Our Guide to Selecting the Right Skylights for Your Household
Ever feel like your home could use a little more sunshine? Installing skylights is a stylish, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly way to brighten up your home. In fact, skylights can even help save you money by cutting down on energy costs from artificial lighting and better regulating your home’s temperature. Read on for our tips to choose the ideal skylights for you and your household.
Plastic or Glass?
When it comes to skylight pane material, the two choices available come down to plastic and glass. Plastic skylights are more affordable than glass ones, and considerably more lightweight as well. However, glass skylights provide a more elegant appearance, don’t scratch, and can be ordered in a wider variety of shapes and sizes. Because of this, glass is the favored skylight material for most homeowners.
Glass skylights can be glazed with various coatings and tints that affect the overall output of the skylight. Here are a few of the most common varieties:
Tempered, double insulated glass. This variety is the standard for the majority of quality skylights. They have been tempered for safety and feature two layers of glass separated by a layer of air space. This air space allows the skylights to be more energy efficient.
Tempered, double-insulated glass with Low-E (low emissivity) coatings. With this style of, the outer layer of glass is tempered for durability, and the inner layer has a transparent Low-E coating. The low emissivity glaze helps to regulate your home’s temperature by holding heat in the winter and reducing heat gain in the summer. It also cuts down on UV light rays which can fade fabrics and damage floors and furniture.
Tempered, double-insulated glass with Low-E coatings and argon gas. This variety is the same as the one listed above but with an even greater insulation capability.
Tempered, Low-E, argon-filled glass with a bronze tint. Same as above, but featuring a bronze glaze that further decreases solar heat gain.
Operable vs. Non-Operable
If you are looking for a lighting solution only and not concerned with increasing your home’s ventilation, then a non-operable skylight may be suitable for your home. However, making the decision to invest in an operable skylight allows homeowners the flexibility of opening their skylights. This means better home air circulation, and cooler interiors during summer months. Another major consideration in choosing between operable and non-operable windows is that the former can cost up to 40% more than the latter.
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At Straight Line Design & Remodeling, we have been remodeling homes to meet the needs of families in the Portland metro area for over a decade. That means that we have the experience and know-how to bring your project to life while staying on schedule and on budget.