Skylights can be a breathtaking addition to your home. They can provide your home with natural light and another ventilation option when the weather is nice. But practically, they require some attention when it comes to insulation.
If you have a skylight or are planning on installing one, choosing the proper insulation is essential to ensure that there are no problems with air leakage or condensation. This guide will walk you through the reasons extra protection matters and some of the best ways to keep your home at a reliable comfort level through skylight insulation.
Skylight shaft walls are usually designed on a slope to accommodate the skylight. These shaft walls are the only thing separating your home from your attic, so they must be insulated. Without insulation, the air in your home will be able to easily escape, causing problems with keeping your home’s climate under control.
What first starts as an attractive investment in your home’s architecture can become the reason the air conditioning seems to always be on overdrive just to keep up. Invest in insulating these walls to create a barrier between your home and the fluctuating outside temperatures.
Insulating the skylight shaft walls with just any insulation won’t yield reliable results. You’ll want to treat these walls more like roofs in terms of insulation, which means you’re better off going with spray foam insulation over something like fiberglass.
Spray foam insulation expands, creating an airtight seal between your skylight and home. This insulation is incredible both for temperature retention and for preventing moisture from causing damage to the skylight.
Rigid foam insulation is sealed with caulk or spray foam and adds R-value, which measures how efficient your insulation is at preventing the flow of heat to and from your home.
The higher your R-value, the more you’ll save on things like heating and air conditioning. And because you’ll use less energy with a higher R-value, it tends to be the greenest option as well.
Fiberglass batts are no longer considered efficient enough to be used in most skylight applications, as they don’t create a tight enough air seal. If the shaft does use cellulose or fiberglass, the insulation needs to be closed on the attic side.
Both fiberglass and cellulose are air-permeable, so while it’s possible to rig up some proper insulation with the inclusion of drywall, it’s often much easier to use spray foam insulation.
Builders, contractors, and insulation installers should consider the delicate nature of your skylight. Proper insulation is only part of the equation; the other part is the installation process. Regardless of what sort of materials you use, none of it matters if it isn’t installed with care and understanding of the challenges skylights face.
Work with a company that understands that insulating a skylight isn’t the same as working on an attic or wall insulation job. They should be familiar with the process and be able to work with skylights to ensure you have comfort year-round.
Your skylight shaft walls should always be insulated appropriately, ideally with spray foam insulation, to keep your home comfortable. Even if you might be tempted with other less expensive options, foam creates the most robust seal to keep you from dealing with the problems of moisture and heat loss from the attic.
Treat these specific walls like your attic by having them insulated by industry professionals, and you’ll see nothing ahead but comfort and clear skies.
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