For many people, it is not surprising to hear that indoor air quality can have a major impact on your quality of life. When the air quality your lungs have access to isn’t the best possible, even just a few minutes of exposure can affect your health in negative ways. While leaving your windows closed is not everyone’s thing, a small part of the population prefers to keep their shutters shut all year round. There are many reasons why you might choose to leave your windows open or closed. Sometimes, it’s a preference, other times, windows just can’t open or shut. Has someone ever told you that you can improve your indoor air quality if you never open your windows? Is this true? Keep reading to learn more!

What happens to air quality indoors if you never open your windows?

Research says that negative air quality can cause permanent health damage. Here’s what you should know about the importance of air quality, and why windows should be opened for at least a portion of the day.

What Bad Air Quality Does to Your Health

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for the measurement of air quality, and the associated health risks that can arise from a lack of airflow or quality air. Indoor air quality is essential for good health. Without it, the health consequences could be harmful – and could, in fact, be fatal.

Irritation or damage to the skin, lungs, eyes, and heart are common consequences of indoor pollutants. Headaches, asthma attacks, and repeated infections can also accompany a lack of good air.

Learn more: Indoor Air Quality

The Real-Time Air Quality Map

It can be important to know the quality of the air outside of your house, too. Outdoor air quality has a direct impact on how controlled the flow inside your home needs to be in order to retain quality air. People living in highly polluted areas should rely heavily on air-conditioning to improve the airflow of their homes. If not, you are just letting polluted or unfiltered air straight into your home.

Thanks to AQICN.org, you can check a real-time air quality map of the United States to find out what the air quality is in your area. (https://aqicn.org/map/usa)

Also, watch the general air-quality map for your area through the initiative AirNow.gov.   (https://www.airnow.gov/national-maps)

Why Open Windows?

Open windows do two important things for your house and the people who are inside it:

  1. Old, stagnant air is let out through the open window;
  2. Good and clean air is let back in

Without opening your windows, oftentimes you’re stuck in stagnant air. Smells and dust particles can’t be filtered out, but remain inside – much like the flow that a slow cooker creates when you close the lid. Opening your home windows is like the release of opening a pot lid: a rush of fresh air comes in, and what’s trapped inside is allowed to go out.

Stagnant air is dangerous and can present a health risk to the inhabitants of a house (or the workers in an office environment). Open windows at least once every few hours to make sure that cleaner air is let in, and that nothing hazardous is accidentally contained indoors.

Windows Can’t Open… Now What?

The most common reason for people to not open their windows is that they physically can’t open them. Some window frames can rust, while others might have been hammered or painted shut by previous owners. Other times, it’s just a low-quality or old window frame that no longer has the movement it once did.

If your windows can’t open, it’s time to consider home window replacement from a trusted window company near you. The Omaha window replacement professionals at Discount Window and Door of Omaha are ready to help you retake control over your indoor air quality. Contact us today for a FREE estimate.

Strategies to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for promoting health and comfort within your home, especially if windows are rarely opened. Here are some effective strategies to enhance indoor air quality:

Use Air Purifiers with HEPA Filters

Investing in a high-quality air purifier equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can significantly improve indoor air quality by capturing airborne particles, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. For the best results, place the air purifier in commonly occupied areas, such as the living room or bedroom.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Utilize exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove moisture and pollutants generated during cooking and bathing.

Choose Natural Cleaning Products

Many conventional cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harsh chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution. Opt for natural cleaning alternatives, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, which are safer for both indoor air quality and personal health.

Minimize Indoor Pollution Sources

Reduce or eliminate the use of products that release harmful pollutants, such as aerosol sprays, air fresheners, and tobacco smoke. Properly store household chemicals and solvents in well-ventilated areas to prevent off-gassing.

Balance Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality

While maintaining good indoor air quality is paramount, it’s also important to consider energy efficiency in building design and operation.

Here are some strategies for striking a balance between energy efficiency and indoor air quality:

Schedule Periodic Ventilation “Flushes”

Consider scheduling periodic ventilation “flushes” when outdoor air quality is favorable. Open windows and doors to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate throughout the indoor space, diluting indoor pollutants and refreshing the indoor environment.

Implement Smart HVAC Strategies

Optimize the operation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to balance energy efficiency with indoor air quality. Use programmable thermostats to regulate indoor temperature and ventilation rates based on occupancy patterns and outdoor air quality conditions. Ensure HVAC systems are equipped with high-efficiency filters and undergo regular maintenance to maximize performance and indoor air quality.

Discount Window and Door of Omaha

At Discount Window and Door of Omaha, we are committed to providing the best quality doors and replacement windows. We employ the most skilled installers to ensure the highest standard of quality service. Our Omaha door and window installers are highly trained, certified industry professionals with years of experience, including some second and third-generation employees.

Contact us for a FREE Estimate!
(402) 884-8989