What type of ventilation do you need with your skylight?

Skylights are a great way of allowing more natural light into your home, but you will also need to consider whether you want them for ventilation as well as light. There are four main options you should consider.


The first type of skylight does not open and has no ventilation at all. This is probably the most common type of skylight. As long as you have adequate ventilation anyway and your air conditioning keeps the room at a cool enough temperature, there is no real need for the skylight to open. This option will also minimise the chance of leaks, so it makes sense if you have a flat roof that suffers from a lot of rainfall.

Passive ventilation

The second type is called passive ventilation. This type of skylight does not open but has a perforated metal strip around its perimeter. This means the skylight is permanently ventilated. This will keep the room cool while allowing the sunlight in, as the hot stale air will rise through the perforations and allow in the cooler fresh air. The downside is that the warmer air will escape in the winter and make it more difficult to heat your house, so it might not be the best option if you live somewhere cold.

Opening skylights

The third type of ventilation is the simplest — you just open and close the skylight according to your needs. This can be done either manually with a pole, or electronically with a remote control. This means you can adjust the level of ventilation as the temperature changes. Of course, you will need to remember to close it again if it rains, although electronic skylights often have a sensor that allows them to close automatically in bad weather.

Mechanical ventilation

Finally, you can choose a skylight with a fan. The fan is generally installed in the frame at the level of the roof, although you can also install one with a domed skylight, where the fan sits on top of the dome. This means that ventilation will be available at the flick of a switch, but you do not have to worry about gaps in your roof where debris or insects could get in.

Fresh air is as important in a home as natural light, so make sure you discuss your needs with your skylight installer. They will be happy to discuss your options and make sure you choose the right skylight for your family.