Whether or not you should open your windows in the winter is a common point of contention between family members and spouses. On the one hand, you don’t want to waste energy and deal with high energy bills. On the other hand, you want fresh air and ventilation. Surely, there’s a compromise in there somewhere, right?
Both sides of this argument have valid points. Here’s what you need to know about whether or not you should open your windows in the winter.
Is It A Bad Idea To Open Your Windows In The Winter?
How long are you planning on leaving them open for?
That’s really what this comes down to. Yes, you can open your windows in the winter, and it can in fact be very beneficial for your overall health. However, opening your windows does constitute energy loss, and you will likely see it reflected on your energy bills.
If you plan on leaving your windows open all the time or all night, this likely means that you should lower your thermostat. If you have one family member who prefers their space to be a cooler temperature than the rest of the family, you may consider getting them a fan. Fans are usually quite inexpensive to run.
However, it’s actually a good idea to open your windows in the winter for a few minutes at a time! About 10-15 minutes will do. This helps to improve your indoor air quality and your overall health.
What Are The Benefits Of Opening Your Windows In The Winter?
You may be surprised to learn that there are actually multiple benefits if you open your windows in the winter for a few minutes at a time.
#1. Improved Air Quality
The Environmental Protection Agency states that the air inside your home is often 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. Shocking, isn’t it? However, when you factor in a lack of ventilation, kitchen gases, paints, cleaning products, building materials, and more… All of these play a role in why indoor air quality tends to be so much worse than outdoor air quality.
Many people are adamantly against opening their windows at all during the winter months. They want to keep the cold air out, after all. It makes sense. However, proper ventilation is important in order to improve your indoor air quality.
Simply opening your windows for 10-15 minutes once or twice a day helps to ventilate your home, getting old, stuffy air out, and fresh, cleaner air in. For optimal results, open windows on opposing ends of your home, to really get the airborne contaminants out and fresh air in.
#2. Decreased Risk Of Illness
This may seem a bit counterintuitive, given that too much time in the cold can make you sick. However, exposure to stale, recycled air can actually increase the likelihood of getting sick during the winter months. If you don’t open your windows in the winter for a little bit, this is something to concern yourself with.
A lack of fresh air can cause contaminants to build up in your home. Mold can grow around your windows. Breathing in dust mites and bacteria can cause respiratory problems and lead to sickness. In fact, there are even names for illnesses that can result from not having enough fresh air inside: BRI (Building-Related Illnesses) and SBS (Sick Building Syndrome).
You can improve the ventilation in your home in just minutes if you open your windows in the winter for a few minutes at a time. A slightly higher energy bill is worth it when it comes to preserving your health.
#3. Get Rid Of Odors
When you live in a space, you can very easily become adjusted to any lingering odors. You may not notice the smell of your musty bathrooms or dirty laundry, but anyone who visits your home certainly will.
You can light candles and use air fresheners to try to cover up any odors. However, this won’t get rid of them. Both cleaning and airing your home out can help you get rid of any built-up odors.
#4. Improved Ability To Think
There have actually been studies done that fresh air and proper ventilation can improve productivity. If you’re stuck inside all winter, you may feel a bit sluggish and slower than usual. Getting fresh air can boost your brain and help you to be more productive throughout the day.
Don’t Leave Your Windows Open All Day
Again, while you can open your windows in the winter for short periods of time, you don’t want to leave them open all the time or for extended periods of time. This will certainly take a huge toll on your energy bill.
Peak Windows provides professional window services to help you ensure that your windows are functioning to the best of their ability. You don’t want your windows letting drafts in. They should be strong, durable, and only let fresh air in when you open them. Contact us today to learn more about the window services we provide.