How Clerestory Windows Can Lower Your Energy Bills

From on October 05, 2011 in Window Replacement


Clerestory windows. Have you heard of them? Pronounced “clear-story,” these windows mimic their name, creating an entire level of light. But they are much more than a pretty face.

In a home, clerestory windows create a beautiful and unusual effect. These windows can rise above adjoining roofs, thus providing light for an interior room that wouldn’t otherwise receive it. They are usually arranged in rows and provide a clean, streamlined look.

Often used for daylighting and bringing in more natural light into a space, clerestory windows can actually reduce the need for electrical lighting during daytime, cutting your energy bills immediately. They can even be made operable, allowing for high-flowing cross-ventilation in your home.

Window Costs and Energy Savings

Costs of clerestory windows can vary from home to home. For pricing in your area, click here.

You can further customize clerestory windows by installing them in a thoughtful sequence that sheds light exactly where you want it. Such thoughtful installment can majorly lower your energy bills. Enough clerestory windows can eliminate the need for electricity in the day, and even central air conditioning day and night, especially in temperate climates that cool down in the evening.

It is important, in order to save energy with these windows, to consider where and how the sun hits. These are called passive solar elements. If you want more heat in your home, consider installing these windows on the south side of your house. Include a low-emissivity coating to reduce heat loss. In winter months, south-facing windows invite heat in from the sun.


To reduce heat, install your windows on the north side of your home (or wherever shade from trees will keep direct sunlight out) to invite sunlight in during the cooler parts of the day. That way, you can take advantage of natural light and air without creating an oven in your home. Also you might consider retractable awnings that invite more heat and direct sun inward during cooler months, and manage the influx of sunlight during warmer months.

Clerestory windows are a beautiful addition that bring better lighting into your home while, with careful forethought, improving your home’s use of natural resources and creating a more energy-efficient—and unique—place to live.

Photo via Houzz