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Community and Q&A

North-facing solar skylight tube a bad idea?

J S | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I’ve been reading a bit of information about the best places to put windows for energy efficiency. I know in Passive Solar buildings you want to minimize or eliminate north-facing windows. But does this rule still apply when doing a solar tube skylight?

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  1. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I'm not a fan of skylights, whether tubular or conventional.

    However, when it comes to conventional skylights, a north-facing skylight generally makes more sense than a south-facing skylight, because south-facing sloped glazing often causes overheating during the summer.

    The problem of overheating doesn't really apply to tubular skylights, so you can put one in on your south roof if you want to. However, a tubular skylight represents a hole in your thermal envelope, and will certainly leak heat compared to an insulated roof assembly.

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