Whether it’s because of work or the weather, we’re spending more and more time indoors than ever before. In fact, did you know that studies show we’re spending up to 90% of our time indoors?
That’s why creating a healthy indoor climate for you and your family to live, work and play in is so important. But what does a healthy indoor climate mean? How can you go about creating it in your home?
Here are some essential tips for a cleaner, healthier home, and what benefits they provide to the people who enjoy them.
- Ensure good sleeping conditions. Sleeping well is one of the best things we can do for our mental and physical health. A good night’s sleep can help you regulate blood sugar, keep your immune system strong, reduce inflammation, improve memory and boost your mood. One way to improve the length and quality of sleep at night is earlier exposure to direct sunlight, especially in the morning, for at least 30 minutes. A comfortable room temperature is also critical for falling and staying asleep, but 72% of the population doesn’t air out their bedrooms before going to sleep according to a recent report.
- Strive for comfortable temperatures. The same report found that 37% of the population values low energy costs over comfortable temperatures. But a comfortable indoor temperature that isn’t too warm or cold can help you to truly relax and enjoy your home. Whether it’s a crisp bedroom that’s perfect for sleeping in or a cozy living room that’s ideal for snuggling up on the couch, the right temperature can make all the difference. And with newer technology and energy-efficient products, you don’t have to sacrifice comfortable temperatures for a lower energy bill.
- Let in fresh air. Increased exposure to natural light and fresh air improves energy levels throughout the day as well as rates of physical activity. In addition, natural light and ventilation connect people to the outdoors, creating a calmer and more productive indoor environment. To make sure we’re getting enough fresh air, experts recommend airing out your home at least three to four times a day for at least 10 minutes at a time with more than one window open. But less than half of us air out our homes even twice a day.
- Let in daylight. Having lots of natural light has more benefits than saving money on your energy bill. Studies show that natural light can do everything from increase short-term memory to reduce eyestrain, improve mood, alleviate pain and boost your metabolism. When it comes to learning, kids also do better with natural light. A French study involving over 2000 children across Europe found that classrooms that are well lit with daylight make for more effective learning than those that are poorly lit. Yet most of us don’t get enough daylight – the report shows that 76% of the population compensates for insufficient access to daylight by turning on artificial light.
- Avoid humidity. Damp and mouldy environments can increase the risk of developing asthma by 40%. Damp dwellings can also provoke allergic reactions. Health Canada also notes that people living in homes with mould and damp conditions are more likely to have eye, nose and throat irritation; coughing and mucous (phlegm) build-up; and wheezing and shortness of breath. Still, even with all these negative health effects, 49% of people do not place priority on avoiding too much humidity. To prioritize your own health and your family’s, be cognizant of signs of moisture and mould in your home, like a musty, earthy odour and stains or discolouration on floors, walls, windowpanes, fabrics and carpets.
One of the easier and more affordable ways to address all of these essential qualities of a healthy home is by adding a skylight. Due to their angle relative to the sun, skylights provide 200% more daylight than a vertical window. Plus, a venting skylight can help you air out your home and allow hot air, odours and toxins to escape. You can also reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer months, saving on electricity.
Learn more about all the ways a skylight can make your home healthier by subscribing to our blog.