Have you always looked at skylights in other homes with a bit of envy in your heart? They allow you to enjoy the night sky from the comfort of your own home and help flood your house with natural light during the day. But you may have always wondered how they affect the energy efficiency of your home. Metal roof owners are especially leery, because they know that their roofing material provides optimal energy-efficiency, and they don’t want to jeopardize the savings they see on their utility bills by installing skylights. Look at these benefits of having skylights in your home, and reasons why you don’t need to worry about your energy costs rising if you have them installed in your metal roof.
What Are the Benefits of Having Skylights in Your Home?
There are many reasons to install this feature in your roof in addition to the lovely aesthetics that skylights provide. Skylight technology has come a long way in recent years, and there are many ways that they are a benefit to your property. Consider these factors.
- No heat gain or loss. Some homeowners worry that if they have skylights in their homes, it may become too hot during the day, and heat may be lost at night. While this may have been an issue in years gone by, modern skylights use mirrored reflectors, large lenses, open-sided cylinders, and sun-tracking to ensure that this doesn’t occur.
- Improved ventilation. Besides allowing more light into your home, skylights can also allow more ventilation. Since heat naturally rises, you may get a lot of hot air that gathers near your ceiling. Typically, a skylight will open out from the bottom to allow ventilation, but some models provide ventilation through a hinged panel. To operate the skylights for ventilation manually, some use a crank, chain, or pole; however, some offer a pneumatic device or electric motor to open and close them.
- What if it rains? So, you have your skylight open for ventilation while you run out to visit family or perform errands, and it starts to rain. Don’t worry; there are modern safeguards to protect your home if this situation occurs. Skylights that operate automatically are available with moisture sensors that close them if it begins to rain.
- When you sleep on the top floor of your house, you must always have a plan to escape in case of fire, or in some cases, flooding. Depending on the architecture of your home, you may be able to install large skylights that work as emergency exits in case you need to escape.
- Homeowners love the look of modern skylights because they are available in such a wide range of sizes and shapes. It doesn’t matter if your home is traditional or modern; you will be sure to find something among the tubular, triangular, diamond, oval, circular, and rectangular options available that perfectly suits your home.
Skylights offer a valuable investment for your home’s future – whether you are living there for the long term or looking to sell in the near future.
Are Skylights Energy Efficient?
Modern skylights can help improve the energy efficiency of your home all year long. They allow in light and your house during the cold winter months and work to keep things cool when summer rolls around. Proper selection of energy-efficient models and quality installation are key factors in ensuring that you get the best energy savings with your new skylights.
- Select the best models. When you are looking for energy-efficient skylights, you want to be sure to choose those with a low U factor. This term refers to the performance of your skylight when it comes to transmitting non-solar heat energy.
- Tubular and flat models. Flat skylights don’t always offer the same energy-efficiency as tubular models, which are domed at the top and can capture sunlight from more angles as it moves through the sky. This does not mean that flat skylights are not energy-efficient, but you want to be sure to discuss their efficiency with your contractor to determine which is best for you.
- Consider where you live. Skylights should be placed on the proper side of a roof to maximize energy-efficiency, depending on your location. In colder climates, you typically get the most desired effect from your skylights if you place them on a south-facing slope. On the other hand, you will usually want to place the skylight on a north-facing slope if you live in a warm climate. So, what if you live in an area that experiences both climates? In this case, you will typically benefit by placing your skylight on an east-facing slope of the roof.
Skylights in the right place can transform the feeling of any room. Give your home the feeling of the outdoors while keeping it energy efficient.
Is it Safe to Install Skylights in a Metal Roof?
The most important factor when you choose to install a skylight is not necessarily the roofing material on your home, but the quality of your installation. Skylights are not only a viable option for your metal roof, but they can add to the look you are trying to create while maintaining peak energy-efficiency. In fact, a metal roof with skylights is one simple way for your home to stand apart – without getting on the wrong side of a Homeowner’s Association.
Be careful about who does the work, however. When you hire an inexperienced contractor, they may not install the appropriate flashing or mount the skylight correctly on your roof, which can create leaks that damage your home’s interior and lead to buyer’s remorse. For this reason, you always want to hire a metal roofing contractor with skylight experience. Don’t let your home be their first foray into skylight installation.
It is usually best to install the skylights when you have your metal roof installed, but a skilled contractor can properly install skylights in your existing metal roof.
Know When to Call a Professional
With the range of energy-efficient skylights available on today’s market, you and your contractor can select the best product for your home and get it installed at just the right slope to capture the most heat and sunlight in the winter and reflect the sun’s rays in the summer.