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Woodland Exteriors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things home exteriors, specifically sunrooms, roofing, and siding. Check back often for updates and new information!

Sunroom Skylights

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Custom Sunroom Plainfield, IL

When adding skylights to your sunroom you have a variety of choices depending on your needs and desires. Skylights and sunrooms are the perfect pairing to achieve a passive solar design that uses the sun’s energy for heating and cooling your living space. Additionally, today’s skylight features go even further to give you flexibility and control over your environment.

Greater control to keep your environment comfortable

A popular choice, the Velux Solar Powered “Fresh Air” skylight. These remote controlled solar powered skylights do not require wiring making installation more cost effective. With the integrated rain sensor, the skylight will close automatically if rain threatens. Silcon dioxide glass enables water to disperse evenly, evaporates quickly, greatly reducing water spotting. Lastly, having the ability to remotely open your sunroom skylights is a simple and safe way to add ventilation without open window.

More choices for the budget

Velux “Fresh Air” skylights can also come in electric or manual options. The electric “Fresh Air” skylights open with the touch of a button. If you forget to close it, a rain sensor will shut the skylight during inclement weather. Depending on the pitch of your sunroom ceiling you might be able to get by with the manual version.

Economical alternative  

Still one of the most popular choices by homeowners is the Velux fixed skylight, which are perfect for visually expanding and further brightening your sunroom. This skylight comes with some of the basic features of the operable skylights such as the water repealing glass that reduces spotting.

Skylights in sunrooms are a perfect fit

Today’s skylights suitable for sunrooms, bear little resemblance to earlier generations of residential skylights.

Velux skylights comply with the “0.30-0.30” standards, that is, a maximum Solar Heat Gains Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 and a maximum Thermal Resistance (U-factor) coefficient of 0.30.

Alternatively, you can choose a very low SHGC coefficient (as close to 0.2 as possible) will reduce unwanted solar heat gains to lower levels; and a low U-factor (also as close as possible to 0.2) will reduce heat loss, which is critical in cold climates. Only top skylights like Velux can meet these standards, which are beneficial for sunroom passive designs.

Incorporating Velux skylights with a high VT (Visual Transmittance) value will allow more daylight to enter in your sunroom by positioning the roof skylight in a way that enhances your daylighting design. Vented skylights enhance airflow and can eliminate hot air accumulating in the summer months.

Skylights bring natural overhead light and air into the sunroom and allow for greater flexibility to create privacy without sacrificing natural light.

 

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When to Replace Skylights?

A common question our customers ask is, when do we need to replace our skylights? Unlike windows, skylights are generally out of sight and not easily accessible to check the condition. It’s reasonable then to ask, when should you replace your old skylights?

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Leaking or compromised

If one of skylight’s several seal points is broken water will seep into the skylight, the wall-attic cavity or leak into the room. The latter problem, a physical leak, is usually the easiest to detect, especially if it’s dripping during a rainstorm. If water seeps into the skylight or cavity around the skylight, you’ll see moisture build up. Finally, with very old skylights it’s possible to have a crack in the acrylic or glass causing skylight to fog, become cloudy or retain droplets.

Upgrading – design, efficiency, ease

New skylights look nothing like the old skylights they’re replacing. New Velux skylights offer solar powered skylights, remote control operators, built-in rain sensors, energy efficient glass, sun-shades, security locks and more. There are few better ways to invigorate your home with new life than to improve the infrastructure, meaning those physical elements that are needed for the operation of your home. They can seem to be unimportant, such as when my father used to say of his 1950s style single 1 ½” shower spigot, “the water comes out in the shower, it’s fine”. Until you replace a tired old skylight with one that has modern design and functionality – you have no idea how it changes the way you live.

Replacing your windows or doors

If you’re ready to replace your worn-out windows and doors, then it’s likely time to proactively replace your skylights at the same time. For all the reasons stated above and because it’ll save you money in the long run. Skylights have a finite service life and replacing them at the same time as you replace your windows and doors will improve the overall energy efficiency and comfort in your home. Consider new styles such as an operable venting skylight where you had a fixed one before or a larger skylight to replace a smaller skylight. Without a doubt you’ll save on your overall installation costs when you do the job all at once.

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Replacing your roof

Never throw good money after bad as they say. At Woodland Exteriors, we highly recommend that you do not choose to re-use old skylights when you replace your roof. The roofer will spend extra time removing shingles and debris and still may disturb your skylights during the tear off phase. You will still need to use a new flashing kit to re-install your old skylights as it’s highly unlikely that the flashing won’t be compromised.  Do the math and you’ll find the extra cost to put in a new skylight will more than pay off in longevity, aesthetics and efficiency. It will cost far less for the roofers to replace your old skylight with a new one when the shingles are off the roof. What happens if you choose to re-use the old skylight and a leak develops? You’re responsible for the bill when the roofer needs to return and tear off the new roof shingles to access the skylight.

For more information about skylights check out our previous posts Skylight Installation Lightens Up Winter and Skylights in Sunrooms.

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