How to winterize skylights?

kchaconasOctober 8, 2005

Hello....... My 23-y-o house in NJ is supposedly a passive solar house, but I believe it's situated incorrectly on the lot. . Therefore, I have a huge atrium facing east and another north. There is not one window on the south side.

We have 3 doors and 4 windows facing full west.

Anyway, every winter it's the same thing....cold air dropping from the skylights onto the sofa in the living room and cold air dropping into our bedroom. I lower the shades, but it definitely is not enough.

I don't want to totally block the light because the sun coming in during a winter day is wonderful. Can anyone suggest a method to trap the cold night air. For that matter, stop the hot summer air too!

The predicted gas prices for this winter are too scary to not address this and I'm tired of wearing multiple sweaters and blankets while watching tv!



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Hi SolarGary,

Thanks for the response. I'll see what I can find out about those greenhouse shades.

By radiant heaters, do you just mean the electric fan heaters you can find at Wal-Mart, etc? Yes, I guess those would be a help. Not particularly attractive, but better than freezing. I used to have a VERY small one that didn't do was really just for one person. I guess I'll have to scale up.

I forgot to mention that our heat vents are in front of the to the sofa. I've always wondered why builders do that. Is it to keep the windows warm? It sure doesn't keep the people warm! At least in this house!

If I get a bigger fan/heater and position it in front of a vent, the hot air would get sucked in, rewarmed by the radiant heater, and blown out into the room rather than just going up and out the windows???

Actually I was wondering if somehow adding another layer, like acrylic sheeting between the skylight and the blind, would help? Something that can be popped out when spring comes around. I don't even know if it's possible. I'd need a ladder to get up there and find out.

I remember my Dad used to put Gladwrap over our windows for the winter when I was a kid.

I was just reading the windows thread not too far down and was very surprised to read that drapes can heat up the low-E, argon-filled windows. That's what our skylights are.
In that case, would adding another layer be bad for them?

Thoughts from you and everyone else are welcome!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 9:27AM
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Hello again Gary!

DH and I will have to get the ladder out and really check how much space we have and see if acrylic sheets will work. Those are double paned skylights, but any increase in efficiency would be great as long as it's not too expensive. I will check with our local glass company.

Regarding the double-sided interesting idea, but, as you say "It might also be an interesting look :-)" that, to me, might be worse than the Gladwrap! :)

But, I will definitely look for a radiant heater.
Thanks for your suggestions.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 7:13PM
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