Because of similar utilities—letting in natural light—it is easy to get confused between skylights and roof windows. ‘Letting the sun in’ is extremely important for good health as exposure to natural light directly has an impact on your health, productivity, and mood. While both skylights and roof windows illuminate your space with natural right and provide an aesthetic edge, there are differences between the two. Let us understand the differences and their uses in some detail.

The Differences

Generally, skylights are designed as fixed windows that allow natural light into the house but cannot be opened for ventilation. Roof windows, on the other hand, can be opened and closed. They function on a pivoting awning-style mechanism. That is why they are also commonly known as venting windows whereas skylights are usually stationary, and do not open up for ventilation.

Roof windows are also usually larger in size when compared to skylights. They can mostly be used as emergency exits and provide access to the roof for any repairs or maintenance.

Roof windows are covered under many compliance standards. Hence, they must be installed in the same orientation and in plane with the surrounding roof at a minimum pitch of fifteen degrees. This is why skylights are preferred when installing on a flat roof—since they can be installed on roofs with pitches between 0 degrees and 60-degree angles. Skylights are comparatively more versatile. They can be even mounted on a curb which provides more installation options.

Roof windows provide access to the roof whereas skylights don’t. So if you need regular access to the roof or prefer to have a small room in the roof, roof windows are preferable over skylights. Skylights are usually installed when they are out of reach (so windows can’t be opened anyway) whereas roof windows are suited best for in-reach applications where you can reach out and operate the window.

Skylights are manually operated whereas modular skylights can be controlled from anywhere by using a smartphone. Modular skylights with updated technology also have sensor-based ventilation properties that monitor the environmental temperature to regulate your indoor climate. These features are not compatible with a roof window because they are operated manually.

Their Uses and applications

Natural Light Inside Your Living Space

While skylights allow natural light to illuminate your space, roof windows provide natural light and airflow inside the house. Such exposure to natural light is not only good for the body as a source of Vitamin D but also helps with your daily dose of serotonin—a neurotrasmitting hormone that makes you feel happy and light. Natural light also adds an instant warm vibe and aesthetic appeal to your living space.

Solar Heating and Cost Savings

Along with sunlight, solar heat is let into the house which can be very helpful in cutting energy costs in times of cold weather. It is important to ensure well-fit installations of sound quality that are insulated and leakproof to save on energy costs.  Also, more natural light means fewer electric lights during the day and lesser energy bills. Installations that are leakproof are a major advantage as they save a significant amount of cost and energy.

The Night View

Often, skylights are installed in the bedroom and living room because of the wonderful view that they provide at night. You can gaze at the open sky, stars, and the moon while lying on your bed or couch in comfort before a good night’s sleep.

An Additional Source of Ventilation

Roof windows provide that additional source of ventilation when there is not much scope for air or light flow from side walls and windows. They release the hot air that naturally rises and accumulates near the ceiling. Roof windows are very useful in spaces like bathrooms and kitchens where heat and moisture build-up easily. It also serves as a great advantage in apartments and house structures that are surrounded by buildings on the sides and require additional ventilation from the roof. The presence of roof windows enables cross ventilation that freshens up the air and helps to cool down the space.

Increased Resale Value

The presence of skylights and roof windows is a definite advantage to a house and increases its value on resale. This is because a lot of people are aware of the advantages they offer and prefer such living spaces.  Their aesthetic appeal is a major added advantage since they can fit into traditional, modern, and contemporary home styles.

Regulating Temperature

Skylights have insulation material that reduces heat transfer into the room even as they let natural light enter the space. But since skylights and roof windows are located on the roof, their size, shape, material, and position need to be planned in advance to avoid unwanted additional heat in summer and loss of heat from the inside during winter. Even small skylights can let in a lot of natural light. These days, skylights have evolved to have smart sensors that continuously monitor temperature and humidity levels and open or close your skylights to ensure a healthier indoor climate.

The Privacy Factor

Windows allow anyone from outside to look inside when open for ventilation. This affects your privacy when windows are the only source of natural light and ventilation inside the room. In spaces where privacy matters more like the bedroom and bathroom, roof lights and skylights provide more privacy without sacrificing natural light or ventilation.

In Velux’s offerings, the difference between skylights and roof windows is better pronounced. Their skylights are compatible with a wider range of blinds compared to roof windows. Velux is considered the world leader in high-end roof windows, skylights, and sun tunnels who have their own designed system of products and accessories for any daylight. Apart from a manually-operated model, their skylights also come in solar and electric models that can be remote-controlled to operate the skylight and blinds. Their roof windows also come in wide varieties to suit every type of roof and a pre-paired wall switch that lets you open and close with just one touch.

It is important to consult a professional service provider before deciding on whether to install skylights or roof windows at your place and of what type and material. A professional will help you evaluate the slope of your roof, the sun’s position, and your space to decide what suits your home the best. If you are looking for help and need a reliable professional, contact Excelsior Lumber Company. We work only with the best brands to provide premium quality products and services that create happy living spaces and user experiences.

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