Solatube - the skylight alternative
Do sun tunnels leak, is condensation a problem, is a Solatube well insulated and how long will a light tunnel last. All these are excellent questions!
1. Do sun pipes or sun tunnels leak?
The Solatube is a very well designed system which we have been installing for many years in Scotland without problems. Provided it is properly installed in a roof that is in good condition then a Solatube is weatherproof and will not leak.
That’s why Solatube supports a 10 year manufacturers backed product warranty.
2. Does condensation form in sun pipes? Is condensation a problem?
Condensation will almost certainly form in ANY sun tunnel system. What is important is HOW the sun pipe system deals with the condensation. The inside surface of a Solatube dome is designed so that condensation forming on the underside of the dome runs in to a ‘weep channel’ that allows the water out on to the roof – simple and effective.
3. What is the thermal efficiency of a Solatube sun pipe?
A Solatube is an extremely efficient and effective way of lighting up dark rooms, delivering more light than any other form of window or skylight, relative to its size. That means you have a much smaller aperture in your home through which heat can escape.
Smaller sun pipe systems mean improved thermal efficiency for a building. Combined with the ability to reduce a Solatube sun tunnels u-value from an already impressive (better than a double glazed window), down to between 0.5. and 0.7 with the Eco Optima addition, means it is possible to achieve Passivhaus thermal standards.
4. Is a Solatube better than a Skylight or Velux style roof window?
Cost aside, a Velux-style roof window with a light well beneath it is not actually designed to bring light down to a horizontal ceiling and then diffuse the light in to the room, whereas this is precisely what a Solatube is designed to do, incredibly effectively and efficiently.
To get as much light from a roof window and light well you will need a far bigger roof window and hence you are creating a far less thermally efficient building. Ultimately, a smaller Solatube will deliver as much light as a Velux roof window and light well several times the size.
5. How long will a sun tunnel last?
You might also want to consider the quality and durability of what you are purchasing. A Solatube sun tunnel will last many years and few systems match the quality of design and materials used by the Solatube.
Solatube is acknowledged as being at the top end of the market. The company continues to invest in materials technology, product design and top end manufacturing to produce a system that looks the best and uses high performance materials for a robust and contemporary looking solution that delivers the most light. Practically all other manufacturers have simply copied the Solatube sun pipe concept and do not continue to develop and improve their systems.
So, these are some of the key points you need to be aware of when choosing a Solatube sun tunnel or sun pipe. If you’d like more help or information about a Solatube, or other make of system, please contact us on 01721 730385 or download our Ultimate Guide to Sun Tunnels HERE.