Skylight Louvers And Their Many Advantages

by garrett on October 11, 2011

Many home and commercial building owners decide to purchase skylight louvers, for a variety of aesthetic and environmental reasons. For instance,research has demonstrated that an external, controllable solar shading system may reduce energy costs by as much as twenty percent. Louvers come in a variety of materials, which help building owners to control daylight and solar heat gain. Also, louvers are an important component of LEED certification and are eligible for federal tax credits.

Control Daylight

A louver system allows property owners to control daylight. Daylight reduces a building’s use of electricity and a louver system allows for adjustments,which will provide just the right amount of light, in any situation. For instance, a louver system allows building owners to curb daylight when the light becomes a nuisance to occupants.

Control Heat

Louver systems help to control solar heat gain. In warm, sunny climates, louver systems help to shield a building from solar energy, preventing the use of excess cooling energy. In cooler climates, louver systems allow more solar energy into a building, providing passive solar heating and a savings on heating costs. By controlling heat gain, a louver system reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, and lowers the emissions produced by any building.

LEED Certified

Many designers are choosing to have their buildings LEED-certified. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices by recognizing strategies that improve environmental performance. Louver systems are important elements of LEED design because of their contribution to energy efficiency. LEED buildings experience reduced energy bills, increased appraised property value and possible insurance discounts.

Tax Credits

Louver systems may also be eligible for tax credits. In the United States, for example, building owners who install a louver system will receive a credit of thirty percent of the price for a maximum of $1,500. However, the tax credit includes only the cost of the product and not the cost of labor or installation.

Interior/Exterior

A louver may be placed on the interior or exterior of any skylight. The devices are controlled either manually or by a motorized system. Manual control is accomplished by using a pole with a hook to adjust the louver’s degree of openness. Motorized devices utilize controllers, switches or wireless remote controls to adjust position. In fact, louvers may be integrated into a building’s computerized management system so they are automated for maximum sun control.

Materials

Devices may be made from a variety of materials. Wood, aluminum and glass are some of the most common materials used in louver construction. Also,building owners may choose from a variety of slat sizes and styles, depending on the preferred appearance.

Skylights today are found in a variety of residential, commercial, educational and institutional spaces. While skylights provide architectural interest, they may be sources of unwanted heat loss, heat gain or UV exposure. Installing a louver vents system cuts down on the unwanted side effects of skylight installation so building owners may enjoy the many benefits of daylight. Skylight louvers that blend with other elements of building design offer an aesthetically pleasing path to energy savings.

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