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Skylights: Pros and Cons for Energy Efficiency

Skylights: Pros and Cons for Energy EfficiencyWhether you have skylights in your home or are considering installing one, it’s helpful to know how they affect your home’s energy efficiency. The cost of heating and cooling your home adds up over the year and while skylights add to the enjoyment of your home, you can have the extra light without noticeably increasing your conditioning costs.

The Benefits

If you have dark rooms or spaces in your home, a skylight will bring in much needed natural daylight. Natural illumination helps people who have the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s hard to emulate the effects of sunshine in a room during the day using lighting, which is the primary reason architects and designers specify skylights.

The right skylight could also provide you with warmth from the sun during the winter months. If you’re one of those who enjoys the feeling of radiant heat from sunlight, this kind of window enhances your indoor comfort.

The Downsides

If you have older skylights installed in your home, the odds are high that they reduce your home’s energy efficiency and make your HVAC system run longer and more often.

A universal issue with skylights is water and air leakage. Over time, even the best sealed skylight can start to leak since constant exposure to the elements can deteriorate the caulk used to seal it.

Workarounds

In San Antonio, the heating season is short and if you want a skylight, consider putting it on the east or north side of your roof where it receives less sunlight. You can also select a skylight that blocks radiant heat or has built-in blinds.

Skylights are also available with the same efficiency as Energy Star windows. Some use dual panes filled with argon gas and others have blinds built inside them. To protect against water leaks, have a roofing specialist inspect and reseal the skylight periodically just as you would a window.

You can maintain your home’s energy efficiency with skylights as long as you make appropriate choices for this climate. If you’d like more information, contact Beyer Boys, providing HVAC services for San Antonio homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).