Solar Tube Installation in Vancouver, WA
Letting in natural light can completely change the interior of your home and help you save money on your energy bills. For this reason, skylights are more popular than ever. But, when you have attic space between a room and your roof, a solar tube may be a more cost-effective solution.
Also known as sun tunnels and tubular skylights, solar tubes capture sunlight from the surface of your roof through a small dome. The light is reflected down through a tube that runs through your attic and shines through a diffuser in the ceiling.
You can let natural light pour into any room in your home, even rooms that aren’t directly under the roof opening. Solar tubes can be installed straight down or at an angle, although there shouldn’t be any bends in the tube. Channel the light wherever you need it!
Advantages of Solar Tubes
Skylights can let in much more sunlight than a solar tube, can be opened to let fresh air in, and are an attractive addition to any roofline. However, skylights themselves are more expensive than solar tubes, make a larger opening in the roof, and are more labor-intensive to install.
Positioning is an important factor as well. Skylights can be installed almost anywhere, but have the biggest effect when there is no attic, such as a vaulted roof. If the drop from the attic is much more than a foot or so, extra drywall will be needed to make sure the skylight looks good enough for the interior.
With extensions, solar tubes can easily span a much longer long distance if need be. However, if the span becomes too long (more than 12 feet) the amount of light that makes it to the diffuser will diminish. The diffuser, an opaque covering for the interior of the home, conceals the metal tube appearance.
This means that a view of the sky, however small it might have been, is zero. That’s one of the factors that make a skylight so attractive. Viewing the bright blue sky or watching torrential rainstorms through the skylight brings nature into the home.
But so does a big hole in the roof. Although homeowners can and do install skylights, it is recommended the work be done by a professional. The roof is the first line of defense against Mother Nature and is the largest uninterrupted part of the home. More interruptions mean more chances for leaks.
Solar tubes cause less disruption to the exterior of the roof but still need to be installed with care. Improperly installed flashing, mastic, or other roofing adhesives/sealants will cause damage to the attic and interior of the home. On this count, solar tubes and skylights cause the same issues – especially if done by an inexperienced individual.
Solar tubes offer a greater measure of energy efficiency by not allowing natural light into the house. Although skylights can be outfitted with shades of even tinted glass, they still allow up to three times as much direct sunlight as solar tubes.
This can be important during those warmer summer months when it’s hard to keep the home cooled down during the day. And although we don’t have extremely warm temperatures as the norm, Clark County does manage to hit triple digits every once in a while. The heat gain can be mitigated by installing the skylights on the north side of the home.
Solar tubes are under no such recommendations because the light/heat is held at bay by the dome on the roof. Solar tubes can be placed on the Southwestern part of the home for maximum light. UV rays are also blocked by the dome, so your furniture or carpeting won’t fade under actual sunlight.
In the Pacific Northwest, where extreme temperatures aren’t the norm, you can’t go wrong with either a skylight or a solar tube. No matter which natural light device you decide to install, the most important thing is to go with a professional roofer. They have the tools, the materials, and the experience to do it right the first time.
Entrust your daylighting projects to Warner Roofing & Construction!
Anytime you put a hole in your roof, whether it’s for a chimney, a vent, or a solar tube, extraordinary care must be taken to seal the penetration properly and keep rainwater from damaging your roof and your home. This should always be left to a professional. At Warner, every installation is performed with the utmost diligence so that we can ensure a leak-free solar tube.
The beauty of solar tubes is that they are relatively easy to maintain. Over the years, the fixtures on the roof and ceiling may need repairs or replacements, but the tube and other components, unless someone damages, are trouble-free. You can enjoy a lighter, brighter home without a second thought with the help of Warner Roofing & Construction.