There’s absolutely nothing better than a sunny day! Oh wait, there is. A sunny day that helps illuminate the normally dark recesses of your home. In order to have that, you can install skylights. These are basically windows built into the roof.
However, typical skylights come with several problems. They are incredibly energy inefficient, as even a good, double glazed, low-e unit is a poor insulator. Skylights do not let any direct sunlight in during the winter and too much light during the summer, especially if they are not facing the right direction. Also, they are difficult to maintain clean unless the roof slope is gentle. Skylights are prone to leakage due to ice dams created because of heat loss around the windows.
All these problems can be avoided if you resort to a solar tube skylight instead of the classic roof windows. This is because a sub tube works differently than a skylight. Rather than being large windows in the roof, sun tubes are typically smaller, about one foot to sixteen inches in diameter. This is an obvious advantage because energy loss is directly related to the area of the opening, meaning that a 16-inch solar tube has an area about one third to one firth of a typical skylight.
Solar tube skylights are built with reflectors so that they bring light into the house even as the sun moves to a variety of different locations. Usually, they are set up to reflect winter sun optimally, but they can work just fine all year round. During the summer, sun tubes brighten rooms without heating them up like conventional skylights. Those who have stood under a skylight during the summer understand perfectly what a problem this can be. That does not help with the air conditioning bill, either. Solar tubes bring in the light, but as they are relatively small-sized and work very well, the amount of heat they bring into the house is very low.
Moreover, installing a solar tube skylight is very easy and you can even do it yourself. On the market you will find a variety of manufacturers providing solar tubes for both commercial and residential use, both versions being easy to install and very well made.
Another nice feature of sun tubes is that they can act like light fixtures when you need electrical lighting by installing a simple bulb holder into the tube. This may block a little of the light, but it is worth it in rooms where electrical lighting is something you really need. The only downturn to solar tubes is that they need to be installed in rooms directly below the attic or roof. This makes them ideal for ranch houses or upstairs rooms, but not for the first floor of the home.
Other than that, solar tube skylights are just great. They will save energy and therefore save you money on your energy bill. After installing them, you will almost never have to turn on the lights in some rooms of your house!