Picture this: It’s a cool September evening. You’re snuggled up on the couch, your cat in your lap and your dog beside you. Your partner lounges in his space beside you; you’re both covered in comfy blankets with mugs of warm tea with honey in your hands. The lights are low, your favorite movie is playing, and you feel the breeze from outside cascading through your open windows and back door. Life is so good.
We recently bought a magnetic screen for doors that has quickly become our household’s unexpected favorite item. Our family loves having fresh air flow through the house. Previously, we could only leave our back door open until the sun started to set because once night comes, so do the bugs. There’s nothing worse than being all comfy on the couch when all of a sudden, you’re being attacked by mosquitoes. It’s definitely not a good time.
But with the purchase of the magnetic screen for doors (and yes, we bought one for our front door as well), we’ve been able to keep all the windows and doors open. It’s been incredibly refreshing. And while I know having that consistent flow of fresh air brings me joy because I love to be outside as much as possible, I wanted to learn more about the benefits adopting this practice would bring to my family’s life.
- Fresh air improves ventilation.
Our lungs allow us to breathe; that’s a statement you undoubtedly already knew, but much like we require our lungs to function so that we can breathe properly, houses, too, need to be able to take in clean air and eliminate dirty air. Ventilation is to homes as breathing is to humans; it’s essential to the home’s well-being.
Without proper ventilation, indoor air accumulates moisture, odors, dust, gases and various air pollutants. When those buildup, the levels can make us sick and even lead to life-threatening situations (specifically high carbon dioxide levels). When you allow outside air to flow through your home via open windows and doors, the fresh air from outside dilutes the buildup of moisture, odors, dust, gases and other pollutants from the indoor air.
- Fresh air helps with concentration and focus.
Do you have windows in your office? Do you open them? What about if you work from home? Do you open your windows to let fresh air in as the day goes on? If you don’t, do you often find that you’re groggy? Instead of pouring yourself a third cup of coffee, take a moment and open your window.
As soon as you crack open a window, a rush of fresh air enters the room. As it does, it removes the old used air, allowing fresh oxygen from the trees and greenery outside to replace the stale air. Notice how you feel. Do you feel less tired? Do you have a bit more energy? Are you feeling more focused? When the oxygen levels of a room are boosted, people tend to feel more awake and focused. That’s why casinos often have higher oxygen levels in the hopes it keeps gamblers playing for longer.
- It’s (surprsingly) economical.
This one might be a hard sell for some of you, especially if you live in a climate known for being unbearably hot. But hear me out. Instead of immediately turning on the air conditioning unit on a hot day, try opening all your windows and doors (that magnetic screen for doors allows you to do this properly, FYI). Unless you’re experiencing an unrelenting heat wave, often, there’s a vast temperature difference between the hottest and coolest points of the day.
As soon as you wake up, open all the windows and doors. If you’ve never done this before, I think you’ll be surprised at how long the house keeps cool! Of course, as the sun continues to shine and the temperature rises throughout the day, you may have to resort to shutting everything again and turning on the air conditioner. But hey, at least you saved a few hours of electricity!
- Letting fresh air flow through your home keeps you healthier.
I believe nature is here to help us. That belief is backed up by the fact fresh air has been shown to boost our immune systems. Every cell that composes our body requires oxygen to perform the functions we need to keep us alive. When fresh air is increased in our day-to-day lives, so is the supply of oxygen in our bodies. With more oxygen comes an increase in the body’s ability to remove toxins, harmful bacteria and viruses.
- It just feels good.
When your home isn’t closed off to the natural world around you, you can feel the effects, smell the smells and hear the sounds of the outside world. That connection to nature automatically boosts your mood by allowing the brain to release the feel-good hormone serotonin.