Can a skylight cut down your energy usage?

There are a number of different reasons why you might want to lower the amount of energy your home uses, but the two most popular are usually:

  • It’s good for the environment; everyone likes being more ‘green’
  • It can save you a substantial amount of money on your bills

Here, then, we’re going to take a look at how skylights can have a positive impact on your energy usage.

Our greatest source of energy

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the sun remains our greatest and best source of energy, continuing to send 94 billion megawatts of power our way each and every single day.

The good news is that over the last few decades, we’ve become more and more effective at harnessing this unique source, to the extent that using conventional energy isn’t far off becoming completely unnecessary.

This can only be a good thing, given that the natural heat and light from the sun is far brighter and cleaner than any manufactured energy we create.

Sunlight in two forms

Light from the sun comes in two main forms:

  • Direct light
  • Diffused light, which we otherwise know as daylight

What does this have to do with skylights?

Skylights are designed to make use of diffused light as opposed to direct light: direct light can actually be quite uncomfortable, as anyone who’s spent an afternoon on the beach without packing their sun cream will tell you!

Put simply, skylights allow the natural daylight to completely fill every corner of a room.  And if you’re thinking ‘well, windows do that’ you might be surprised to find that, actually, they don’t.  The vertical panes of glass we use for normal windows don’t allow the light to reach any corner.

(Again, you’ll have experienced this if you’ve specifically sat in a shadier area of a room only for the sun to move around and get in your eye line anyway!)

How does this impact energy?

Simple: the ability to light up every inch of a space can make a huge difference in the amount of electric light you need to use.  If your room’s brighter, you’ll need less assistance in brightening it up.  And, of course, skylights can also help to cut down your CO2 emissions, make the space greener.

The other major positive is that most of the light that filters through will be daylight as opposed to direct sunlight, so there will be less chance of the room overheating.  Though, of course, some homes may experience direct sunlight through their already-installed windows.

The studies that prove it

Luckily, there have been a number of studies carried out on energy saving and skylights, many of them done by the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM).  NARM have released several white papers that detail the potential of skylights when it comes to harnessing energy.

One of the keys is the Elmhurst Energy Study, which analysed the 29 per cent reduction in carbon emissions achieved in a retail store simply through improving the quality of the existing skylights.

Give us a call today

If you’d like to find out more about how skylights can help you save money and harness energy within your home more effectively, contact Urban & Grey today.

Call 020 8003 6674