A skylight can be a beautiful addition to a room. They provide a view of the sky and a source of natural light. However, they can also create a situation where you’re wasting energy year-round. Most of this energy waste is due to the unique location of a skylight. While most windows are vertical and placed on the side of your house, skylights are on the roof and much closer to horizontal. This positioning causes two problems:
- In the summer, the roof location places the window closer to the sun. While it lets in the natural light that you want, it also lets in up to four times the amount of heat as a traditional window.
- In the winter, the warm air your heater puts out rises. Without skylights, this air is somewhat trapped by your ceiling and roof. With a skylight, more of that heat escapes.
In both situations, your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your home comfortable. The harder it works, the higher your energy bill is.
So how can you still enjoy a skylight without wasting energy?
If you have not installed one yet, the options you choose when selecting a product will make a huge difference. Skylights have Energy Star ratings to help you find one that’s going to give you the most efficiency for your dollar. The size of the window, direction it is facing, materials it’s made out of, and slope will all have an effect on efficiency.
If you already have one or more skylights installed, you can still take some steps to improve your energy efficiency. For example:
- You can shade the window from the inside using blinds. There are products made specifically for skylights that can be moved either manually or electronically.
- You can shade the window from the outside with an awning.
- You can make sure the window is well-sealed to stop air from escaping.
- You can consider upgrading the window to a more energy-efficient model.
For more information about keeping your skylight energy efficient and other HVAC matters in the Orlando area, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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