Here’s Why You Should Crack a Window in Your House Year-Round

Opening a window deodorizes and refreshes your home, and introduces the benefits of clean outside air to your indoor space.

By Kat Hodgins | Published Feb 25, 2022 1:21 PM

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Warm weather days are not the only ones that call for an open window. There are plenty of good reasons to crack open your home’s windows in every season. Colder days may warrant opening a window only momentarily, but there are still advantages to doing so.

Modern homes are tightly sealed, which keeps us warm but causes the indoor air to become stale. While HVAC systems circulate and filter the air, they do not mechanically bring fresh air into a house. So, even with AC, your indoor air is not nearly as fresh as the outside air. Opening a window for as little as five minutes a day will allow you to enjoy some of these fresh-air benefits.

1. Feel the breeze.

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When the weather is warm but not hot enough to justify firing up the air conditioner, open windows to control your home’s temperature. Opening windows on opposite sides of a room creates a nice cross breeze that can keep you cool and save you the expense of running the AC.

2. Reduce condensation and mold.

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Does your home suffer from weeping windows? When windows are kept closed and there is insufficient air circulation inside, condensation can form on the panes. If ignored, this moisture can create serious problems. Mold, bacteria, and other toxins can start to build up and possibly cause illness in those living in the home. When these indoor toxins are present, you need to take steps to remove them. Opening a window for a few minutes daily can prevent the condensation from forming in the first place.

3. Lower your risk of getting sick.

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Fresh air generally contains higher levels of oxygen than indoor air. When you breathe in more oxygen, your body benefits. Extra oxygen allows your lungs dilate to improve tissue repair and filtration, your heart to relax and potentially lower heart rate and blood pressure. Oxygen also allows your body expedite damaged cell replacement, which might even help you heal faster.

It is especially important to get fresh air in the winter because viral particles spread more effectively in stale recycled air.

RELATED: What to Do if a Bird Flies into Your House

4. Improve airflow while undertaking home projects.

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Whether sanding, painting, or taking care of other fixes around your house, your projects can add a lot of dust and debris to indoor air. Personal protective equipment can prevent particles from going into your eyes, nose, and mouth, but better indoor airflow can help push dust and fumes outside.

Open windows also come in handy when you’re dealing with chores like deep cleaning your carpets. Air circulation can help reduce drying times, so you can put your furniture back in place and return the room to use more quickly.

5. Lower radon levels.

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When there are cracks or holes in a home’s foundation, radon gas can seep into the basement or crawl space. This naturally occurring radioactive gas is colorless and odorless, so you may not be aware it’s hiding in the air you breathe. Inhaling radon over time increases your risk of developing some potentially severe health conditions.

Opening a window helps radon and other indoor pollutants disperse. For peace of mind, however, it’s a good idea to have your home tested for radon and bring in a professional to address any issues if radon levels are high.

6. Expel unpleasant odors.

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Certain rooms may be subject to lingering smells or unpleasant odors—for instance, the stench of the diaper pail in a nursery. Rather than keeping these smells suspended in the air, crack open a window and replace the offending odor with fresh air.

Fresh air helps bad smells diffuse quickly, getting them out of the house. This is usually a healthier deodorization strategy than trying to cover odors up with a room freshener.

7. Offer easy access for pets.

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An open window in the daytime can be a perfect doorway for pets, particularly cats that are allowed outside. When cats want to go outside, they often scratch at the door or meow incessantly, behaviors which can damage furnishings and get a little bothersome after a while. Leaving a window open for even a couple hours a day lets feline companions come and go as they please, saving you from having to open and close the door for them.

8. Avoid a smoky, smelly kitchen.

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How often does the smoke detector go off when a certain someone cooks dinner? If your home chef is known for charring meats or overbaking cookies, crack a window in the kitchen before turning on the oven. Similarly, if fish is on the menu, an open window will make quick work of any unpleasant kitchen odor.

Some stovetop meals, such as pasta, can make kitchen air quite humid, at times leading to condensation on the window panes. Opening a window will let steam out and keep the panes dry.

RELATED: 5 Easy Ideas for Better Kitchen Ventilation

9. Embrace feng shui.

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The ancient philosophy of feng shui, which translates to “wind-water,” is about so much more than optimal furniture placement. It’s about creating a harmonious living environment and improving the flow of chi, or energy, throughout a space.

That’s where open windows come in. Opening the windows for 10 minutes a day is believed to push stagnant chi out of a room and allow recharged chi to flow through the house.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Indoor Air Isn’t as Pure as You Think

10. Get better sleep.

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Many of us are searching for ways to improve our sleep. If you’ve already switched up your mattress, pillow, and bedding but still have issues falling asleep, the secret to better sleep may be fresh air.

There have been many studies on the impact of fresh air on sleep patterns. An open window helps reduce indoor carbon dioxide levels, which contributes to better rest. On top of that, depending on the season, cool night air can help lower body temperature, making it easier to get comfortable and fall asleep.