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My kitchen and dining room area has slanted sunward-facing skylight windows. It's great that it makes the space feel so huge, open, and bright, but during the summer it turns the whole house into an uncomfortably hot conservatory.

Opening a door or two to let a breeze glide through the house is what I rely on at the moment when it's really bad, but I'd prefer to figure out a more permanent solution (doors swing on their hinges, let flies in, won't help on windless days, and it's a pain to have to keep an extra couple eyes on the dog).

Is there a way I can modify my house to let a huge amount of natural light into the house while also maintaining a reasonable cool temperature?

I'd like to get the most out of the house's structure/design, and see how far it's possible to go without installing air conditioning.

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    They are not operable/screened units you could just open...? That's what I'd call a "skylight window" rather than just a "skylight." The film approach Solar Mike suggests is likely your best bet until it's time to replace them, or some other type of exterior shading (i.e. greenhouse shade cloth or exterior temporary glass paint, both used to reduce summer heat gain in greenhouses, which is a similar problem to yours.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 6 at 17:27
  • @Ecnerwal they can be opened but not flipped all the way back, the roof where they are is very high (they take some effort to open). They're actually open right now but it's still a lot warmer inside than outside, especially in this room. Total conservatory effect. Sep 6 at 17:41
  • Can you add a screen door on the outside of the "door or two" that you open to let the breeze blow through? This would still allow the breeze through, but keep bugs out and pets in.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 7 at 16:07
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Put a thermal film on the skylight windows, let light through but reflect heat.

Specified this for some of our triple glazing but the coatings were directly applied to the glass, you will need to either source sticky film or replace the glass units.

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  • I assume this blocks IR radiation? Have you noticed how this affects wintertime temperatures? Sep 6 at 17:30
  • @theonlygusti you will notice I said "some"... it will reduce the insolation coming in whenever there is sunshine, summer or winter. Are you really relying on those skylights to do your winter heating?
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 6 at 17:53
  • No I heat the house from inside of it during the winter. I was just wondering if you had noticed it also decreased your heating bill in winter for example, by trapping internal heat. I don't know if IR emanation is significant enough for that. I was just interested. Sep 6 at 17:54
  • @theonlygusti our house was designed to make use of passive solar to the maximum - south & west facing windows, only 2 small ones to the North. 30cm of insulation in the walls & roof, 20cm under the concrete slab of the floor - designed to act as a heat sink along with solar thermal to heat the house for about 90% of the year. The balcony and structure designed to shade windows in summer, the idea is if you don't let the heat in then you don't have to remove it. So, with only 2 cord of wood needed for winter heating, the simulation had included the reduced window input.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 6 at 18:02

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