Skylights Positioning Can Impact Overall Building Efficiency And Energy Costs

The right positioning of skylights relative to the sun is a vital aspect of any skylight installation procedure. There is a high degree of consensus that natural light entering through the windows can have an uplifting effect on the people’s mood inside the building. The act of opening drapes or blinds not only brightens a room, it can also admit passive solar heat and somehow give the illusion that the room is larger as well.

In the most basic context, this is the principle of skylight installation, which is essentially the insertion of a window or windows into the roof of a building. However, the benefits of skylights installation can extend beyond the enrichment of one’s health and well-being; some of the additional value that building owners can gain by installing one or more skylights includes:

  • Energy efficiency, and hence reduction of utility costs
  • Aesthetics – curb appeal; accentuating a room or hallway
  • Improved ventilation/air flow (skylights that can be opened)
  • Comfort and warmth – generated by soothing, defuse sunlight
  • Opportunity to appreciate the beauty of night skies while indoors
  • Better penetration of unobstructed natural light vs vertical windows

To appreciate these benefits to their fullest, correct methods of installation are required. This includes the appropriate care and attention to prevent water or air leaks as well as the placement or positioning of the skylights to maximize their overall energy efficiency and effectiveness.

To the latter point, should skylight installation be under consideration, building owners may wish to note the following with respect to the orientation of their roof relative to the sun:

North-facing slope
– May only get appreciable sunlight in late spring/early summer
– Good site to allow consistent yet cool daylight to enter a home

East-facing slope
– Maximum amount of light and solar heat occurs in the morning

South-facing slope
– Excellent for passive solar heat gain during the winter months
– Also generates significant heat gain in summer (unless shaded)

West-facing slope
– Gives afternoon light; can create large amount of unwanted heat

While some roof facings may seem to be more viable options than others at first glance, there are some variables in terms of skylight features and accessories that building owners might consider which can make installations feasible on any side of a roof. Consulting with the experts can provide valuable insight on the specific choice and type of skylights that may be best suited to a particular building.