Sky Lights and Sun Tubes

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Posted by: from Denver
4/10/2008 at 11:20:58 AM

I would love to have a series of sun tubes installed in my family room, bathroom, and kitchen to brighten the areas without turning on electric lights.

I have been drooling over a few that I saw at Home Depot, my favorite store, but I am concerned about heat loss during the winter months.

Are sky lights and sun tubes insulated? Will installing them make my winter heating costs unbearable?

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John in San Francisco
Date/Time4/22/2008 at 2:01:25 PM

Natural sunlight would be much

better then any artificial lighting. Think about it...retubing costs are practically nil for sun tubes.

Sun tubes transfer solar light from the sun to the building without the heat gain of ordinary skylights. Sun tubes are smaller in size than skylights but have mirrors inside the tube that magnifies the light that enters producing bright, free, renewable power.

As your question goes, the big unknown with light tubes is their effect on house heating and cooling needs.the tubes themselves are often uninsulated, and sometimes they are ventilated to prevent condensation, so they may cause added winter heat loss.Cold weather condensation on the interior of the ceiling diffuser has been reported in some homes. Some manufacturers use an air-permeable gasket to seal the roof dome to the reflective tube, allowing moisture to evaporate out the top. You have to look at the pros and cons both.

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