With the cost of energy on the rise, daylighting systems are becoming more popular than ever before. An increasing number of homeowners and businesses of all sizes are switching to natural lighting options in an effort to save money.
For the most part, they’ve been very successful. Many businesses have managed to shave ten, twenty, even thirty percent off their monthly electrical consumption due to natural lighting, improving their environmental impact while cutting costs.
Despite these successes, many people remain uncertain of the benefits of natural daylighting. Some people express doubts about the durability of skylights, while a large number of people worry about costly maintenance and repairs.
Are skylights durable?
At first glance, a skylight can seem like the ultimate hazard. It’s a large pane of glass that sits horizontally, acting as a big target for falling objects such as hailstones and tree branches.
Despite the hazardous appearance of skylights, most are highly durable and able to tolerate even large impacts without suffering serious damage. Glazing and coatings make today’s skylights far more durable than the thin glass units of past decades.
Today’s skylights use a variety of glazing solutions. Some are laminated in order to reduce heat transfer and improve durability. Others are glazed using a strong layer or tempered glass, which strengthens them from the force of impacts.
These layers make it easy for skylights to resist damage from hailstones, hard rain, and other weather conditions. Glazing also protects against scratches from falling branches and gravel, which can often hit windows during heavy winds.
While old skylights may have been easy targets for natural hazards, today’s skylights are durable and safe. Homeowners and owners of commercial buildings alike do not have anything to fear when installing skylights and daylighting systems.
Are skylights low-maintenance?
Both homeowners and business owners fear installing daylighting systems with the goal of saving money, only to find themselves paying costly repair and maintenance fees in order to keep their systems in good shape.
Luckily, their fears are unfounded. Today’s skylights use a variety of high quality materials and design features in order to keep maintenance to the bare minimum while still retaining a great degree of function and durability.
Many skylights are now treated using special paints and coatings to resist damage and decay from salty air – a major annoyance for people that reside near the coast and in windy areas. The materials used in their construction are treated to prevent normal weather conditions from causing lasting damage.
Because of this, homeowners and business owners alike can enjoy low maintenance skylight operation without any impact on performance. For the most part, the only maintenance business owners will need to consider is cleaning, and even then only in fairly rare circumstances, as many skylights remain clean due to rainfall.
From snow to hail, sand to salt, the elements that quickly wear on cars and houses are no issues for most daylighting systems. Modern materials and smart approach to design and construction mean that the savings from using a daylighting system are not outweighed by maintenance or repair costs.
“Image courtesy of George Hammerstein/Jupiterimages.com”