There's something about fresh air that just makes it feel nicer than the air that recycles through our homes. And since a lot of us have been spending more time inside lately, that bit of fresh air when you can get it feels that much better.
But did you know that even before the pandemic forced many of us to start working and schooling from home, we were spending an average of 90% of our time indoors anyway? With modern amenities like HVAC systems and exhaust fans that control indoor temperature and humidity, there are certainly ways to mimic the fresh air of outside within our homes. Unfortunately, mimicking fresh air isn't enough to get the health benefits the real stuff provides.
Fresh Air Benefits
Getting a daily dose of fresh air can provide more benefits for your health and wellbeing than you might think:
- Fresh air helps clear your lungs. Poor indoor ventilation often results in air with a suboptimal balance of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Fresh air, on the other hand, generally has higher levels of oxygen and lower levels of pollution (depending on your location). With more oxygen, the blood vessels in your lungs dilate, which improves their cleansing and tissue repair systems while helping exchange gases more easily. So think of fresh air as a nice cool bath for your lungs.
- Fresh air increases energy and hones mental focus. Increased oxygen in the air doesn't just help your lungs; it also causes oxygen levels in your blood to go up so more circulates to your brain. This helps you feel energized and improves your ability to concentrate and remember information. It also promotes serotonin production so you feel happier and less anxious.
- Fresh air can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Every cell in your body needs oxygen to function. But when you're constantly breathing suboptimal air, you may not get enough oxygen, so your heart has to work harder to make sure what's available gets to where it needs to go. A few deep breaths of fresh air a day can help your heart relax, lowering both your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Fresh air helps strengthen your immune system. The increased oxygen in your blood stream isn't just beneficial for your heart, it also helps your immune system. Increased oxygen helps white blood cells function properly by fighting and killing bacteria and germs.
Incorporating More Fresh Air into Your Home
The best way to get more fresh air into your system is spending time outdoors. But between work, school, and other activities, as well as exterior factors like the weather, it can be hard to make time to get outside every single day.
Another great way to get regular fresh air exposure is with daily home airing. Every day, for about 15 minutes, open up a window. We'll get into why skylights are better for home airing in a moment, but first here's what opening up that window does for your home:
- Helps eliminate domestic pollutants (solvents, maintenance products, fungus spores, mold, etc.)
- Reduces tobacco pollution
- Eliminates odors
- Evacuates CO2 and increases the level of oxygen
- Reduces dampness levels
It's best to do your home airing before 10:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. when the outdoor air is less polluted, and it's preferable to open a window that doesn't open onto the street. Don't worry too much about that outdoor pollution, though. Studies have shown that indoor air in offices and homes is, on average, more polluted than outdoor air.
Venting skylights offer a perfect compromise to home airing, especially for those days you can't get outside. In addition to fresh air, they provide natural light all throughout the day, which has its own host of benefits.
Now, why are skylights better than windows for home airing? For one thing: you don't have to worry about opening a skylight that faces the road since they all face up. So while you're airing out your home, you won't have to worry about any exhaust or noise pollution from cars.
And with handy attachments like VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO, you can schedule your skylights to open and close automatically. In other words, you can air out your home daily without even thinking about it! VELUX ACTIVE can also monitor the quality of the air in your home and adjust your skylights accordingly if it gets too humid or CO2 levels get too high.