Skylight Windows

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Skylight Windows
Skylight Windows
Other Names:
Replacement Skylight Windows, Pinnacle Skylights, Classic Skylights, Tubular Skylights and Vaulted Skylights
A replacement glazed assembly which admits natural light through a roof

Skylights are large glazed windows which are installed in a flat roof or in a sloping roof with a slope of no more than 15 degrees. Homeowners often take advantage of a remodeling project to change the look and feel of a home. Many homeowners find that skylight replacement windows are a good way to completely change the atmosphere of a room without enlarging the room or making other significant structural changes. Vertical windows are installed in, on or parallel to walls while skylights are installed in, on or parallel to, roofs. Skylights increase light and provide an unimpeded view of the sky, in effect bringing the sky into the home.


[edit] Skylights vs. Roof Windows

Both skylight and roof windows are installed in, on or parallel to a roof but there are several differences between the two window options.

Skylight windows are installed in or on a flat or slightly pitched roof to give homeowners an uninterrupted view of the sky. There are non-operable skylight windows as well as operable skylights. Operable skylight windows open slightly through interior vent flaps.

Roof windows are specifically installed as venting units and are designed for in-reach applications, allowing the homeowner to stand next to the window to open and close the window. Roof windows open wider than skylights and provide added ventilation. Replacement roof windows can also serve as emergency egress windows if they are sized to code. They include a sash that flips, allowing the outside glass to be cleaned from the inside.

[edit] Advantages

Skylights brighten the home environment and allow plenty of natural light to enter the room below. They add a stunning element to an architectural design and include environmental benefits which include a reduced need to use energy to light the room -- skylights admit 30 percent more light than vertical windows. Skylights are available in many styles can be installed in flat roofs or pitched roofs.

[edit] Placement

Skylight replacement windows are a welcome design for any room in the house. Some home owners prefer to install skylight windows in a central room such as a living room, dining room or den. Skylight windows are a welcome addition to open rooms such as conservatories, pool rooms and enclosed porches. Venting skylights are a popular choice for bathrooms where the element of an open window in the ceiling, where warm air rises, reduces condensation. Venting skylights in the kitchen allow hot air to escape and provide more balanced light. The natural chimney effect of a venting skylight window exhausts stale air and other kitchen air pollutants and organic compounds.

[edit] Types of Skylights

Homeowners can take their pick of pinnacle, classic, tubular and vaulted replacement skylights.

[edit] Pinnacle Skylights

Pinnacle skylights are custom configured replacement skylights which can cover part of a roof's span or encompass the entire roof. The skylights are constructed from different-sized panels, each of which is available in standard or custom widths and lengths. They are available as pyramids, octagons, hipped-ended and double-pitched skylights.

[edit] Classic Skylights

Classic skylights are available for both pitched and flat roof applications. Classic skylights are installed in a straight row along a flat roof or along the side of a pitched roof. Panels for classic skylights may line up one next to the other and include several panes in each panel.

[edit] Tubular Skylights

Tubular skylights are manufactured with highly reflective tubing. Tubular skylights capture light efficiently through a clear, weatherproof dome which sits on the roof. From the inside of the room the homeowner sees what looks like an in-ceiling light fixture but this is, in reality, the diffuser -- the end of the rigid tubing that descends from the roof into the room below. The replacement tubular skylight window brings passive natural light into the room and is a less expensive skylight window option. Tubular skylight windows are easier to install than other skylight windows and may present a suitable replacement skylight window option for smaller spaces including windowless baths, closets, laundry rooms and hallways. They are also installed as multiple tubes which can be grouped together to reduce energy costs and provide balanced lighting.

[edit] Vaulted Skylights

Half-round vaulted skylights are curved skylight units which are installed in rows, often suspended over a hallway or other type of corridor. They are installed in flat roofs only and may include multiple panels which are installed one next to the other and can span the entire length of the corridor.

[edit] Sizes

Replacement skylight windows are sized to cover a portion of a roof or cover the entire roof. The panels are large and can measure up to six feet per panel. Replacement skylight windows can cover a width of anywhere from several feet to dozens of yards.

[edit] Proper Installation

Quality replacement skylights are manufactured and engineered to exceedingly high standards. Skylight windows are more directly exposed to the elements than vertical windows, creating a situation in which homeowners want to see proof that the windows will offer complete weather resistance and thermal insulation.

Replacement skylight windows are completely dependable when they are installed by trained professional technicians. Installation techniques include pre-engineered flashing kits for shingles, tile or metal roofing materials. Additional installation techniques include multi-layers of water protection.

[edit] Energy Efficiency

The U-Rating is an industry-accepted method of rating the energy efficiency of replacement windows. A replacement skylight window with a U-Rating of 30 or less has been judged by the National Fenestration Rating Council as providing adequate thermal insulation, weather resistance and heat transfer resistance. The ratings provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council are accepted by the United States Department of Energy as well as by many other governmental departments worldwide.

The U-Rating is determined by the insulating capacity of the window's framing material, glazing and sealing elements. U-Rated replacement windows of 30 or less are considered Energy Star windows. Homeowners who purchase Energy Star windows may be eligible for tax rebates and other tax credits. The United States Department of Energy estimates that remodeling with replacement Energy Star windows will save the homeowner between seven and fifteen percent in energy costs and will allow the homeowner to recoup the additional costs involved in purchasing an Energy Star replacement window within four years.

[edit] Framing

Skylight replacement windows are available in a range of framing materials including vinyl, aluminum, wood clad, fiberglass and composite materials. Prices, energy efficiency, maintenance needs and quality vary among the framing options.

[edit] Vinyl

Vinyl framing is a stable and durable window frame option which offers a well-insulated window frame at a moderate price. Vinyl frames do not require maintenance. The frames are available in a variety of colors but will not absorb new paint so homeowners must order vinyl frame skylight window in the color that they intend to maintain throughout the lifetime of the window. Vinyl windows with heat-welded joints offer the top vinyl window alternative as these windows resist temperature stresses.

[edit] Fiberglass

Fiberglass replacement skylight windows frames offer a durable and solid skylight window frame which does not warp, crack or corrode. Fiberglass frames do not expand or contract, thereby eliminating stresses that other framing materials may cause to the window seals and panes. Fiberglass frames do not require maintenance though they may be painted.

[edit] Aluminum

Aluminum skylight frames are an inexpensive replacement option. Their durability is strengthened by an anodized or baked-on finish which prevents the frame from corroding or deteriorating. Aluminum skylight replacement frames compliment a variety of architectural styles and designs. In the past aluminum frames had a reputation as poor thermal insulators because aluminum is a known conductor for cold. Today's quality aluminum frames include thermal breaks which separate the surfaces of the frame and increase thermal insulation, improving energy efficiency.

[edit] Wood and Wood Clad Windows

Wood clad skylight frames present an attractive skylight replacement window option. The wood frames offer a warm and attractive interior frame for any home design. Wood clad skylight windows have external coverings which are made from a treated aluminum or vinyl cladding to protect the outside of the window from warping and decay. The wood clad windows require no maintenance.

[edit] Composite

Composite replacement skylight window frames are manufactured with newly developed resins that combine wood chips and recycled plastics and offer dimensional stability, good thermal performance, and decay resistance. Composite skylight windows do not require painting or other maintenance. They do not corrode or deteriorate.

[edit] Glazing

Replacement skylight windows have special strengthened glazing which provides resilient and weather-proof glass panes for the skylight window.

[edit] Strengthened Glass

Replacement skylight windows are manufactured with special strengthened glass. This glass is laminated or tempered and prevents access and robberies. It also prevents shattering in the event of a natural disaster.

[edit] Coatings

There are a variety of coatings which can be applied to the window to filter the heat that enters through the window while reducing solar gain. These are microscopically invisible coatings which are applied to the window panes in the factory. Coatings include Low-E coatings, spectrally selective coatings and reflective coatings.

[edit] Low E

A Low E (low emissivity) coating is applied to the inside of the replacement skylight window to lower the solar radiation admitted through the skylight window.

[edit] Spectrally Selective

Spectrally selective coatings allow the full amount of light to be transmitted while they filter out between 40%–70% of the heat normally transmitted through a skylight replacement window.

[edit] Reflective Coatings

Reflective coatings block some of the light that comes through a skylight replacement window by reducing the transmission of solar radiation.

[edit] Multi-Panes

Skylight windows can be manufactured with double or triple panes which add thermal insulation to the window. The air, or insulating gas, which exists between the window panes acts as an insulator to prevent temperature transfers. Triple pane replacement skylight windows are recommended for homes built or remodeled in extreme climates.

[edit] Self-Cleaning Glass

Homeowners can order self-cleaning glass for their replacement skylight window. The self-cleaning glass provides a solution to the question of how to clean a difficult-to-reach skylight window.

[edit] Design Elements

A variety of design elements provide solutions to operating issues associated with replacement skylight windows. These include a motorized venting system, a rain-sensor and motorized venetian blinds.

[edit] Motorized Venting System

A motorized venting system allows homeowners to open and close a skylight window at the flip of a switch. The remote control activates the raising and lowering of the skylight window pane.

[edit] Rain Sensors

Rain sensors will automatically close the skylight window if it starts to rain.

[edit] Blinds

Motorized Venetian and roller blinds are available for replacement skylight windows which adjust, diffuse and block light. These units can be operated by remote control.

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