The many benefits of an open window

Embrace nature from inside your home

8 minute read

A woman in white pahamas sitting in an open window eating raspberries and yogurt out of a white bowl

Sometimes the smallest habits can make a world of difference. Opening the windows in your home can have a bigger impact on your mental health and well-being than you may realize. The ritual of letting fresh air circulate through your home is more than just a practical measure. There are several reasons why opening a window is a simple but effective way to improve our lives.

The indoor air pollution solution.

Studies have shown that fresh air blowing in from outside has a profound effect on the air quality in the home. Opening a window helps purify the indoor environment, reducing the buildup of stale air, odors, and pollutants. Scientists have discovered that indoor air is far more contaminated than outdoor air. This can be problematic for most of us, since we spend roughly 90 percent of our time indoors.

Indoor air pollution can cause certain health effects if left untreated for an extended period. The lesser and more immediate side effects of stale indoor air include a scratchy throat, red or itchy eyes, headaches, and dizziness. These symptoms are treatable and often not permanent. However, in extreme cases, indoor air has been the perpetrator for inflicting asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever.

Air pollution indoors is a culmination of many different necessary practices such as gas from a heater or stove, a wood-burning fireplace, household cleaning products, offgassing from furniture or mattresses, and home insulation. Additionally, the use of tobacco products as well as certain fragrances and candles can contribute to the quality of indoor air. These invisible pollutants tend to build up over time under our noses and out of our control. By opening a window, we’re letting a natural flow of fresh air wash out the contaminated environment in our homes.

An open window is an open mind.

Breathing in the same stale air again and again can cause us to forget about the beautiful outside world. By opening a window, not only do we get to inhale a refreshing breath of fresh air, but we also get to hear the eccentric wildlife that exists in our backyards. We can listen to the birds sing, the trees rustle, and dogs bark. It’s like music to our ears!

Experiencing natural scents from trees and flowers has been proven to reduce stress. Opening a window allows those scents to waft in and replenish our senses while removing any unpleasant smells such as gas, smoke, and pet odors.

In addition to the pleasant smells, leaving the windows open and allowing the outdoors to mingle with your indoor environment can have positively affect mental health. In a study done at multiple high schools, students who struggle with mental illness were tested to see what environment they thrived in. It was found that ventilating a room with an open window resulted in lower stress and anxiety levels in the students.

So, a little fresh air can go a long way. Whether you’re learning in a classroom, working from your home office, or just relaxing on a sunny Sunday morning, it’s important to enjoy the fresh outdoor air.

Energy Savings.

The weather’s getting warmer and that crisp AC is beckoning to be turned on. We understand the urge, however, opening a window and letting a natural cool breeze waft through your home will save energy. Mother Nature provides her own air conditioning – wind! Roughly 19 percent of electricity is consumed by air conditioning in the United States. That’s 254 billion kilowatt hours of electricity just from cooling your home. If we all choose to crack open some windows on a nice day, that number would go down exponentially.

Fans and air conditioning units use significant amounts of fossil fuels and non-renewable energy which harms the environment. A cross breeze from open windows on either side of your home will work wonders to reduce the amount of energy that’s used to cool a house.

A soldier in the fight against mold.

Something you may not know about your windows is that they sweat. When windows remain closed and the air conditioning is running, condensation inevitably begins to form. A wet, warm indoor surface is the perfect habitat for mold. If we leave our windows open, this allows for the natural air to blow in and dry those surfaces and reduce the risk of mold growth.

If the air outside is humid, keeping the windows open may not aid in the fight against mold. But on a dry day, an open window can make all the difference. Preventing mold is a crucial step to take in the warmer months because once mold has crept its way into your home, it can be a hassle to get rid of. The side effects of mold can be detrimental to your health. Mold damage can cause a scratchy throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, and a skin rash. In severe cases involving those with underlying conditions or asthma, the consequences of mold can be life-threatening.

Be well.

When we think of building up our immune systems we often think of eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and getting vitamin D. But did you know that breathing in the right air might contribute to your body’s disease defense mechanisms? Outdoor air tends to contain more oxygen than the air that’s being recycled in indoor spaces. The higher the oxygen levels, the more high-quality air will enter your system. As a result, your lungs may expand more fully, allowing your body's self-healing mechanisms to operate with greater efficiency. In addition, oxygen has the potential to lower blood pressure by allowing the heart to relax.

For all the insomniacs out there, you’ll be happy to hear that more oxygen can help you sleep better and feel less tired. The more oxygen that enters your bloodstream, the easier it is for the brain to reach REM and function as it should. So, by opening a window and letting the fresh air enter your system, you’ll be doing your immune system a favor. You’ll feel healthier and reduce the risk of getting sick.

Radon radar.

Radon is a lesser-known radioactive gas that can build up in the home. Building materials, our water supply, and sources of natural gas can contribute to radon inside. When radon becomes trapped in the home, it can be hazardous and cause serious health effects such as lung cancer. Opening a window helps disperse the radon, making it less likely for this toxic gas to do its damage. The fresh breeze could blow this problem out of your home and out of your hands. Even so, it’s important to have your home tested for radon and to take professional steps to get rid of it if an issue already exists.

The one thing that bugs us about opening windows.

We understand an open window can be an invitation for insects to invade our homes. Especially in the warmer months, we’re constantly met with those dreaded unwanted house guests buzzing around as if they own the place. Fruit flies crash landing into our fruit baskets and wine glasses. Mosquitoes swooping in to suck our blood. Gnats moving in on houseplants. Moths chewing our sweaters in the closet, or pantry moths getting into our food. Bugs we wish would stay outdoors can easily get inside.

That’s why Wondercide made the new Flying Insect Trap. You can effortlessly trap those annoying flying insects. Just plug it in and let it work. With zero chemical insecticides, Flying Insect Trap is good news for your indoor air quality.

So, open a window, let the fresh air waft in, and leave the rest to the Flying Insect Trap.