According to the U.S. Department of Energy, daylighting is the use of windows and skylights to bring natural light into your home. This technique not only creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in any room but also has health and energy efficiency benefits. Here is everything you need to know about daylighting.
What are the benefits of daylighting?
Why should homeowners know about daylighting? Daylighting not only adds natural light to your home, but it can increase your productivity, has immense health benefits and can save you money on energy bills.
Three benefits of daylighting:
- Energy Efficiency and Savings. Daylighting is the most sustainable option when trying to keep a comfortable internal house temperature. Energy efficient windows, that are strategically positioned in a home, can greatly reduce the need for heating and air conditioning, saving you money.
- Comfort Year-round. You can utilize the Sun’s position to naturally heat your home during the winter and keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer.
- Physical and Mental Health Benefits. Humans have a natural need for sunlight. According to Architectural Lighting, daylight is a natural stimulant to the vital system and encourages a healthy circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that an office space that has lots of natural lighting increases productivity and encourages a higher level of concentration. So, whether you’re trying to finish a project at work or relaxing at home, daylighting is just good for your health.
How can you incorporate daylighting in your existing home?
You can’t do much about which way your existing house is facing, but knowing how natural light changes during the day and throughout the year can help you control daylight effectively. Here are a couple simple ways to incorporate daylighting into your home that can have significant benefits in your home’s energy efficiency.
- During winter keep your curtains and blinds open during the day to let in the sunlight that streams through your windows. This is free solar heat that will help lower your heating bill.
- During summer, you want to keep your curtains and blinds closed during the day to prevent direct sunlight from overheating your home. Then open up all of your windows as night to let in cool air. This will also help keep your home cool during the day.
Building a new home? Incorporate daylighting into your house design.
If you’re constructing a new house, consider daylighting as part of your whole-house design. When talking to your architect or builder, remember to ask about how your home can be affected by excess heat or light from the outside. You builder can plan the design so that the placement of your new windows gives you the best possible energy efficiency.
Here are a few cardinal rules to help you maximize your new home’s energy efficiency.
- North-facing windows emit a steady stream of natural light without much glare. And in the summer months, energy efficient windows in this position reflect the powerful – and hot – glare from the sun.
- South-facing windows are great for allowing the sun to warm your interior space during the winter months while keeping out a majority of the direct sun in the summer.
- East and west facing windows are great for daylight penetration in the morning and evening, but can cause a lot of glare and unwanted heat.
According to House Logic, good daylighting is really a matter of personal preference. If you have areas in your home that you’d like to be better lit, then you’ll want to better orient your efficient windows to fill those areas with sufficient, energy-saving natural light straight from the sun.
Ready to open up your space with more natural light? Take the first step.
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