We have two skylights in our house. One faces is over the stairs and the other is in the master bathroom. The extra light is nice, but the one over the stairs faces south, and, on a hot day, it turns the top of the stairs into an oven. Even with our AC running and the fan circulating air 24/7, upstairs will be 6-7 degrees warmer than downstairs.
I looked into adding a shade to the interior of the window but that looked like it was going to be pretty pricey. And since the skylight is so far overhead, the pole contraption would be pretty long and we’d have to store it somewhere.
I stumbled across skylightsolarshades.com. I was wary of the site because it just feels like a bit of a scam site, but I finally decided to just go for it. I crawled up on the roof and carefully measured out the dimensions of my skylight. It required a custom order, but the total with shipping was under $100.
It arrived a few weeks later and the installation took only a few minutes. It stretches to fit over the skylight and is held on with friction. So far it hasn’t blown off and I think it would take a lot for that to happen.
Our model blocks 90% of the light coming through and wow does it make a difference! The top of the stairs is now the same temperature as everywhere else upstairs. We had a couple warm, sunny days and with the air conditioner running, it was only 3-4 degrees warmer upstairs instead of the previous 6-7. That seems like a huge impact for a $100 purchase so I want to see some more data on hot days, but so far, the results are very promising.
We’ll take it off at the end of summer to benefit from the free heat that we get from the sun in the winter (though there’s not a lot of sun in the winter around here anyway.)