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Air-sealing a Solatube on new construction

Mark Harrison | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I am planning a house, with cathedral ceilings, and my client needs some daylight from the east. The only way to get it is with a skylight, on the east slope of a cathedral ceiling (or a dormer, but let’s not go there).

We are planning a “pretty good” house with an air barrier at the ceiling (drywall or MemBrain). It seems like a solatube (or competitor) would be better than a full skylight. But I cannot figure out how to run the air seal (and no response from solatube . . . 0.

Does anyone have experience with tying a solatube into a ceiling air barrier?

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Replies

  1. Walter Ahlgrim | | #1

    I have 3 of the Sun tunnel brand lights.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/VELUX-14-in-Super-Energy-Efficient-Sun-Tunnel-Tubular-Skylight-with-Rigid-Tunnel-and-Pitched-Flashing-TMR-014-0000E0/204819296
    '
    I found they formed a good air seal to the drywall with only the wimpy looking factory seals and clamps. We did look for leaks when blower door test was running and quickly move on as no leak was detected. The outdoor temp was about 10° when this photo was taken.

    When shopping look for the energy star rated units they will have a double layer indoor lens the will give you a higher R value. Note the E in the sun tunnel model number.

    When you do the install have extra foil tape on hand and seal any seal any speck of light escaping the tunnel into the attic as every insect that finds its way into the attic will be attracted the those points of light and craw thru and die in the sun tunnel and litter your lens.

    Walta

  2. Expert Member
    Armando Cobo | | #2

    I've designed several ZERH high-performing houses with Velux skylights, and in all scheme of things, when installed correctly, can be awesome. Their skylights have great gaskets to prevent water and air penetration, low-e, tempered double insulated panes with Argon gas, reflective coatings helping heat gain and fading. You still can get 30% tax credit for two more years.

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