Many homes today are including skylights as part of an energy efficient build or makeover. Why? Because when properly placed, they can help lower heating and lighting costs by making efficient use of solar heat and natural light. They’re not only good for your utility bills, but for the environment as well. However, as with all good things, you need to maintain them properly. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
1. Clean Glass Regularly
Ensure the glass is thoroughly clean; start by soaking it in clean water and mild soap. Use a mild, non-abrasive glass cleaner and a soft brush (or pad) to remove any dirt and debris, and a squeegee or lint-free cloth to wipe clean. Avoid using metal scrapers, blades or knives as they can scratch or damage the glass.
2. Pre-finished Wood Frames
If your skylights have wood frames, do an annual inspection before spring for signs of peeling, cracking or fading. Also ensure all exterior fasteners are secure, and that cladding and flashing are free of excessive wear or scratches. Immediately replace any that are damaged or broken.
3. Venting and Electric Skylights
For venting skylights, make sure the mechanism that opens the sash is working problem-free by opening the skylights (turn off the power if it’s electric) and use a clean, dry towel to wipe off the chain.
4. Skylight Blinds
Consider installing blinds on your skylights if you already haven’t done so; they can help improve overall energy efficiency. Remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds allow you to easily open and close solar powered skylights, and shade them when the sun touches that part of the roof – improving the skylights’ energy performance rating by as much as 45%.
Talk to a certified RESNET home energy professional to learn more about skylights and how they can contribute to making your home more energy efficient.