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Skylights are highly desired windows for a number of reasons. A view of the sky, clouds, and sunlight add an instant feeling of warmth and openness. They can help the smallest spaces, like bathrooms or cramped upstair rooms feel bright and expansive. They even help reduce your electric bill by providing all the daytime lighting you could possibly need. With vented skylights, you can increase the ventilation in your home.
Here are some considerations before installing a skylight:
Weatherproof Skylights for your area
Water tightness and ability to withstand wind and bear the weight of snow all depends on how well your skylight is weather proofed, and because they are placed on the roof, the ability to retain leaks is critical. Whether you live in a warm or cold climate will influence how you weatherize your skylights. If you’re looking to buy Skylights in Toronto, you’ll definitely want to optimize them for colder weather.
For climates that have hot summers, you can look into a glass glazing/tint that will absorb heat and reduce the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Solar heat gain coefficient is a measure of the amount of heat from sunlight that a skylight blocks.
How high or low you want your windows’ SHGC depends on your climate– the lower the number, the less heat enters your house. For instance, a skylight with a high SHGC, would be best to have for colder winters, while a skylight with a low SHGC is better at blocking heat during hot summers.
For safety reasons, make sure to inquire that your windows are made of the correct glass, or plastic. Professional installers know that glass made for skylights must be made of safety glazing material, meaning it is either tempered or laminated. Tempered glass has undergone a process of heating and rapid cooling, which makes it much harder than normal glass. Tempered glass is the glass that shatters into small pebble-like pieces with no sharp edges when broken.
Be Careful Choosing Placement
You’ll be surprised how much heat you can gain from a single skylight, so keep that in mind when deciding how many you want in each room. In most cases, you cannot place them immediately next to each other, because water will need a channel to flow down. In general, it’s best to have skylights north or south face, but placement will be determined mainly by the placement of your home’s rafters.
Consider a Self-Ventilating Skylight
If you want a skylight that can also be used for ventilation, there are many brands of Skylights that can be opened to let air in. Here are some points when deciding between fixed or vented skylights:
- Fixed skylights rarely have leaking issues since they are sealed during manufacturing. Most leaks with fixed skylights are due to installation issues and poor flashing techniques. Always ask for riveted and soldered flashing kits custom made for each curb size. They wrap the corners to seal once and for all.
- Vented skylights present more opportunities for leakage because they are not sealed shut, however, good quality vented skylights typically fare well against rain and other sources of precipitation.
- Vented skylights can be left open by mistake, or during any time when you’re not expecting rain, which allows rain and debris to get into your house. To solve this problem look into motorized skylights available that will close automatically if they sense moisture.
- Vented skylights let built-up moisture escape from kitchens and bathrooms. You can also vent out excess heat, an option not available with a fixed skylight.
- Fixed skylights tend to run a lot cheaper than vented skylights, especially if you’re vented skylights has sensor features.
Get motorized shades for skylights
Because skylights are high and out of reach, many homeowners don’t consider getting skylight shades. Unless you want to wake up to the sun each day, or endure the heat that can come from skylights during summer, motorized skylight shades offer a highly practical solution. They can be used with a remote, wall mounted switch, or even a smartphone app. A constant stream of light from a skylight isn’t always desired, so having the option of shade with electric skylight covers make your skylights much more usable and versatile.
We create shade solutions for Skylights in the Toronto area, which can be customized to fit the exact dimensions of your skylight. If you want an estimate for your skylights or have any concerns regarding motorized skylight shades, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.