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HomeHomes
Published: Wednesday, 9/13/2006

Improve the Quality of Natural Light in Your Home

Rooms filled with natural light and fresh air are beautiful, spacious and uplifting to our spirits. Daylight transforms conventional rooms into spaces that add value and quality to our homes and our lives.

"With the fresh air and ventilation that skylights and roof windows provide, homeowners have attractive and effective tools to improve the quality of natural light and ventilation in their homes," says Joe Patrick, product manager of VELUX America.

Patrick discusses product types, energy-efficiency levels, and installation so that you can select the most appropriate mix for your home.

Skylights, Roof Windows and Sun Tunnels

Skylights are used for overhead, out-of-reach applications or with in-reach applications where egress is not required. Models include electric or manual venting, fixed with or without a ventilation flap, and fixed for new installation or for replacing faded plastic bubbles with clear, energy-efficient glass.

Roof windows are for in-reach applications requiring egress, such as finished attics, while sun tunnels are useful when a view to the outside is not needed, as with closets, laundry rooms, pantries, hallways and smaller baths.

Various models, styles and sizes of these products are available. Just consider your ceiling style and roof pitch and whether your home is constructed with trusses or rafters.

Product Replacement

Homeowners can save money on energy costs, protect furniture from fading, and gain the healthy benefits of natural light by replacing plastic bubble skylights with modern glass models. A VELUX study found an energy savings of nearly $200 annually from a replacement process that can be accomplished quickly and easily by a DIYer with basic tools. To replace a plastic bubble skylight, remove the fasteners from the skylight frame with a screwdriver or hammer, and remove the bubble from the curb, the mount attached to the roof which holds the skylight. If there is sealant on top of the curb, remove and clean the surface with a knife or chisel.

Finally, position the replacement unit on the curb, and fasten with the screws provided with the new unit. Replacement skylights meeting requirements of the Energy Star(R) program are available in sizes that fit approximately 90 percent of all existing installations. Retail pricing begins in the low $100s.

Code Compliance

Homeowners should consider code-compliant skylights for more than just safety. They can be a cost-effective choice for bringing natural lighting and additional ventilation into homes, particularly where building codes may limit the use of traditional windows. Homeowners can contact their local Home Builder Association (HBA) for information on local codes and requirements.

TAKE ILLUMINATION EVEN FURTHER

Accessories

An array are available to control the light, including translucent or light block shades, Venetian blinds and exterior heat block awnings. Accessories, as well as electric skylights, can be operated by remote control.

Glazing

Energy-efficient tempered safety glass resists condensation, protects against fading and won't discolor, leak or allow drafts.

Installation

Find certified, local independent installers by contacting your local HBA or the product manufacturer.

Energy Efficiency

Save money on utility bills by selecting quality products that meet Energy Star(R) approval guidelines and are rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council.



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