Why you should open your windows daily

What Happens When You Open Windows Every Day: Good Things!

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You’ve probably opened a window to get rid of bad odors or make a stuffy room less stale. But did you know there are even more benefits to opening your windows daily, all year long. Yep, even if you have allergies!

See, I always thought keeping my windows shut tight was doing us a favor, but it turns out the exact opposite was happening. Read on to understand the good things that happen when you open your windows every day. I’m a convert and I bet you’ll become one, too.

It Dilutes the Bad Stuff

Ever noticed how stuffy your home feels when the windows are shut tight all the time? I used to think that helped my allergies, then learned it was having the exact opposite effect.

The lack of fresh air means our indoor air quality suffers as things in our home produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). By opening our windows, we let the bad stuff out and fresh air in, which dilutes the concentration of VOCs.

Probiotics For Your Home

Just like you might take probiotics to feel good, opening your windows gives your home’s microbiome a probiotic boost by introducing a diverse range of good bacteria. To help those good guys fight the bad ones, be sure to replenish them daily by letting in fresh air.

Damp Control

Opening your windows every day helps regulate the moisture levels in your home. This helps prevent condensation from forming on your windows, and can also help stop mold and mildew problems.

If you’ve got allergies, opening your windows daily can help by not only reducing the growth of mold and mildew but also dust mites. For my family, this was counterintuitive but we now know increased sneezing is usually a sign we need to let in some fresh air.

Help for the Nose Blind

Ever slept on a pillow that belonged to someone else and felt bothered by the smell? Chances are, they’d notice the smell of your pillow, too. We all get blind to smells we’re used to, including those in our home.

Opening your windows every day helps make your home smell better by letting out the cooking odors and VOCs. That mold prevention effect that I mentioned? That helps your home smell better, too.

Lets the Sun In

Opening your windows also involves opening your curtains and blinds, so fresh air isn’t the only thing you’ll be getting when you do this. Your open windows will allow sunlight into your home, too.

Sunlight is a natural mood booster that also helps control humidity, discourages mold and mildew, and makes your entire home feel fresher. Plus, it’s a great form of natural pest control since everything from spiders to silverfish and cockroaches avoid it.

Brain Boost

Did you know stale air can actually make you feel bad? When we don’t open our windows routinely, we use up a lot of the oxygen in our home through breathing and running combustion appliances like gas stoves or heaters.

When the concentration of carbon dioxide and VOCs exceeds the oxygen in our homes, we wind up feeling sluggish and mentally confused. Opening the windows daily is like letting your home take a big, deep breath—because it is.

Allergies and Opening Windows

Once I learned that keeping our windows shut tight was contributing to my allergy symptoms, I started opening them every morning, which allergy experts say pollen is at its lowest. Within days, I started having fewer symptoms, and the above reasons explain why.

When to Skip It

Even if you don’t have allergies, skip opening windows on air quality warning days, especially if you live in an area prone to smoke from wildfires. And if there’s heavy construction going on next door, leave the windows on that side of your home closed to reduce dust.

How to Reap the Benefits

Ready to enjoy all the benefits of opening your windows? Time it for first thing in the morning in summer, and the warmest part of the day in winter. Then open windows on opposite sides of your home for a cross-breeze. If you have a whole-house fan, running it can speed things up.

Leave your windows open for at least 5 minutes every day for improved oxygen levels and a lower concentration of VOCs. For a complete air exchange, leave your windows open daily for at least 15 minutes. 

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2 Comments

  1. Meredith McConnell says:

    Love having the windows open. I often try to explain to my husband the benefits even if the AC is on.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Does he realize you’re turning the AC off at the thermostat before opening the windows and doing it when it’s cooler outside than in, so it’s not costing money?

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