Friday, August 21, 2009
Our den has only a north-facing window. Since the plan was to start using it as an office, I decided to get a sun tunnel installed to bring more light into the room.
Several years ago, I had gotten one installed in each of our windowless bathrooms and they had transformed those rooms from pitch dark, icky places to wonderful alive spaces where I could put houseplants.
The only sun tunnel company in my area still in business with a valid license is Sunlight Concepts which sells the Solatube. Solatube recently started selling a new energy-efficient model that qualifies for the federal tax credit.
It took the installer 2 hours to install the sun tunnel. I had to get a permit this time because my city recently started requiring one for these sun tunnels. I also arranged for the installer to fix the opening in my roof to properly vent the new bathroom fan I had installed the previous week. The old fan had a 3" vent pipe, and the new fan required a 4" vent, for which I used 4" insulated duct. But the roof jack needed to be adjusted to accommodate a 4" connector, as it was poorly situated with some joists partly blocking the opening. Until he fixed the connection I forbade my husband from showering in that bathroom, as I didn't want to be dumping moist air into the attic instead of out through the roof.
The installer was quick. Maybe a little too quick, because he didn't nudge the insulation back against the Solatube. So the area around it in the ceiling got really hot when the attic heated up. I had to climb back into the attic to fix that.
Pictures are of before and after installation. It did make a big difference to how that space feels, although not as dramatic as for the windowless bathrooms. All told, it was under $700 to get this suntunnel installed. A great deal.