Skylights have long been a great way to add the beauty of natural light into a building. They can transform spaces from dark and confined to a beautiful connection between architecture and nature. LEED even includes a special energy saving points category for daylighting, which is traditionally done through use of skylights, by awarding points on the savings from using traditional electric lighting. (www.usgbc.org/leed)
Unfortunately as gorgeous as skylights are, they have their problems. Many times, the designer will love the skylights, but the energy professional will have legitimate concerns about the energy loss from high heat transfer rates that allow heat into the building in the summer and let it escape in the winter. There are also issues with glare, UV damage, fading, and condensation.
Skylights are one of the key building envelope applications that people ask us about often. They need help reducing skylight issues and we are pleased to let them know that we can definitely help them with our award-winning Energy Protect™ thermal insulation coating, which is an excellent way to insulate skylights and make skylights UV resistant.
Common Skylight Energy Loss Problems and Synavax™ Skylight Insulation and Protective Solutions
Issue: Energy loss… Big time! Skylights are notorious for high heat transfer rates and energy loss.
Solution: Energy Protect™ is a thin film coating that reduces heat transfer significantly, effectively insulating skylights in all seasons, while still allowing approximately 90%-92% of the visible light to flow through.
In this thermal imaging over glass where both cold and hot temperatures are simulated, you can see a clear difference between the coated and uncoated glass.
According to authorities that recommend increasing or decreasing thermostat settings to save energy, such as the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, each degree of air temperature can equate to up to 5% of savings on heating or cooling, depending upon the season. This means that an 8 degree temperature difference can mean up to 40% savings on heating or cooling costs.
Issue: UV damage and fading. Buildings that have skylights often have issues with the constant damage of UV rays transmitting through the skylights into the space below.
Solution: Energy Protect™ blocks approximately 80% of the damaging UV rays, thus preventing fading of carpets, furniture, and artwork. (Just check our case study from the Frost Art Museum .)
Issue: It’s HOT! If you’ve ever worked in a room with skylights, you know that when the sun hits a certain height, the heat can skyrocket. Even though buildings are air conditioned, they can get over 100F the closer you get to the skylight. This is a huge drain on A/C systems and can cause a building to be uncomfortable.
Solution: Energy Protect™ provides relief from the heat by insulating the skylight so your space stays cooler. It also helps in the winter too!
Issue: Intense glare. Sometimes the natural light can be too much of a good thing, causing glare that makes people close blinds to stop it. This negates the “non-electrical lighting” benefit of daylighting.
Solution: Energy Protect™ puts a soothing “frost” finish over the skylights which comfortably diffuses the light to reduce glare, allowing you to still enjoy the nature light, without a harsh glare.
Issue: Condensation. Skylights and the aluminum framing around them tend to be very susceptible to condensation during temperature changes.
Solution: Energy Protect™ coating can be spray applied over both the skylight and framing at the same time. While condensation issues are tricky to solve 100% of the time, the coating has definitely made a difference for companies with this issue, like The Vernon Bank .
You Can Love Your Skylights Again
We’ve helped many people fall in love with their skylights again, from museums to homeowners to major retail chains. Just three coats of Energy Protect™ sprayed over your skylights can solve multiple issues and let you enjoy bringing in the outside world. We can help you keep the beauty without the problems.
Learn more about Energy Protect™ coating for building envelope applications, including skylights, here: www.synavax.com/product/energy-protect
Contact us today if you’d like a quote for skylight insulation.