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Skylight Opening Covers - Reducing Skylight 
Cold Air Infiltration


We have 3 skylights in our new house. The openings into each room are about 4 ft by 4 ft but the skylights are 2 x2 and 2 x 4 to the outside. We�re concerned that these large opening are just a big hole for cold air. Is there something we can cover the opening with and not hide the light coming in? I can send a pdf file with a sketch of one of the openings if that helps.

Bob & Laura

Hi Bob and Laura,

I don't need a sketch as I'm visualizing it. I'm not familiar with any type of covering that could be installed inside the house. Have you gone into the attic yet to inspect the walls that surround your skylights? If not I would recommend it. I've seen many attics that were well insulated only to find out that they didn't insulate the skylight walls. Or, I've seen skylights insulated but half of the insulation has fallen down because it wasn't properly secured.

If they are not insulated they would need to have insulation installed similar to kneewalls. I would recommend using kraft faced R-19 batts. This will allow you to staple them to the studs and later secure the batts with twine. I wrote a article a couple of years ago regarding insulating skylights that will explain the procedure.

If you locate a type of cover installed from the inside of the home to seal the skylight opening please let me know as I would be interested in taking a look at it.

Bob responded later...  

Thanks for your suggestions. Yes, I have seen a different approach in some of the homes here in PHX. What do you think of this?

There is a plexiglass �window� mounted into the skylight opening at ceiling height. The plexiglass is enclosed in what looks much like a vinyl window frame, and the whole thing is neatly mounted some way. There are 1/8� holes drilled randomly along the perimeter of the plexiglass that account for air pressure changes in the house I suppose. It looks quite neat and I expect creates a good dead-air space.

Sounds like a interesting concept. I haven't seen one before but it might be effective. Drilling the holes will also allow for moisture control I assume.

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Insulate A Skylight
Insulating Kneewalls
How To Apply Weatherstripping

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