Q: Our 14-years-old rancher has two skylights in the kitchen that are approximately 2' x 4'. Every summer this area gets so warm that it becomes very uncomfortable. I am looking for a type of solar control product that could be installed on the glass to help keep the heat out but allow some light into the house. In a few years we would like to replace the skylights with more energy efficient ones but in the meantime we would like something to get us through the next few summers.
A: I agree that replacing your skylights would be a good idea since they are not the most energy efficient units or they would have a double layer of low-e coating on the glass and perhaps even argon gas between the panes which would help control the suns heat. I am happy to inform you there is a solution to offer some relief from the heat; it is a solar control mesh installed on the outside of the skylight. This product can be removed if needed for easy cleaning and re-installed by most home owners. It also allows light to enter the home but at the same time keeps the heat out. The company, Newco Products carries a number of solar control products for everything from skylights to windows and they can be reached by calling 1-800-663-4086.
I should also mention, when you buy your new skylights you may want to consider a unit that opens, especially if you don't have air conditioning to allow the heat to escape on a hot day and create air movement in the home.