April 14, 2021
There’s a lot of attention paid to glass when trying to determine the energy efficiency of a skylight. While it’s true that glass plays an important role in performance, glass is not the only material in the skylight to consider. Anyone who has ever heard the saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” should know that one must think also of the overall assembly, and the other pieces of skylight in order to assess how energy efficient and effective that skylight is.
Why Are Performance Values Important?
Performance values are a measurement of the skylight’s ability to insulate the home from the heat and cold outside. Traditional skylights are a point of weakness in many roofs, often allowing energy leaks to negatively affect the temperature inside the home.
Performance values can reveal those weaknesses, enabling homeowners and commercial building owners to determine, before they commit to installation, just how much energy will be lost through their skylights.
U-factor performance values measure a skylight’s resistance to heat flow. In this case, lower numbers are better than higher numbers. U-factor means that the skylight will block UV rays and prevent them from entering the home, while at the same time preventing heat from exiting the home at the coldest times of year.
U-factor values are especially important in parts of the country where the winters are very cold, but all homeowners and business owners should consider U-factor values when trying to decide whether to install a skylight in their structure.
Sometimes two U-factor values will be recorded for a skylight assembly. One U-factor measures center-of-glass (COG) U-factor. This COG U-factor measures the performance and energy efficiency of the glass alone. The other U-factor, which measures the whole skylight assembly, takes into considerations any air leaks and points of weakness between the frame and glaze.
Whether the glass has a low U-factor is not very meaningful, if the entire skylight is itself riddled with energy leaks. The glass cannot make up for a poor design, poor fit or bad seals.
VTECH skylights are made from aliphatic polyurethane and LoĒ³ 366 glass for total energy efficiency. We start with these high-performance, high quality materials because, like that saying, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) is a process that auto manufacturers use to create sunroofs that never leak. We use that same process to create the frames of our skylights. Once the frame has cured, it’s bonded to the glaze through a chemical process that makes our skylights all one piece.
When the VTECH skylight arrives at your home or building, it’s all one piece. It won’t break along a seam, crack at the edges, or start to leak with time. We’ve tested our skylights to ensure their strength. You can see the results of these tests on our website.
Some skylights perform well when they’re installed, only to deteriorate later on. These skylights rely on caulking and screws to maintain their structural integrity – and that caulking can break down as it is exposed to the heat and cold in the environment. While performing maintenance can help maintain energy efficiency, many property owners are unaware that their skylights need regular attention.
VTECH skylights are exposed to years of extreme weather, heat, and cold without ever losing their integrity. They need little to no maintenance in order to maintain their energy efficiency.
We’re so sure that our skylights are durable and long-lasting that we’ve backed them with a 20-year system warranty. Our skylights outlast the roof where they’re installed.
VTECH Skylights are designed to maintain their energy efficiency throughout their service life. They’re also low-maintenance and surprisingly affordable. To find out more about installing VTECH skylights in your home or commercial building, call today.