Once upon a time, homeowners sadly looked up at their plastic-domed skylights and could almost see their hard-earned energy dollars drifting skyward. No longer! Improvements in technology and manufacturing make skylights a great way to enjoy natural daylight, fresh air, and lower energy bills. Just how are skylights energy efficient? We know at least five ways.
Quality skylights made today use Low-E glass, which means low emissivity. The measure of emissivity is a number between 0 and 1, with 0 perfectly reflecting all radiant energy and 1 completely absorbing it. The name indicates the desired effect: you want a low number, showing the glass reflects infrared and ultraviolet light that strikes it.
Skylights like Velux’s E-Class products use Low-E glass to boost passive energy efficiency.
Skylights fitted with Low-E glass—or any kind of quality glass—reduce outside noise by up to 50 percent over skylights using polycarbonate or plastic.
Velux offers a superior product up to 25 percent quieter than standard double-pane glass, a construction that is already pretty darn quiet! Other leading manufacturers (names such as Kennedy and Sun-Tek) also provide ultra-quiet skylights and sun tunnels.
Without getting lost in the numerical weeds, Low-E glass skylights keep Florida heat from baking your kitchen, dining area, and living room. Heat gain is a measure (again, between 0 and 1) of how much infrared or heat energy gets through the skylight.
Without the microscopically thin metallic coating on Low-E skylight glass, the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of your Florida skylight would be very high. With Low-E glass, the SHGC is very close to 0.
You can boost the energy efficiency of today’s Low-E skylights by tapping some of the options:
- Skylight blinds to block direct sunlight at certain times of the day
- Ventilated skylights that open to allow hot air to exit and fresh breezes to enter your home
Sunshine has three advantages over almost all other fuels:
- It is abundant
- It is powerful
- It is free
When you opt for solar-powered skylights, you qualify for a 26 percent solar tax credit. Enjoy all the advantages of a skylight or sun tunnel and tremendous savings at tax time. Westfall Roofing works with homeowners in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota areas to provide their homes the best products and services. Contact us today to see how energy-efficient skylights can improve your home, boost curb appeal, and brighten your day.