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Open your skylight ... or shade it.

WHAT IF YOU DON'T want all that dazzle a skylight provides when the summer sun is beating down? What if what you really want to do is pry that thing open to let the heat out and a breeze in?

No problem.

New skylights can be a lot more than a plastic bubble overhead or a fixed window on your roof. Now you have choices: many skylights open, and some can be screened. All can be fitted with shades or blinds for sun control, energy savings, and privacy.

Operable units, as these venting skylights are called, come in a variety of sizes and styles for both sloped and flat-roof installations. Those made for sloped installations, like the one at left, do offer more style choices (including conversion kits that allow installation on a flat roof).

Most units open with a geared crank mechanism that you can operate by hand if you can reach it, or with an extension pole. Electric units replace the crank with a motor; you operate them from wall-mounted switches or with hand-held remote controls. Some come with sensors that automatically close the skylights if it starts to rain.

Almost all new skylights use double-paned glass. But glass choices abound: clear or tinted, tempered or laminated for safety, low emissivity--treated and/or argon-filled for energy savings.

Sun control presents another set of choices. Most skylight manufacturers offer shades or blinds for their products (one has blinds that fit between the two glass panes). All major makers of shades have products for angled or horizontal installation; you can mount them on the skylight frame in the well. In general, opaque or translucent shades (roller, pleated, or insulated) go up and down, but adjustable blinds are permanently installed in the lowered position.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Crosby, Bill
Date:May 1, 1993
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