The Advantages of Roof WindowsDate Posted: 12 March 2019
You may not realise it, but choosing the right sort of glazing is one of the most important home improvement decisions you can make. Whether it’s because of a specific stylistic or design challenge, a safety precaution or an energy efficiency issue, it is easy to forget that choosing windows for your home can tangibly impact your life.
When it comes to the design process, fewer people will consider roof windows as an option, even though they offer many advantages due to their flexibility, functionality and even their sleek and stylish design. Opting for roof windows in your property is a great way to create a bright, open space that can make a world of difference to your daily life. Whether they are saving you money on your bills or simply making your rooms lighter and brighter, investing in the right windows can make your home a happier and more pleasant place to live.
Roof Windows and Ventilation
The saying that we need to step outside for a little “fresh air” may seem a little old fashioned at this point, but access to fresh air actually has a significant impact on your health in the short and long term. The majority of the air we breathe tends to be in our own home - and while it may seem logical that the air indoors is cleaner and safer than the polluted air outside, the opposite is often true.
From dust and mould to aerosols and cleaning products, it’s thought that air in 92% of our homes unsafe to breathe. This can result in or exacerbate a number of health problems, including migraines, asthma, rashes and sinusitis. If you’ve been suffering from regular headaches or grogginess, it may be worth checking if your home is being frequently and properly ventilated.
Though keeping windows open is not likely to be an issue for the majority of us in the summer, ventilation is just as important in the winter months, especially for those living in damper climates. Without proper ventilation, humidity and condensation can encourage mould growth, which can lead to a range of long-term health problems.
Fortunately, roof windows can offer a great amount of flexibility when it comes to ventilating your home. The majority of roof windows have a central pivot, which means that depending on whether you want a gentle breeze or a wide-open, balcony style space, you can adjust the window according to your needs. Newer models of roof windows even have innovative ventilation systems that allow the right amount of air to filter through the window without causing a draft, even when the window is closed. With these features, you can enjoy a fresh and clean atmosphere in your home, even if the weather is less than inviting.
Roof Windows and Natural Light
Along with ventilation, one of the most basic functions of a window is to give us access to the outside world and take advantage of natural light. Obvious though this may be, the benefits of having as much access to daylight as possible can scarcely be understated.
For thousands of years, we have been waking, sleeping, working and eating in accordance with the rise and fall of the sun. In fact, it wasn’t until the discovery of electricity less than two centuries ago that we gained greater freedom over our day-to-day schedules. Though this has offered us far more flexibility and autonomy, we may have been neglecting the vital role that natural light can play in our physical and mental health.
With many of us spending up to 90% of our day indoors, investing in roof windows can be a great way of ensuring you have as much access to natural daylight as possible. This increasingly includes working hours, with up to half the UK workforce predicted to be working from home by 2020. Without regular access to daylight, both your mental health and your work productivity could be negatively affected.
Because of their sky-facing orientation, roof windows have a superb advantage when it comes to maximizing the amount of light that is coming into your home. Not only are obstructions to light (such as tall buildings or trees) less unlikely, but you are also taking advantage of direct access to the sun, as opposed to relying on certain times of day to illuminate a traditional window.
Even if you do not spend the majority of your day at home, increasing your access to natural light can do a world of good for your sleep pattern and general wellbeing. For example, sleeping and waking in sync with the sun and allowing yourself to gradually wake up to sunlight can greatly improve your circadian rhythms. Not only does this allow you to sleep better, it also helps your bodily functions to perform to their full potential, from digestion to cell regeneration.
Roof windows can also be a great solution for those living in obstructed areas, or who have a west-facing bedroom with limited access to light in the morning. Even if you are not able to place a roof window with the perfect orientation, you should still gain more access to the morning light than through a traditional window.
Roof Windows and Energy Efficiency
Maximising your access to natural light doesn’t just allow you to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle -- it can also significantly improve your finances by increasing your home’s energy efficiency. The benefits aren’t just limited to your monthly and yearly bills; by improving your home’s energy rating, you could be adding significant value to your property.
If you’re planning on installing roof windows in order to cut back on electricity and heating, then outlining a location for your windows can be extremely important. Installing roof windows in north and south-facing locations can ensure that you gain the maximum amount of daylight possible throughout the entire day without experiencing glare. South-facing windows, in particular, can help to moderate seasonal temperatures and ensure that your home stays warm in the winter but cool in the summer. In addition, studies have shown a 22% increase in light savings where natural light was primarily used.
Unless your home neighbours a particularly tall property, roof windows are highly unlikely to overlook anyone living nearby and so won’t need planning permission. This means that as long as your home structure allows it, you can install as many roof windows as your budget can accommodate. A wall of roof windows can even be a stylish addition to your home, with the added bonus of helping to reduce your bills.
Whatever your choice of glazing, letting as much daylight and fresh air into your home as possible will only benefit your health, your mood and your home itself. And while traditional windows are also able to offer energy efficiency and increased exposure to natural light, roof windows can offer a greater amount of flexibility that is not always possible with traditional glazing.
Whether it is freeing yourself from the hassle of planning permission or having complete freedom of where you choose to install your windows, roof windows can make it easier to bring the outside world into your home -- creating a brighter, fresher and more energy-efficient place to live.