Choose the Right Skylight for the Job–Part 2

Sun Tunnels are a great economic choice for bringing natural light into a room, but they’re not appropriate in all rooms for all people.  Velux provides the ultimate in natural light control with its skylight and roof window range paired with a wide variety of shades and blinds. When the home or business owner wants that “WOW” factor, nothing beats the jaw-dropping architectural impact and mood-enhancing flexibility of Velux skylights.  Velux skylights add natural light and make the room appear more three dimensional. Manual and powered shades and blinds add another level of control. More information can be found on the Velux site.

Velux skylights are made to fit almost any application: from the smallest bathroom to multiple “Combi” units on large commercial structures. They’re made narrow enough to fit between rafters and wide enough to span multiple rafters. The FCM model in many cases, can be retrofitted to the base of existing domed acrylic skylight installations, thereby substituting the longer lasting glass and associated energy efficiencies for the less efficient and shorter lasting acrylic skylights.

Velux skylights can be fitted to almost any roof. Skylights can be fixed, opened manually with a rod from the inside, or electrically operated by remote control. The electric opening skylights have rain sensors. Even if the homeowner has gone to the store and forgotten about the open skylight, a drop of rain on the rain sensor will automatically trigger the skylight to close. Blinds and shades can also be operated with the same remote control.

Velux also manufactures solar blinds. The operating unit is run by a battery pack recharged from a small solar photovoltaic panel positioned on the top of the unit. Mains electrical power is not required. These units are commonly fitted to fixed skylights.

In choosing a skylight or multiple skylights, measure the surface area of the room to be lit. Multiply the room’s surface area by between 5% and 10% for the amount of skylight area needed. Choose 5% if the room is already moderately well lit by windows. Choose 10% for dark rooms. Measure the distance between rafters and choose the appropriately sized skylight configuration from the wide selection at Velux.  Or contact Solar Texas and our Velux –certified professionals will visit with you and discuss the wide range of choices and styles available.


7 Ways to Start Saving Energy at Home

A clothesline with shirts on it
Clotheslines can help save household energy

To reduce energy use around the Texas home, here are seven simple suggestions:

  1. Improve shade. The home heats rapidly under the Texas sun. Shade trees reduce the heat buildup in the home. Shading the external air conditioning components is also recommended.
  2. Improve the energy retention envelope around the home through better door seals, windows (double pane, etc.), insulating behind the outlets on external walls
  3. Change luminescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) Don’t know the difference? Read about it here.
  4. Consider an outdoor clothesline to take advantage of the sun and reserve the electric or gas clothes dryer for rainy days.
  5. Look at practices that prevent or delay heat buildup in the roof and attic. These include improved insulation, good quality solar attic ventilation fans and energy efficient roofing materials. This has the effect of reducing the load inside the home and on the air conditioner.
  6. Turn off non-essential items. If lights aren’t being used, turn them off. Many electrical appliances use a trickle of power even when they are switched off. Consider using power strips so that power to unnecessary devices can be turned off and back on with a single switch.
  7. Consider solar water heating.