Winter brings out the essence of cozy warmth: the warm fireplace with splintering wood beneath the chimney; the cup of hot cocoa slowly courses through your mouth. But, with recent discoveries, you might want to leave those windows open this winter —or any other winter, for that matter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that indoor air is usually more polluted than fresh air, even in urban environments. Therefore, keeping your windows closed even during the winter season provides you with the needed warmth and saves energy within the household. However, the flip side is that you are also trapping in various pollutants. Opening the window —even during winter— can significantly lessen this pollution.
Opening the windows to your house for as little as five minutes daily should be enough to do the trick. Manually ensuring that fresh air blows into your house is the best way to ensure this decrease in pollution, as home heaters and cooling systems cannot bring fresh air into the house.
Many things can contribute to this indoor pollution, ranging from building materials to furnishings, air fresheners, and even unvented or defective malfunctioning stoves. The chemicals you need to be cautious of when it comes to the pollution of your indoor atmosphere include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen dioxide, flame retardants, and phthalate. However, leaving your windows open helps eliminate these pollutants and further grants you some benefits. These benefits include:
Benefits of Opening Your Windows in Winter
Reduces Your Risk of Getting Sick
One significant benefit of this practice —even for a few minutes— is reducing your risk of contracting a disease or infection. Knowing that the winter season is when most people are vulnerable to infections, one major cause of this may be the lack of fresh air. Instead, these people keep on inhaling a recycled atmosphere within the home. Do well to open those windows this period.
Improves Air Quality
Finally, you must consider the need for a high-quality atmosphere during this period. Spending lots of time indoors during the winter season requires you to ensure that you receive as much fresh air as possible, in turn getting rid of pollutants from many household appliances contaminating the indoor atmosphere.
In conclusion, it is essential to reiterate that you don’t need to leave your doors or windows open for an extended period. You can leave them for 15 to 20 minutes, and even though you might lose a bit of energy doing this, the upsides to this practice are numerous. After all, your health should take priority.