Many people consider incorporating skylights into their home to increase the amount of natural light in their home. It’s an energy efficient way to do so. Many more people use ventilating skylights to help with air circulation as an efficient way to cool their home. Both reasons are great for your wallet and the environment in the long run, but have you ever considered the impact skylights would have on your health and well-being?
Almost all living organisms depend on the sun and daylight for normal development and functioning. Specifically for human beings, daylight has many roles in maintaining our biological systems. It helps with the synthesis of Vitamin D (which occurs when daylight touches our skin), it helps with sleep regulation and our circadian biological clocks, and it even has an effect on gene expression!
Now, one may think that skylights couldn’t possibly have that much of an impact on all of these biological functions. Maybe you may say people could just go outside when it’s sunny and gain the benefits daylight has to offer. But our society, unfortunately, is no longer built to reside, work, or even play outside. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, most Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors! Depending on the design of the building you work or live in, being indoors significantly reduces the amount of daylight you receive. Another important factor to consider is the level of indoor pollutants you are exposed to. Being indoors for such a lengthy period of time exposes our bodies to a higher concentration of pollutants; about 2 to 5 times more than if we were standing right outside of our home or office. The EPA even speaks to indoor air quality and pollutants in the excerpt below:
In addition to pollutant sources, the air exchange rate with the outdoors is an important factor in determining indoor air pollutant concentrations. The air exchange rate is affected by the design, construction, and operating parameters of buildings and is ultimately a function of infiltration (air that flows into structures through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings and around windows and doors), natural ventilation (air that flows through opened windows and doors), and mechanical ventilation (air that is forced indoors or vented outdoors by ventilation devices, such as fans or air handling systems). Outdoor climate and weather conditions combined with occupant behavior can also affect indoor air quality. Weather conditions influence whether building occupants keep windows open or closed and whether they operate air conditioners, humidifiers, or heaters, all of which can impact indoor air quality. Weather also has a large effect on infiltration. Certain climatic conditions can increase the potential for indoor moisture and mold growth if not controlled by adequate ventilation or air conditioning (http://cfpub.epa.gov/eroe/index.cfm?fuseaction=list.listBySubTopic&ch=46&s=343).
Incorporating ventilating skylights into your home’s design is the simple and effective way to help increase the amount of daylight you receive to help maintain normal body functions by maximizing the amount of daylight your home receives, and it will also help to reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants that can cause allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions by offering a way to vent the pollutants out of the house while providing your home with an energy efficient air condition, otherwise known as fresh air.
US Building Products offers Wasco curb mounted manual venting, deck mounted manual venting, and deck mounted solar venting skylights to help you build a healthier home! You may consider incorporating manual ventilating skylights if you’re on a budget or reside in a climate where opening and closing your skylight will be infrequent. Solar ventilating skylights are perfect for reducing both physical and monetary energy costs. Solar ventilating skylights are also eligible for a 30% tax credit as it falls under the category of a solar electric technology.
So there are many reasons to incorporate ventilating skylights into your home or office design; tax incentives, energy efficient lighting, and to have an effective cooling system, which will ultimately add more dollars in your pocket. But the most important reason to have ventilating skylights may add years to your life.
Visit our website at usbuildingproducts.com to find the perfect solution to your health and well-being today!