Getting fresh air is one of the simplest, cheapest, and best things you can do for yourself. The benefits are almost endless, ranging from improved physical and mental health to improved indoor air quality. During hot summer months, opening a window is almost second nature but did you know, it’s also a good idea to open the window during winter months too?
Open Windows Means Fresh Air
During the summer, we open the window for a multitude of reasons. People tend to run their A/C almost nonstop, which is costly and releases toxic gases into the environment. By opening a window, the fresh air will ideally help drop the temperature a few degrees and give your A/C a break. Furthermore, fresh air improves air quality by circulating stale air, including unpleasant smells like dirty gym clothes or smoke left behind from cooking. Most people tend to understand that there are some benefits to opening a window, like letting in fresh air. However, there are also lesser-known benefits to cracking a window in, particularly in colder months.
While people shy away from the outdoors during cold months, some exposure to fresh air and the elements is actually really good for your immune system. Fresh doses of oxygen help the lungs increase tissue repair and stimulate cell production. As a result, common colds and the flu may not stick around as long. Moreover, when your family has been stuck indoors together breathing stale air, the same cold causing viruses are simply circulating around the house. This is especially true in newer homes with thicker windowpanes and doorways.
Studies have also shown that breathing in more oxygen can improve sleep quality. Fresh air helps to calm the nervous system, allowing the body to sleep more deeply. Therefore, cracking a window allows fresh air to circulate, cleansing the air and promoting a more restful night.
Few things are better than a nice steamy shower in the winter. However, that means increased condensation is left behind. Another reason for cracking a window in the cold months, is to help minimize mold and mildew buildup.
Although summer is the most common time for people to take on new home improvement projects, some are just as easy to do during the winter. For climate-controlled spaces, an example may be sanding furniture. Unfortunately, the extra dust particles aren’t healthy to breathe in, but opening a window will help clear out the excess dust.
Home projects aren’t the only cause of toxins found in the home. Radon gas is another toxin that becomes built up over time. It is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause cancer. The gases form naturally when radioactive metals break down in rocks or soil. Radon can also be found in granite and other stone countertops. Cracking a window will prevent it from becoming trapped indoors; fortunately, it evaporates outdoors.
Freedom for Pets
Lastly, another good reason to open a window, even during the cold months, is for your pets. Not only do they also appreciate the breath of fresh air, but it also gives them easy access to come and go year-round at their leisure. While the ability to come and go applies mostly to cats, dogs will still enjoy a breath of fresh air, and so will you.
There’s better news. Not only does opening a window, even during cold months, help improve physical and mental well-being, but it also doesn’t have to be for long periods of time. It’s hard to get any fresh air at all on blustery days. However, by opening a window for at least a few minutes a day, you’ll still have access to fresh doses of oxygen and new clean air to breathe.
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- “Here’s why you should crack a window in your house year-round.” Bob Vila. Kat Hodgins. February 25, 2022.