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O'Fallon Roofing: Article About Overcoming Skylight Drawbacks

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Skylights are wonderful additions to any home. They allow the beauty of natural light to enter the home, which improves comfort and lowers energy costs associated with artificial lighting. They can also provide ventilation and increased privacy. Skylights have a darker side, however. When designed poorly, skylights can present more problems than they solve. They can allow far more heat to escape in winter compared with a normal window, leading to increased heating costs. They also allow more heat to penetrate the roof in summer, leading to increased cooling costs. They can also create unwanted drafts and leaks because they create an obvious weakness in the overall design of the roof. The good news is that an O'Fallon roofing contractor can ensure that skylights are properly designed and placed to minimize these problems.

The position of the skylight is one of the most important elements of its design. Positioning choices depend a great deal on climate and the overall purpose of the skylight. Every angle option for a skylight provides different benefits and drawbacks. North-facing skylights provide consistent light but the lowest heat gain, making them good for hot climates. East-facing skylights maximize heat and light in the morning only. West-facing skylights are predictably opposite, maximizing heat and light only in the afternoon. South-facing skylights provide the best and most direct illumination but also the highest amount of heat gain, making them poor for hot climates but more beneficial in cool climates.

A roofing contractor from ACI Exteriors of O'Fallon MO would be happy to answer any questions you have about gutters or TPO roofing systems.

Certain types of skylights may negate the positioning factor slightly. For example, domed tunnel skylights or pyramidal skylights tend to capture light from all directions.

The energy efficiency of a skylight is the next most important factor. Skylights naturally tend to decrease energy efficiency compared with regular roofing because they allow more heat loss and heat gain. There are, however, many ways to minimize this disadvantage. Just like windows, skylights can be designed with multiple layers. An inert gas like argon is trapped between these layers. This prevents the conducting of heat through the glass. The skylight may also be covered with a reflective film. This film reflects the infrared radiation in sunlight, allowing only visible light to pass through. Since infrared radiation is what causes heat, this effectively blocks the heat without blocking the wanted light. Various high-tech coatings, such as thermochromic coating may also be used.

Finally, it is very important for skylights to be installed properly and professionally. Skylights that are not correctly sealed and framed can lead to leaks and roof failure. Damage due to this is typically not covered by insurance.

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