The Role and Importance of Thermal Breaks for Rooflights

April 19, 2024

In the pursuit of energy-efficient homes, every component counts, especially for rooflights.

Whilst rooflights provide energy efficiency and enhance visibility and aesthetics, an overlooked aspect of their design is the implementation of thermal breaks.

Today, TuffX will delve into the purpose of thermal breaks in rooflights, their function, benefits, and considerations to make when choosing the right materials for your installation.

What are Thermal Breaks?

Thermal breaks are specialised elements incorporated into the frame of rooflights and other building components to reduce thermal bridging.

This acts as an insulator, preventing heat loss and gain within a building to increase thermal efficiency. These are usually placed between the inner and outer aluminium frames on a rooflight.

Thermal breaks are usually made from low thermal conductivity materials, such as reinforced polyamide, expanded polystyrene, or rigid thermoset resins.

The Benefits of Thermal Breaks in Rooflights

Thermal breaks offer a multitude of advantages for rooflights, enhancing their performance and contributing to energy efficiency. These benefits include:

  • Energy savings: Thermal breaks provide better insulation, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling. This helps to lower energy bills and your carbon footprint.
  • Improved U-value: They improve the U-value of rooflights, leading to greater thermal efficiency.
  • Improved health: Thermal breaks reduce condensation, preventing mould and mildew growth for a healthier home environment.
  • Enhanced acoustic insulation: Thermal breaks reduce sound transmission from outside, contributing to a quieter home.
  • Increased property value: Buildings with high-performance rooflights lead to higher market values due to increased comfort.
  • Longer lifespan: The use of thermal breaks in rooflights minimises thermal stress on the frames, contributing to a long-lasting design.

Considerations for Installing Rooflights with Thermal Breaks

To maximise the benefits of your rooflight installation, consider the following:

1. Frame Material

The choice of materials for your rooflights frame affects performance, durability, and aesthetics.

  • Aluminium: This is corrosion-resistant, strong, and lightweight. However, it is an expensive choice.
  • uPVC: This is cost-effective, resistant to weather, and an excellent insulator. However, it has less structural strength than aluminium.
  • Wood: This is versatile, eco-friendly, and is a natural insulator. However, it requires regular maintenance to prevent rotting and swelling.
  • Composite: These frames combine timber and aluminium, offering durability, thermal efficiency, and low maintenance. However, this is an expensive material.

2. Types of Thermal Break

There are various types of thermal breaks to choose from, each offering their own benefits:

  • Polyamide Strips: This provides excellent thermal separation between the inner and outer frame parts.
  • Reinforced Polyurethane: This material offers structural support, great thermal insulation, and is typically used in larger, more structurally demanding installations.
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE): These thermal breaks are flexible with great sealing properties and water filtration. This makes them suitable for dynamic joints or movable rooflight components.

Browse Our Selection of High-Quality Rooflights

At TuffX, we aim to increase the energy efficiency of every home in the UK through sustainable innovations and eco-friendly materials.

Not only are rooflights beneficial for the comfort and operation of your home, but they also help us rely less on fossil fuels to heat and illuminate various types of buildings.

With a wide selection of materials and thermal break technologies to choose from, you can customise your rooflights to your individual needs. Get started on your upgrade with us today, and enquire here about your project.