From rising temperatures to cost increases, these are some of the disadvantages of installing skylights in your home or building.
The Disadvantages Of Skylights
There are five common disadvantages of installing skylights:
- Heating and cooling costs increase.
- Heat gain.
- Heat loss.
- Limits on space.
- Interior damage.
You can find more information regarding the advantages of skylights right here!
Heating And Cooling Costs Increase
Appropriately, SFGate dubbed skylights as “year-round energy losers”, because a well-insulated skylight will actually lose more heat during colder months. Meanwhile, in warmer months like June, rooms with skylights will have a higher temperature due to the increase in sunlight and Solar Heat-Gain Coefficient (SHGC). SHGC is a measure of how much direct sunlight translated to solar heat is acquired and held by a window frame. This will undoubtedly raise the temperature in the room.
According to Energy Vanguard, the following factors need to be used to calculate energy efficiency: U-Factor, Solar Heat-Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and R-values. In short, this means that since skylights are less insulated than typical roofs or walls, plus added sunlight exposure, equates to a much hotter room. U-Factor is a calculation used to determine how much heat loss occurs overall. This means a window with a low U-Factor will be better insulated. R-Values are used to calculate insulation for other areas of the home or building. The higher the R-Value is, the larger the amount of insulation present.
Check out the International Energy Conservation Code for the latest information.
Since a glass skylight will not conduct heat the same way a wall or ceiling made of wood/concrete will in the winter months, cold air will seep in easier. Dwell suggests using skylights that have insulation, which means all hardware inside the skylight is not attached to hardware outside the skylight. An alternative option to reduce heat loss is to apply film to the skylight in order to limit solar radiation. Solar tubes, meanwhile, will not contribute to heat loss.
Limits On Space
Of course, when skylights are installed on the roof of a home or commercial building, they will drastically reduce the amount of space for other equipment, such as air conditioners or backup generators. This may be more of an issue for a home rather than a large building with a plethora of space on the roof. Some residential buildings, though, can have this equipment installed on ground level.
Since skylights are much larger than the average window, they will allow more sunlight to enter a home. That sounds great, but it can lead to an increase in fading materials like fabric or wood. One more factor to consider is the fact that an improperly installed skylight could lead to leaks and eventual water damage. Speak with your insurance agent beforehand to see if your policy covers damages caused by improper installation.