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Wonderful Windows: A Crystal Clear Window Blog

Welcome to my window blog. My name is Christy, and this is one of a series of blogs I am making about homes and home repairs. I was inspired to write about these topics after remodelling our home and replacing a lot of elements like the windows. I am going to write about everything from choosing the right windows for your climate to keeping your glass squeaky clean. I hope that you like reading these blogs -- if they inspire or help you, share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media you like! Thanks again for reading and enjoy!

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Wonderful Windows: A Crystal Clear Window Blog

5 Tips to Help You Select the Right Skylights in Your Home

by Carla Johnson

Skylights are an ideal solution if you need to brighten your space. They let natural light into the house, reducing your dependence on artificial lighting, which in turn reduces your energy bills and carbon footprint. Skylights can be installed in any room of the house, and proper planning will help you enjoy the full benefit of having them.

1. Size

Skylights come in many sizes, and the size you choose will affect the amount of light, heat and ventilation coming into your house. Contrary to popular opinion, a bigger skylight is not necessarily the better option. A small skylight installed in the right place can be just as effective as a bigger skylight.

2. Type

Skylights come in two main types: vented and fixed. The fixed skylight cannot be opened, while the vented/opening skylight has a switch to enable electronic opening of the skylight for ventilation. Vented skylights are powered by electrically operated chain actuators, which are integrated in the up-stand. In addition, you can choose to install wind and rain sensors at an additional cost.

If you want to improve ventilation as well as lighting in your house, then vented skylights are the obvious choice. However, consider installing an insect screen along with your skylight in order to prevent entry of unwelcome insects from outside.

In addition, flat, horizontal skylight models are suitable for a low-pitched, flat roof. For roof gardens however, skylights made to be walked on are a better option in terms of practicality and style.

Skylights come with different glazing options, typically double- or triple-glazed skylights. Walk-on and eco-friendly skylights are usually triple-glazed while the regular vented and fixed models are fitted with superior-performing double-glazing. Triple glazing offers higher heat insulation and noise reduction compared with double glazing.

3. Location

Your skylight's position directly determines how much light you get into the house. By placing your lights on the roofs facing north, you will enjoy relatively constant illumination without excessive heat. Placing the lights facing east will give you most of the morning light and heat, while placing them on the west will feed your home with afternoon sunlight and heat. South-facing skylights are the best for heat gain in winter, but they can generate unwanted heat during summer months.

In addition, your home's structure will impact the best positioning for your skylight. For instance, you cannot place skylights above electrical wiring, air ducts and wooden beams. Ensure you have accounted for these when choosing an appropriate location for the skylights.

4. Insulation

Skylights with a lower U-value offer higher insulation. The U-value is a measure of the skylight's ability to allow heat to escape from the home. Typically, eco-friendly skylights have lower U-values than vented, fixed or walk-on skylights, and hence lose very little heat – important for home insulation in winter.

5. Cost

Finally, the cost of your skylight depends on all the above factors, as well as the complexity of the installation procedure, if you decide to use professionals. In addition, some skylights are more expensive than other options. Choose the best options depending on how much you have to spend, but cost should not be the most important factor when choosing your skylights.

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