Warm days full of sunshine give homeowners good reason to open windows and let fresh air into their homes. Not only can open windows boost mood and create an inviting living space, but open windows also can be good for the environment.
n Open windows improve indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution has been described by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a primary environmental health problem. Indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than outdoor air. In addition, the American College of Allergists states that 50 percent of all illnesses are caused by polluted indoor air.
Because many homes are built to be air-tight to conserve energy and money, unhealthy levels of air pollutants can build up inside homes when windows remain closed.
These pollutants may include radon gas, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes from paints and solvents and leached chemicals from modern building and furnishing materials. Opening windows for extended periods of time allows fresh air to spread throughout the home. Houseplants can also filter indoor air and make it healthier to breathe.
n Open windows reduce energy consumption. A cool breeze entering a home through open windows can reduce the temperature inside of a home without having to turn on fans or air conditioners. This not only helps individuals save money, but also it reduces reliance on electricity and fossil fuels. Opening several windows on opposite sides of the home can create a cross-breeze that will keep the home cool without the help of energy-guzzling appliances. Open attic vents can release hot air trapped inside the house as well.
n Open windows reduce reliance on chemical air fresheners. Fresh air can quickly remove odors from a home. These can include old cooking smells, cigarette smoke, pet odors, or simply stale air. By opening windows, homeowners can clean the air in their homes naturally without covering it up with chemical air fresheners or other cleaners. The fresh air itself may simply smell good, or this pleasant aroma can be enhanced by blooming flowers or other natural scents from outdoors.
n Open windows cut down on use of cleaning products. A home that never gets any fresh air can quickly succumb to allergens such as dust, dander and soot, necessitating the use of vacuums and other cleaning tools and products. But open windows can greatly reduce the buildup of such allergens, and therefore reduce reliance on appliances that guzzle energy or products that release harmful chemicals into the air.
Open windows allow fresh air to flow throughout a home, improving personal health and benefiting the environment at the same time.