While fall isn’t the start of a new calendar year, for many of us it marks new beginnings and a revaluation of our habits and lifestyle. And with winter quickly approaching, it’s a smart idea to start considering our wellness habits and how we can all lead healthier lives. One perhaps unexpected way to do this is to take stock of our homes.
We have become an indoor generation, doing all the things we like to do inside our homes — everything from cooking to working out and watching TV. During the cold winter months, we tend to spend even more time indoors. In fact, research shows we now spend 90% of our time indoors.
But our homes can make us sick if we are not careful about the indoor air quality, which can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. With the right care however, our homes and interiors can have a significant positive impact on our health and that of our families.
One way to make your home a healthier space — while adding style and a gorgeous architectural feature — is to add a skylight. Here are some surprising ways a skylight can improve your health and help you lead a healthier lifestyle, right at home:
Fight the winter blues.
The winter blues are a common ailment affecting about 15% of Canadians. They involve a more general shift in mood and lack of sleep during the colder, darker months. A more severe condition is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which is experienced by 2 to 3% of us and is characterized by depression, exhaustion and lack of energy. Research shows that both are thought to be caused by a lack of natural light, so having a skylight in your home can boost natural light and help the body fight or prevent these conditions.
Using the scientific properties of air movement, the stack or chimney effect is the movement of air in and out of buildings. When applying this design approach to our homes, it can greatly enhance natural airflow and ventilation. The stack effect takes advantage of the fact that hot air rises and cold air sinks to promote the natural movement of fresh air in your home. This relies on skylights and vertical windows working together to achieve optimal indoor air performance.
This is how it works: Your vertical windows work to circulate the air, causing toxins, odours and hot airs to rise to the highest point in the home. When you open your skylight, these gases are able to escape through the roof, creating a healthier indoor environment and cleaner air to breathe. Consider a programmable skylight to better circulate and freshen up your home, especially in the rooms that are most prone to high humidity as well as spaces that access multiple floors of your home. Take advantage of the VELUX ACTIVE system, a smart sensor- based climate control and monitoring system that pairs with your smartphone to automatically adjust your skylights and solar blinds for ideal temperature and air quality.
Get better quality sleep.
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night? It might not be your fault. Research shows that exposure to direct sunlight, especially in the morning, for at least 30 minutes, will improve the length and quality of sleep at night. Plus, good indoor air quality can also help improve your sleep. Add a skylight in your bedroom to enjoy waking up to natural light and a view of the sky. With VELUX’s solar powered room darkening programmable blinds, you can get a good night’s rest and still wake-up with natural light when you want.