A skylight can provide your home with day lighting and ventilation. When properly selected and installed, an energy-efficient skylight can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
It's a good idea to understand the energy performance ratings of skylights so you can select your skylight based on the local climate and your home's design. For labeling energy-efficient skylights, ENERGY STAR® has established minimum energy performance rating criteria by climate.
Skylight glazing is usually either plastic or glass, although other glazing technologies may be used for solar heat control. Depending on the performance you expect from a skylight, you may choose different types of glazing for different skylight locations throughout your home. Manufacturers use various glazing technologies to reduce these impacts, including heat-absorbing tints, insulated glazing, and low-emissivity (low-e) coatings.
Skylights are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common shapes include rectangular, circular, oval, diamond, triangular, multi-sided, and tubular. Non-rectangular units usually use plastic glazing, but higher quality ones use glass. The glazing can be flat, arched, domed, pyramidal, or "warped plane"—flat on the low side and concave in section on the high side. Of these, the pyramidal, arched, and domed shapes offer flexibility for positioning, because their raised design allows light to enter from more extreme angles than flat or warped plane units.