I like the word “fenestration.”
Not just because it means “the design and position of windows and other exterior openings of a building.” But because it sounds cool. You know, like the words “flabbergasted” or “poodle”.
And I also like it because it’s a technical term we use in our industry a lot. But really it’s just a fancy way of saying: “doors and windows.”
So anyway, I was working in my garden the other day and I got to thinking about the best things about the warmer months of spring and summer. Like outdoor living and barbecuing, swimming pools and sunshine, entertaining friends and outdoor kitchens. And then a random thought popped into my head.
“What I really love is being able to open my windows to the world – that’s when it truly feels like summer.”
I was relaying all of this to one of the guys in marketing while getting my morning coffee and he said: “Hey, that would make a great blog post! Combine it with your love of lists and you could write: 10 reasons to open your windows!”
So I tried to write ten reasons to open your windows and I could only get to seven. So I included doors too.
Right then, buckle up for the ride: here’s your top 10.
Fresh air. OK. It’s obvious I know. But opening your windows and doors brings in the fresh air! We spend so long in our houses and cars and workplaces, we forget the joy of fresh air. It’s great for the kids too. Apparently children today spend seven hours more on academics (or Facebook!) and two hours less on sports and outdoor activities per week than they did 20 years ago. So fling open your doors and let the fresh air in.
Sunlight. You can’t enjoy the sunshine if your doors are closed. I know in sunnier places it can often get incredibly hot, but here in British Columbia when the sun shines I want to welcome it into my home. And we all know sunshine has great health benefits like increasing Vitamin D production and reducing the symptoms of depression.
Reduce condensation. Damp window frames, condensation on your windows and worst of all: black mold. Without adequate ventilation your home becomes a steamy box of germs. Nasty. Open the windows and get the air flowing through your home to stop the damp.
Cut down on your a/c bills. You may well need your air conditioning system running at the height of summer, but for the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn why not turn it off, open your doors and windows (with screens, of course) and save on electric bills? And that links neatly to idea number five.
Create fewer harmful emissions. If you’ve turned your a/c off – then you’re using less energy. And if you’re using less energy then you’re going to be producing fewer harmful emissions and reducing the amount of fossil fuel being used. All of which makes for a more sustainable way of living.
Remove pollutants. When we talk pollutants I’m not talking about gas fumes or carbon monoxide. Although if you’re suffering from those two things then opening the windows and doors is, without a doubt, a grand idea. What I’m thinking of is if, for example, you’ve just painted a room. Some paints contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can be harmful to health. And other delightful things like dust mites can cause asthma. So it may be a bit obvious but opening your home to the outside can clear out the nasties.
Fewer noisy fans. I don’t mean Justin-Bieber-worshipping-teenage-girls kind of noisy fans! This is just a pet peeve of mine. I hate the whirring of fans. They just annoy me with their constant white noise. If you’ve got a nice breeze flowing through your home, you don’t need the fans. And silence, as we’ve so often been told, is golden!
Feel better. I mentioned it before, but fresh air makes you feel better. It clears out the stuffiness in your home and the dry, air conditioned air. It gives you a sense of well-being and an opportunity to feel connected to your surroundings.
Help children concentrate and learn. It’s true. Natural ventilation helps children study. A 2005 study of 10-year-old school children showed that increasing ventilation rates could improve the children’s performance in tasks representing eight different aspects of schoolwork, from reading to mathematics. So there’s a good reason for opening your windows if ever I saw one!
Enjoy your view. Maybe I’m biased. But I love looking out my doors and windows to the countryside around my home. It gives me a sense of my place in the world – as well as the changing seasons. Sure, I’m just a romantic, farm girl at heart, but by looking outside through open windows and doors, I understand just how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
So there you have it. Ten great reasons for opening up your home to the outside. And all ten come with the recommendation that you use our retractable screens to keep the bugs out! We have them for doors, windows and large openings.
Are you a fresh air fiend? Do you love to fling your windows wide? Let me know your thoughts!