Will a Skylight Make My Home Colder During the Winter?
This is a common concern many homeowners considering skylights ask us. However, with modern skylights, this is not something you should be worried about. In fact, skylights may even help you keep your home warmer in the winter. If placed correctly, skylights can help you bring more sunlight into your home, allowing you to take advantage of its natural warmth.
Ways to avoid skylight heat loss during the winter:
- Choose skylights that are well-insulated and Energy Star rated
- Have your skylights coated with a coating designed to absorb heat and reduce heat loss
- Consider installing automatic blinds or shades across your skylights to add an additional layer of insulation for when the sun isn’t shining
Another way to ensure that you do not have heat loss through your skylight is to have it installed by a professional roofer like ours at Lyons Roofing. A professional roofing expert can ensure that your skylight is sealed and insulated correctly and that it is installed in the right location and at the right angle to not only reduce heat loss but provide you with optimized energy efficiency.
Why Do Some Skylights Cause Heat Loss?
The reputation for heat loss comes from old skylight technology. Outdated skylights are more likely to leak. They are also less likely to have the same levels of insulation or the more advanced coatings and glazes available today. With more emphasis placed on energy efficiency, modern skylights are designed to support your home’s HVAC system, not inhibit it.
Beyond design, the number one cause of skylight heat loss is the angle at which skylights are installed. According to energy.gov, the optimal direction for a skylight is south-facing, and the slope should be calculated as your geographical latitude plus 5 to 15 degrees. In Phoenix, this would be around 38° to 48°, while in Tucson, the optimal degree range for installation would be 37° to 47°.
Other Common Skylight Issues & How to Deal with Them
Another common issue associated with skylights is leaking. This is most often caused by faulty installation or damage to the skylight or the flashing surrounding it. Older skylights that have reached the end of their lifespan may also be prone to leaking as their materials begin to degrade.
Noticing the signs of a leak or other issue is critical to extending the life of your existing skylight. In addition to calling our roofers any time you see a visible leak, you should also schedule an inspection if you notice any of the following signs.
Signs your skylight needs repair include:
- Condensation on the glass or between panes
- Excess moisture around your skylight or on the floor beneath it
- Water staining on your ceiling around the skylight
- Rusting of the skylight or flashing around the skylight
- Cracks, pitting, or other issues with the glass
Additionally, if you have a skylight that opens or has automatic shades and you’re having issues with its operation, reach out to Lyons Roofing.
Repair or Replace: How to Know
Most skylights, if well maintained, will last for 20+ years, if not longer. So, if your skylight is more than 10 or 15 years old and has a problem, you may wonder if you should spend the money on the repair or simply replace it. The answer to this will depend on several factors, including the problem you’re experiencing, the cost of a repair relative to the price of a replacement, and whether a repair will provide a long-term solution.
At Lyons Roofing, our team always looks for good repair options before recommending replacement. But, if your skylight does need replacing, we will walk you through the entire process. From selecting your new skylight to providing top-notch installation services, our team has you covered.
Call Lyons Roofing at (520) 447-2522 or send us a message online to schedule a skylight inspection or repair.