Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Does Daylighting Really Reduce Energy Consumption?

The recent United Nations report on the massive dangers of climate change has emphasized the need for people to cut their carbon footprints.  One of the best ways to do this in the home is to use daylighting. For many, the idea of using daylight means opening curtains, shades and blinds to allow sunlight to enter the house. While this is essential, it is not where the concept of daylighting ends. There are places in every home where the light that comes through windows and skylights is not enough. There will also often be places where there are no windows to allow natural light to enter – closets and basements are an example of this. These are areas where electric lighting has to be used all the time and from where a home’s carbon footprint increases. Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) or daylightingsystems as they are often called, offer the perfect solution to this problem.

The TDD Advantage

No home can exist without windows and perhaps, skylights also. Windows not only allow the entry of light but also fresh air into the home. However, they do have their drawbacks:
  • The amount of light that enters will depend on the direction the windows face.
  • Changes of the season can also impact the amount of light that enters from the windows.
  • Over time, the windows can become worn and allow rain and dust to enter even when closed.
  • Windows are often a weak point as far as security is concerned – it is from where burglars often enter.
  • Skylights often allow rain to enter the house.
  • Windows and skylights allow heat transfer from indoors to outdoors, reducing the effectiveness of heating and air conditioning systems.

Daylighting systems do not have these disadvantages. TDDs are designed to capture the maximum amount of natural light and carry it to even the most interior parts of a house. The use of special highly reflective tubes to carry the light through walls and ceiling ensures that there is a minimal light loss.

The Financial Benefits

Appreciating the benefits of daylighting systems in fighting climate change can be difficult. Converting the benefits into how they can reduce utility bills will serve to provide a clear understanding of the kind of efficiencies that can be achieved. The Energy Center of Wisconsin conducted tests to determine the kind of difference daylight systems can make and these were the results:
  •       The savings of lighting costs is up to 32 percent
  •       The savings on cooling costs is 25 percent

The results will vary from house to house, but there is no denying that using daylighting systems will result in a significant reduction in energy usage and the associated bills. In terms of the environment, the impact of one home going green may be less easily quantified, but the significance is not diminished.

Maximize the Savings

Installing TDDs made by a world-class manufacturer ensures that they will produce the maximum savings on power consumption. The quality of the system also ensures that you will have many years of trouble-free operation. Look for daylighting systems where the amount of light they produce can be controlled and which have a large variety of fittings so that what is installed will match your home’s d├ęcor.