A quick question about skylights

bac717July 25, 2014

We will be replacing the fixed skylight in our kitchen and therefore, will have the opportunity to switch to a venting skylight. We have had a fixed skylight in the kitchen for over 20 years, but we now are considering making a change. If you happen to have a skylight in your home, I'd love to hear your opinion on whether we should stay with the fixed or change to a venting skylight. Thanks.

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I love having venting skylights in the kitchen. It's a great way to vent out heat and odors. To be truly usable though, I think it needs to have inside screening to keep out bugs and critters and be power operated.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:02AM
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VENTING!!!!! With a screen.

It's nice to be able to pop the skylight open, open a window somewhere and have the house ventilate itself, even on a calm day.

We didn't buy a power opener because there's no power there, but opening and closing it is not a hassle.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:21PM
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We have a large electric opening skylight in our attic conversion. We also have a ceiling fan. The skylight does have a screen. We can clear out the heat in minutes when it is turned on. We have used it consistently for 12 yrs without any problems. You will love it ! c

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:13PM
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We also have a fixed skylight in the vaulted kitchen ceiling, it came with the house. I don't think I would want it operable, as I wouldn't want to see the screen and it would just be another surface that would be hard to clean. We have other ways to ventilate the house quickly ... a whole house fan mounted vertically in the shaft of the second floor skylight, which is also fixed.

The first house we owned had seven operable skylights. Two of them were in a bedroom and within reach, those we opened once in a while. The other 5 were in vaulted ceilings and needed a pole to operate. We never opened those.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:18PM
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This board is great for advice on anything! Thank you!

3 votes for venting and 1 for fixed. Perhaps there will be more responses. FWIW, We currently have a Velux skylight and will be getting another Velux.

Fun - it would definitely have a screen, but right now, if we go with the vented, we are looking at opening it with a pole.

lazy - being able to get more ventilation would be nice. Our kitchen is in the center of the house, so at times, it can get rather hot in there.

trail - we have a ceiling fan in the family room which is open to the kitchen. I wonder if that's the same type of arrangement you are talking about.

chispa - you bring up a good point about the screen. It is nice to have the clear glass.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:14PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

We had a dome plexiglass skylight in the master bath. (It came with the house.) Last year we had it replaced with a Velux that opens. It has a screen. We open/close it with a pole.

We love it. Even though the master bath has three windows, air circulation is better and the room is cooler in summer, due to the "stack effect"--air comes in through the windows in the room and pushes warmer air out the skylight. I'd love to add one or two more in other rooms upstairs.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:46PM
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I have 3 venting skylights for 20 years now and LOVE them. Manually open and never had any problems. Absolutely LOVE them (yes, they have screens)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:22PM
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One plus for motors is that there is so much destruction possible in skylight work that often rigging an electrical connection between the skylight motor and a power source can be trivial, assuming remote control, that is

And if you don't like the appearance of a screen, most slylights are easily trimmed in to hide the screen behind an eggcrate ceiling light grid picture-framed with door/base trim. The issue with the difficult ones is pole access, another plus for the motor type.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:40PM
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this is a pic..only one I seem to have on photobucket and we are away. The fan is mounted below the skylight on a long pole..the ceiling is about 16 ft ??? and the skylight is in a " box" up high above the skylight...hope this makes sense. I never notice the screen as I rarely tip my head that far back and look up :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:26AM
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We began life with a venting sky light in a bathroom. It failed and caused a lot of roof/ceiling damage in our living room! When we put the new one in we opted for a fixed one, less chance of failure/leaking. In subsequent homes we would choose cans that never vent. I miss the larger, venting skylight!! Either way sky lights are WONDERFUL bringing extra light in, especially in a room w/o any windows.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:12AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I have 5 fixed skylights in a row going the length of my sunroom and what I use as my office. I love being able to look up and see the big beautiful trees and the sky. I would love them even more if I could have venting ones preferably with a remote which should not be a problem since there's power there for the ceiling fans. I really like the ability to get fresh air in and stale air out quickly.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:45PM
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I've seen so many leak. My neighbor put a large one in her kitchen and master. It was on remote. Began leaking after 3 years. She wound up replacing both and her roof. Hired a different company, replaced them and they began leaking after 5 years.

When I replaced my roof, I decided to go with fixed because of her story.

Be careful who you hire to do the work.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 12:01AM
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We installed a venting / screened skylight in a small bathroom about ten years ago. No leaking so far.

The ceiling is quite high, and we must open the skylight with a pole. The only problem is... what to do with the pole when we're not using it. We have to lean it against the wall in the bathroom, because there is no other place to keep it.

Do they come with remotes now? If I were to do it again now, I might investigate a remote.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Years ago, when we added 10' to the E side of our former house to expand two bedrooms and a bath, we had Velux skylights installed in those three rooms. They were not fully venting, but had a pull down (by means of pole, recessed hook) vent at one end that would let warm air escape. The vents had insect screening. Open, and they were just about year round, the vents also let in an amazing amount of sound, like the sound of rain at night over my bed ;) Hail was a definite clatter.

Not once was there a leaking issue in many years, and this is coastal Washington - I'd add that the Velux were the only brand the designing architect would recommend for this climate at that time at least. I haven't had reason to look into them recently, we no longer own that house.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:05AM
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A quick update to my 'quick question about skylights. Last week, we had a Velux Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight installed. As the name says, it is solar powered, so no electrical work was necessary. When I asked my 'quick question', the majority of those responding recommended a venting skylight. Altho we are well into the cooler fall weather around here, we already know we will be very happy to be able to open the skylight that is located in our kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Velux Solar Powered

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 8:10PM
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I can't remember the exact count and it's too late to go count them all now, but we have approx. 20 skylights in our home and 3 car garage (we have 5 or 6 out there). Of them all, 3 of them, one in each bathroom, are vented. Our home is 21 years old and I can count on one hand how many times each of them was actually vented. All our windows and skylights are of good quality . . . and all 3 vented skylights have leaked over the years, causing the paint around them to bubble and flake. As positive as vented skylights can be, in retrospect, they are only as good as the people who use them on a daily basis . . . and are supposed close them properly. . . ie: teenagers in their bathrooms! (LOL)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 11:33PM
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No issues at all with the 9 yr. old venting Velux skylight in my kitchen. It really helps with air circulation in the warm weather months. It's never leaked, even through rough New England weather. According to what I've read, proper installation is key to preventing leaks down the road.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 10:55AM
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The skylight we had installed has a rain sensor on the outside of the unit that will automatically close the skylight the second a rain drop touches it. We can also, with the remote provided, set a time for the skylight to close after we open it.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 3:59PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

My installer said to make sure the flashing is correct done. He said the flashing was often the point of failure, not the skylight itself, assuming a quality skylight.

Our plexiglass dome (the one the builder had put in) was cracked already but the flashing was correctly done such that it didn't leak.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 5:14PM
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