Skylights let the sunshine and fresh air into your home

 Skylights let the sunshine and fresh air into your home

Filling your home with daylight and fresh air may be simpler than it seems with new technology.

Opening vertical windows and using mechanical ventilation, such as fans, is one solution. Another is using quiet, free passive ventilation from the chimney effect provided by venting skylights working with windows. That, and the abundant daylighting available through skylights, makes them attractive functionally in addition to the design elements and other advantages they bring to a home.

Modern skylights, such as Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh air models, are as well made and as dependable as the best vertical windows. A national trade publication selected these skylights from VELUX America as the most innovative window from a large manufacturer in 2013. A leading consumer magazine picked them for a 2013 innovation award and another as one of the top 100 building products of 2013.

In addition to quality, value is there as well.  A combination of a 30 percent federal tax credit, plus a $200 cash rebate direct from Velux from now until August 15, 2014, make the numbers favor homebuyers. A venting fresh air model, with features including rain sensor and remote control, can be less expensive than a fixed skylight for either replacement purposes or for a new installation. Remote controlled solar powered blinds, as well as installation costs for both products, are also eligible for the federal tax credit.

Wisconsin builder, Tim O'Brien Homes, focuses on energy efficiency, water conservation, resource utilization and indoor air quality in their green-certified homes. O'Brien says they use VELUX skylights "to capitalize on natural fresh air being drawn into the home and to exhaust stale, contaminated air out of the home without mechanical ventilation."

The skylights carry a ten-year no leak warranty and feature Clean, Quiet and Safe glass plus a touchpad remote unit that controls both the skylights and blinds. The highly energy efficient glass keeps the skylights cleaner and reduces outside noise.

Adding solar powered blinds, available in designer colors and patterns, further increases energy efficiency to reduce power bills.  A blackout blind can improve the energy performance rating as much as 45 percent, a light filtering blind by as much as 39 percent, and a Venetian blind by as much as 34 percent.

To illustrate how skylights and blinds would look in your home there's a Skylight Planner App available. Just download, take pictures of your rooms, and overlay skylight/blind combinations until you've found the perfect fit.

Read more about energy efficient windows and doors.

Topics: Indoor Air Quality, Lighting, Ventilation, Windows

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy, VELUX, Energy Star, Energy Star

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