- If the room is too small and you are unable to install skylights directly on the ceiling, you can go for a tubular skylight design which still delivers brilliant natural lighting into the room.
- The skylights are also available in a variety of styles as well sizes that you can pick from. You can choose styles such as polygonal, flat, domed and pyramidal. If you find none of these styles particularly appealing, you can also go for a custom design for your skylights that is made according to your unique preferences.
Factor in the Quality Standards
The quality of the skylights will have a bearing on their energy performance as well as durability. Good skylights should have excellent sound reduction, be water-tight, have excellent energy efficiency performance and also have good wind resistance. They need to not only provide brilliant lighting and conserve energy but they must also be structurally sound. Skylight installations should not create pathways in the roofing through which moisture or ice will seep into the home.
Apart from these considerations, you should also look at the durability and the aesthetic quality of the skylight installation. How will they fare on against the vagaries of the weather such as the UV rays and storms? How will they stack up after a few decades? Look at the warranty offered by the manufacturer, for example. There are manufacturers that provide high quality skylights that are not just durable but are made from sustainable materials. At the end of the day, you are installing skylights to also boost the sustainability of your buildings so it only makes sense to buy products that are also sustainable.
Make Sure the Skylight is Placed Properly
The placement of skylights will be crucial to their performance. Choose a good location on your roof’s rafters where the skylights are to be installed that will help in optimizing the lighting and energy performance. It is advisable to have the design done by skylight installation professionals before you begin cutting through the roof otherwise it might end being an unnecessarily costly exercise.
Look at the Slope of Your Roof
Before buying the flashing, put the slope of the roof into consideration. The flashing kits that you will use during the installation of the skylights are generally specific to particular roof pitches. For the smoothest installation, have a professional roofing expert to determine the pitch of your roof before you purchase the flashing. This will allow you to install the skylights squarely into the designated location.
The flashing should also be properly waterproofed. This will ensure that the water and the ice on your roofing will flow away from the skylight opening thus minimizing potential long term damage.
Considerations during Installation
Without proper installation, even the best quality and most energy efficient skylights may not live up to the billing. Unless you have the specialised trade skills to carry out the installations on your own, have the skylight on your roofing installed by a professional that is skilled in the job.
The skylight installation must also be carried out according to the manufacturer guidelines. Make sure you factor in the slope of the roof and moisture into consideration for you to have durable skylights.
- The slope: The slope of the roof will have an impact on the light and heat gain of the skylight. If it is low, the skylight will allow in more heat and light during the summers and less of these during the winters. Ideally, you would want to have the reverse of this so as to optimize on your cooling and heating during the summers and winters. Talk to a skylight specialist to make a titled base that will give you optimal heat and lighting during both summers and winters.
- Control of moisture:- If the skylight is not properly installed on your roofing, there will be a lot of leaks and cases of water or ice seeping through the joints. This can be mitigated in various ways such as mounting the skylights above the surface of the roofing, installing flashing and a curb, proper sealing of the joints and carrying out the skylight installation according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
These are some of the main factors to put in mind so as to have quality and durable skylight installations that will serve your needs over the long haul.